Grace Mirabella, the editor of Vogue America in the 1970s and much of the 1980s, died at the age of 92.
Mirabella was a no-nonsense champion of practical fashion. She succeeded the more extravagant and bohemian Diana Vreeland as an editor in 1971 and remained in the role until 1988.
Born in New Jersey and graduated in economics, she began her career at Macys department store in New York before joining the advertising department of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Mirabella decided to rein in Vreeland’s fashion fantasy and attributed her loyalty to a new generation of working women who wanted to put career and financial independence first.
“I firmly believe that the key to dressing well, the key to style, is that you don’t have to reinvent yourself every day,” Mirabella once said. His ambition, he wrote in his autobiography In and Out of Vogue it was no longer “show off women who had no other merit for their names than for their names ”.
“I wanted to give Vogue back to real women … I wanted to give Vogue back to women who were journalists, writers, actresses, artists, playwrights, entrepreneurs,” she continued.
Under his tenure the magazine has tripled in circulation. But in the 80s Mirabella felt, and was perceived, not in step with the times. “The 1980s was not my era,” she wrote in her autobiography, “I couldn’t stand the frills, the glitz and the $ 40,000 prom dresses.”
Dresses in the 1980s, he added, “were about labels, designers were celebrities, and everything, on an ever-growing scale, was about money” and fashion had turned “into a self-reverent game full of jokes. and pastiche “. which greatly amused the fashion community and did nothing for the woman who went shopping and was looking for something to wear “,
In 1988, owner Condé Nast replaced Mirabella at Vogue with Anna Wintour, who remains in the lead role.
“Grace guided Vogue through a momentous moment in American history: emancipation, sexual freedom and vital, hard-won rights for women,” Wintour said in homage Friday. “He shunned fantasy and evasion in favor of a style that was chic and minimalist and that spoke clearly and directly about the newly liberated ways in which we wanted to live.”