Emanuele Farneti quitting Vogue Italia
And another Vogue editor-in-chief bites the dust.
Emanuele Farneti, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, has announced he is leaving the title after four years at the helm.
His departure marks the latest EIC of a major Vogue to retire, be fired or dismissed in the past several months, joining the EICs of Vogues in Germany, France, Spain, Brazil and China.
In glossy editorial terms the greatest beheading of editors of major titles, in the magazine equivalent of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre.
Farneti’s departure means that there are now barely a handful of major EICs left at Condé Nast – Anna Wintour in America; Edward Enninful in Britain; Margaret Zhang, an Australian-raised influencer, in China, and Ksenia Solovyova in Russia. Vogue editors in Australia and the Gulf, for instance, which are produced under license, have not been affected.
Farneti took over at Vogue Italia in early 2017. He was given a hard act to follow, succeeding the legendary Franca Sozzani, in many people’s view the single greatest fashion editor of the past half century, after she died in December 2016 after editing Vogue Italia for almost three decades.
However, Farneti leaves Vogue Italia with a highly credible reputation. A skilled editor and fresh conceptualist, he won acclaim for issues like his children’s rights issue; or his cover starring Lauren Hutton, the first woman over 70 to feature on any Vogue cover.
“Vogue is entering a new chapter: it is going global. And because the beginning of any new chapter must coincide with the end of the last, I have decided to step down as EIC of Vogue Italian when our September issue is complete,” Farneti revealed in an Instagram post this weekend.
Condé Nast has been relatively mute about its plans for the new global vision for Vogue. However, at its heart is a massive cost-cutting program, which has culled literally hundreds of experienced staffers internationally. Few of them have been or will be replaced.
Vogue globally will also radically reduce the number of locally produced editorial fashion shoots, replacing them with shoots commissioned by Wintour and Enninful, which will then be parachuted into local Vogues. Enninful has also been named European editor.
One model for the new global Vogues is Vanity Fair UK, which was essentially the American version of the title except for front news pages; and covers featuring local British stars and celebrities.
By definition, globally Vogue will also deflate the number of stories, ideas and images from each Vogue outside of the UK and USA, a strategy which is already causing unease among major fashion houses, luxury brands and advertisers.
In his social media farewell, Farneti seemed to sum up the feeling well.
“I believe we have honored the tradition of innovation and freedom that underlines the greatness of this magazine. This attribute is what made Vogue Italia the voice of an industry that does credit to Italy around the world. Italy is a culture that deserves respect, and to be represented for what it is: the culture from which many of fashion’s most influential ideas are conceived and through which the best quality of craftsmanship is produced. There will be time to tell you about my next adventure,” Farneti added.
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