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"The charge that I am not, somehow, a real fashion person has dogged me throughout the greater portion of my professional life...I don't like glitz and I don't like trendy things and I don't like slapdash and silly fashion games..."

Editor-in-Chief of Vogue from 1971 to 1988. Preceded by Diana Vreeland, succeeded by Anna Wintour; much maligned in the fashion world.

Grace Mirabella was born in 1929, the child of Italian immigrants. She worked in Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue before becoming Diana Vreeland's assistant.

Diana Vreeland, her predecessor, was a goliath in the world of fashion, a woman who loved the beauty and artistry of the finer things. She was a major champion of the clean, smart lines of Chanel; the flowing elegance of de la Renta. Grace Mirabella was seen as less of an aesthete and more of a businesswoman; in short, a philistine. Vreeland had always raved about her love of red lipstick and red rooms; when Mirabella took the helm, she painted Vreeland's office beige. She wasn't interested in in creating wearable art, but in form following function. Her minor offense was that she didn't mythologize fashion, her unforgivable crime was that she wasn't Diana Vreeland. Vreeland had written for a woman who had the time and inclination to buy expensive clothes that were art pieces. By the time she was fired by the magazine, that woman had changed considerably. The modern woman was working outside of the home, raising a family, and needed fashion that moved at her speed.

She threw her support behind designers such as Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, and Calvin Klein; designers who made clothes that were ready-to-wear in every sense of the word. She introduced a new generation of women to a concept of fashion that was adaptable and experimental. Like Vreeland, she created the fashion of an era, and was fired when that era had come to a close. She heard about her own replacement by Anna Wintour not from her management at Conde Nast, but on the television, from gossip columnist Liz Smith.

She went on to publish her own magazine, Mirabella, which ran from 1989 to 2000, and was backed by Rupert Murdoch.

Sources:

Grace Under Pressure
In and Out of Vogue

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