Carine Roitfeld, French Vogue's editor for the last seven years, is the cooler, slightly younger, doesn't-give-a-fuck version of uptight American Vogue editor Anna Wintour. And hey: nobody made a moviebook about how bitchy she is. Not only is Carine totes different, but her whole magazine is pretty much better. Everybody in the fashion industry knows this already, but she very Frenchily explains what's wrong with American fashion editors to New York mag. (Oh, and: contrary to popular belief, she does not weigh her female staffers, but it is true that she doesn't know how to use a computer).
"People always say that I weigh my staff, and it is totally wrong. All my girls are very skinny and very chic and very beautiful. And if they are not beautiful, well, then they are very charming. So people always say that I weigh them, but no. I don't weigh my girls."
Also, she also doesn't overthink. She just goes by, you know, that certain je ne sais quois.
She does not start with the clothes. She looks first at the model and comes up with a story: Perhaps this girl has married young and taken a lover. Perhaps she married young, has taken three lovers, and is about to go to Brazil.
"Some editors, they have that, they know all the designer from the beginning of the nineteenth century. They know this is triple cashmere, this is simple cashmere. Maybe they went to fashion school. Me, I don't. I just get a feeling about what is exciting. It is all just from feeling. So I don't know"—she pulls her lips into a pout and gives one of those poufy little French exhales—"I think maybe I have a talent."
Oh, and about Anna, she of the razored bob?
"It's very difficult not to become a puppet," she says of it all. "Like Anna, she becomes so iconic that she becomes like a puppet. I don't want to be like that, I don't want to wear this uniform, I don't want to be just an envelope."
[Roitfeld] still finds the idea of an office with a door where she's expected every day (at least by telephone) somewhat troubling. All she ever wanted was to be surrounded by very attractive people and very expensive clothes. [New York]
Us too, Carine. Us too.