Jul 05, 2017 8:43PM

Lucinda Chambers, Fired Vogue Director, Spills Tea On The Mag

"The June cover with Alexa Chung in a stupid Michael Kors T-shirt is crap."
"A month and a half ago I was fired from Vogue. It took them three minutes to do it. No one in the building knew it was going to happen," Lucinda Chambers begins an essay on Vestoj. "The management and the editor I've worked with for twenty-five years had no idea. Nor did HR. Even the chairman told me he didn't know it was going to happen. No one knew, except the man who did it – the new editor."
 
What follows is some serious tea spilling. Lucinda does not hold back when emptying all of her thoughts on the magazine, fashion, advertisers, and Marni and Anna Wintour specifically.
 
On her work, and the effects advertisers had on it, she writes: "The June cover with Alexa Chung in a stupid Michael Kors T-shirt is crap. He's a big advertiser so I knew why I had to do it. I knew it was cheesy when I was doing it, and I did it anyway. Ok, whatever. But there were others… There were others that were great."
 
On the shallowness of the industry: "I remember a long time ago, when I was on maternity leave, Vogue employed a new fashion editor. When I met with my editor after having had my baby, she told me about her. She said, 'Oh Lucinda, I've employed someone and she looked fantastic. She was wearing a red velvet dress and a pair of Wellington boots to the interview.' This was twenty years ago. She went on, 'She's never done a shoot before. But she's absolutely beautiful and so confident. I just fell in love with the way she looked.' And I went, 'Ok, ok. Let's give her a go.' She was a terrible stylist. Just terrible. But in fashion you can go far if you look fantastic and confident – no one wants to be the one to say '… but they're crap.'"
 
On Marni, who she was a long-time creative consultant for, and Anna Wintour's influence: "He brought Francesco Risso onboard, who had nothing to do with the company. Before Marni, he did celebrity dressing at Prada. He'd never done a show, he'd never run a team. But he knows Anna Wintour. And who is Renzo Rosso enthralled by? Anna Wintour. The last womenswear collection at Marni was a disaster; it had terrible reviews. The show was appalling. I heard the cost to produce it was two-and-a-half times what we used to spend, and it sold fifty percent less. A lot of American buyers didn't even bother to turn up. Marni is no more. It saddens me, but then I remind myself that from the ashes something new can emerge."
 
And on not even reading Vogue: "There are very few fashion magazines that make you feel empowered. Most leave you totally anxiety-ridden, for not having the right kind of dinner party, setting the table in the right kind of way or meeting the right kind of people. Truth be told, I haven't read Vogue in years. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive. What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. It's a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They've stopped being useful. In fashion we are always trying to make people buy something they don't need. We don't need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people into continue buying. I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational? That's the kind of fashion magazine I'd like to see." 
 
Read the full essay here.
 
Photo: Tumblr

Hayley Morgan