News & Runway

Carine Roitfeld Opens Up About Her Paris Vogue Departure

Carine RoitfeldIn her first lengthy interview since leaving her editor-in-chief post at Paris Vogue, Carine Roitfeld sat down with for a lengthy interview about the future of fashion. Though just released, the interview was conducted less than a week after her controversial departure from the magazine. Among other topics, she opens up about the controversy, her relationship with Emmanuelle Alt, and future plans.

In New York for Fashion Week, though not planning to attend the shows, Roitfeld says, "It’s strange for me to come back here to New York during the fashion show season and not to be the editor in chief of French Vogue. Of course, I’ve done it before when I was just a freelancer, but ten years is a long time. It’s like 20 times I came here for the shows, and suddenly I’m not the editor in chief. That’s a custom, so it’s hard to now be a freelance editor. But it’s exciting, too."

Dismissing the speculation that Roitfeld will work with Tom Ford again, she says, "No, no, I’m not going to work with Tom. That was ten years ago. If I look back at my CV, when I was freelance, I worked mostly ten years with Tom Ford at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. And after [that] I stopped and it was ten years at French Vogue. Now it’s a new decade and I don’t want to be doing what I was doing ten years ago. Of course, Tom is my friend and if he asks me what I think, I will answer. But I will not go and stay one week before the show and work with him."

At the time of the interview, Roitfeld's future plans are unknown, but she has plenty of ideas that will, of course, be in fashion. Perhaps "magazines, or as the muse of someone."

When asked whether she was fired because of the Tom Ford issue, Roitfeld dispels the rumors, "No, that’s wrong…I think it was a controversial issue, but they were all controversial issues. I told you, at the end of this decade, I could see that the new president in France wanted to change the direction of the magazine. I’m sure the Tom Ford issue is not the way they’re heading in the next few years, but it was not because of the Tom Ford issue. I was not fired, because if I was fired, it would not be a very nice ending. It was a discussion between Jonathan and myself, and he never fired me…I know I did a good job. I know the March issue is a record in terms of advertising. So I’m not leaving a sad magazine, an empty magazine. I’m leaving a magazine that has an epic stop. I’m very happy about that."

Declining to talk about her relationship with Emmanuelle Alt, Roitfeld admits that they are not "in the best relations" though she does think the magazine is in good hands with Alt. "I think the team is perfect. And I think it’s like a boulevard—an easy road in front of them. For six months, it’s the same program as today, because everything for this season was almost organized. So we’ll see what happens next season. I think it would be stupid to change too much, because I think it’s doing quite well. But everyone has their own personality, and Emmanuelle is very different than me, so we’re going to see what she’s going to do. But I think it’s going to be a bit easier for her than it was for me ten years ago, because everyone wants to work at French Vogue now."

Roitfeld goes on to recognize her significant "street style" stardom stating, "I’m never conscious about those sorts of things. I was never conscious that I was becoming an icon or I’m not an icon, because my family, my kids, my husband keep me down-to-earth. But it’s true that, when you go to a show now, the photographers are more interested sometimes in the dress or the jacket you’re wearing than to photograph the show, and I think this is totally wrong. It’s an honor and you smile to the people. But is it normal? I think there is something a bit weird, that more people want to see these looks than want to see what John Galliano or Dolce & Gabbana did for the show."

Read the full Carine Roitfeld interview at