It's difficult to talk about late Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani without mentioning the many lives she touched, and how she impacted them, too. Sozzani, who died in 2016 at age 66 of lung cancer, was a force beyond measure — in the fashion industry and real life. In fact, she was known for blurring the two, like an artist smudging lead on the page. It's why, in Franca: Chaos & Creation, a coffee table book dedicated to the editrix, so many of Sozzani's colleagues write so lovingly and extensively about their shared memories.
In her three-decade tenure, Sozzani tackled subjects like drug abuse, diversity, domestic violence, and more. Her diversity issue, for example, dubbed the Black Issue, sells for $2,500 (£1,880) today. This book, by her son Francisco Carrozzini and printed via Assouline, costs $250. And by the weight and breadth of it — showcasing Sozzani's most iconic photos in one place, is worth every penny. (It's 408 pages, 300 of which are illustrations.) The portfolio features mementos from fashion veterans like photographer Miles Aldridge, Linda Evangelista, Steven Meisel, and many more.
But it's longtime friend and colleague Anna Wintour, whose daughter Bee Shaffer married Sozzani's son Francesco last year, who shared the most touching message. "Franca, as far as I could tell, was a one-woman show. She trusted her artists implicitly," she wrote. "Trust, and be yourself. That was the enduring lesson Franca taught me, and it is her courage I most remember to this day. In fact, she is vivid in my memory, alive in my mind and my heart: clever, stylish, beautiful, never self-pitying, full of irreverence and wit and life." Sozzani and Wintour were hired to lead their respective magazines in the same week.
What's more, proceeds from the sale of the book will fund the Franca Sozzani Chair in Preventive Genomics at Harvard Medical School to support research accelerating the transformation of medicine from reactive sick care to proactive health preservation. In addition to her dedication to fashion journalism, Sozzani led a most charitable life; she was a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, awarded the Legion of Honor by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, worked with Convivo in the fight against HIV/AIDs, and so, so much more.
In the slideshow ahead, you'll see just a glimpse into Franca Sozzani's most lived and thoughtful life — a woman who didn't just have it all, but did it all, too.