Lucinda Chambers, the former Vogue Editor who was unceremoniously fired from her job after a 25 year long career at British Vogue, has done the thing you're really not supposed to do when you are fired from a job: speak your mind openly and honestly about your former employer. Whether you leave on good terms, or because you needed to get the hell out of there, it's pretty rare to see someone just light the match and set the bridge back to their old place of work on fire because for most of us who don't get regular publicity for doing their job the consequences can be pretty damaging — to your reputation, to your future professional prospects, especially if you're in a small industry. That's why it's so fascinating to see Lucinda Chambers unleash her opinions so eloquently to Vestoj.
The entire first-person piece is a must read, but I'm more riveted by what she says towards the end:
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.
Amen x 1000, right? It's refreshing to know that an industry insider like Chambers is able to reveal that they too think glossy magazines and the fashion industry in general is unrelatable and uninspiring. It's like every fashion-interested fan has been thinking this for years and even yelling it from the outskirts is finally vindicated by having one of the very own insiders who helps shape fashion utter the same harsh realities everyone has known forever.
All I have to say is: Lucinda, you're my new hero. Please continue to speak your mind in a way that doesn't violate whatever paperwork you may have had to sign as you left the Vogue offices! Advertisers, bottom lines, and business pressures are necessary evils to any creative profession, but the fashion industry in particular has caved to them in unprecedented ways, allowing consolidations, streamlining, and profits to completely chip away at the remaining credibility, voice, and authority the once-iconic publications had. It will take more people like you that are unwilling to table their opinions, despite their harsh truths, to cut through the bullshit and actually make fashion aspirational, useful, and most importantly, relatable again.