Franca Sozzani, legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia from 1988 until her untimely death in 2016, had inimitable taste. Franca made fashion but did not follow it, or at least she was not possessed by it. Her mantra was style. Personal and based on combinations of vintage and contemporary pieces, it differentiated her as much from the other editors in chief as from the fashionistas. The difference was her charisma, which distinguished her every choice.
As her sister Carla Sozzani explains, “Franca’s style had two periods: the first was very sober and somewhat androgynous, characterized by many Alberto Biani garments that became almost her uniform. Although there is not much left of that period, apart from a few Caraceni jackets, her son Francesco Carrozzini likes to remember her mostly this way.” And that’s how we think of her at the turn of the 1990s and 2000s: she often came to the newsroom wearing tapered, dark pants and a white shirt, perhaps a wide one, with humble Friulanis on her feet. She carried no handbags but instead small shantung bags.
“Then she changed her style. Around 2010, coinciding with greater media exposure, she began to wear more feminine, varied, colorful, floral garments. The slipper was replaced by half-heeled Manolo shoes. She wanted to move completely away from a fashion look, mixing old Saint Laurent, bow blouses, and below-the-knee skirts. Ultimately she changed the clothes but not the personality,” Carla continues.
At gala soirees after 2010, Franca surprised with choices that were polychromatic and histrionic, or candidly ethereal, with macro prints, animalier, feathers, embroidery, and important jewelry. She was, always, iconic.