Vogue Italia's beloved and much-revered editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani has died. She passed away in Milan after a year-long illness; she was 66 years old.
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Franca manned the helm of Italian Vogue for 28 years, from 1988 to 2016, during which time the magazine rose to become a photography powerhouse under her leadership--most notably, she has unwaveringly championed the careers of iconic fashion photographers Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh, Ellen von Unwerth and Paolo Roversi, among others.
Never daunted by the idea of facing social and political issues, Franca was also known for tackling the taboo in her editorials, using fashion as a platform to discuss controversial and provocative cultural topics (domestic violence, weight obsession, plastic surgery, and even ocean pollution included). In 2008, she produced the Black Issue, its editorial pages exclusively featuring women of color. The issue, now a collector's item, contributed heavily to the ever-present dialogue about racial diversity in the fashion industry.
In February 2011, Franca also launched Vogue Curvy, staffed entirely by plus-size bloggers who offer fashion tips for the full-figured. The following year saw her awarded the Legion of Honour by French president Nicolas Sarkozy; later in 2012, she became a United Nations Goodwill ambassador.
Rest in peace, Franca. Your unparalleled vision will be missed.