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Vogue Italia's Franca Sozzani dies after long illness

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today Dec 22, 2016
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Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, has died in Milan at the age of 66 after a year-long illness.

Seen as one of the greatest of Condé Nast’s Vogue editors, the always-smiling Sozzani had been at the helm of the Italian edition for 28 years and turned it into the most creative of Vogue’s international publications.

Franca Sozzani was an always-smiling fixture during fashion week and a hugely influential editor  dr

“Franca was one of the greatest editors who ever made a magazine,” Condé Nast chief Jonathan Newhouse wrote Thursday on the magazine’s website. He also said it was the saddest news he had ever had to report and added that "she was by far the most talented, influential and important person within the Condé Nast International organisation."

She championed photographers Bruce Weber, Paolo Roversi and Steven Meisel, among others, in the magazine and encouraged her team to create imagery that provoked both debate and controversy, especially around issues such as race, weight and violence against women.

In 2008 she produced an issue featuring only black models and later oversaw a plus-size issue. She was also fast to react to the reality star trend, with Kim Kardashian starring on L’Uomo Vogue’s cover four years ago, and was very focused on sustainability issues.

Despite her advanced illness she appeared at the Fashion Awards in London this month to be honoured with the first Swarovski Award for Positive Change.

Sozzani, whose sister Carla Sozzani founded destination multibrand store 10 Corso Como, was a familiar figure during fashion weeks with her shock of long blonde wavy hair and her quirky, colourful fashion style.

Her son, the video director Francesco Carrozzini, has spent six years making a documentary about his mother. Called Franca: Chaos and Creation, it will be released early next year.

Sozzani became editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia at the same time as Anna Wintour arrived at US Vogue and while the two were wary of each other in the early days they later developed a deep friendship.

In a post on vogue.com today, Wintour said of the film and of her friend: “The results are both enchanting and insightful. After all, how could it not be, given Francesco is every bit his mother’s son: two intelligent, cultured, charming, don’t-ever-play-by-the-rule-book characters who brought so much of themselves to this movie.

“Francesco perfectly captures her drive and determination, her fearlessness, her beauty, her wild imagination, and her totally original way of fusing social issues with fashion. He always understood that she was no ordinary mother. But then, Franca was also no ordinary friend.”

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