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Grace Mirabella, 70s and 80s US Vogue editor, dies aged 92 | Vogue


Grace Mirabella, the editor of American Vogue throughout the 1970s and much of the 1980s, has died aged 92.

Mirabella was a non-nonsense champion of practical fashion. She succeed the more whimsical and bohemian Diana Vreeland as editor in 1971 and remained in the role until 1988.

A native of New Jersey and an economics graduate, she began her career at the New York department store Macys before joining the publicity department at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Mirabella set about reining in Vreeland’s fashion fantasy, and ascribed her loyalties to a new generation of working women who wanted to put careers and financial independence first.

“I’m a firm believer that the key to dressing well, the key to style, is that you don’t have to reinvent yourself every day,” Mirabella once said. Her ambition, she wrote in her autobiography In and Out of Vogue was to no longershowcase women who had no other credit to their names but their names”.

“I wanted to give Vogue back to real women … I wanted to give Vogue over to women who were journalists, writers, actresses, artists, playwrights, businesswomen,” she continued.

Under her tenure the magazine grew in circulation threefold. But by the 1980s, Mirabella felt, and was perceived as, out of step with the times. “The 1980s just were not my era,” she wrote in her autobiography “I couldn’t stand the frills and the glitz and the $40,000 ball gowns.”

Clothes in the 1980s, she added, “were about labels, designers were about being celebrities, and it was all, on a bigger and bigger scale, about money” and fashion had turned “into a self-reverential game full of jokes and pastiches that amused the fashion community enormously and did nothing at all for the woman shopping and trying to find something to wear”,

In 1988, owner Condé Nast replaced Mirabella at Vogue with Anna Wintour, who remains in the title role.

“Grace guided Vogue through a momentous time in American history – emancipation, sexual freedom, and vital and hard-won rights for women,” Wintour said in tribute Friday. “She eschewed fantasy and escapism in favor of a style that was chicly minimalist and which spoke clearly and directly to the newly liberated ways we wanted to live.”



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