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Carine Roitfeld a model, a stylist and muse to Tom Ford before French Vogue

Helen Lee November 28, 2007 1

Here’s another fashion did you know:

French Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Vogue Hommes International creative director, Carine Roitfeld’s fashion credentials and career came about in a non-tradition way (i.e. without having to labour away doing menial tasks at obscure titles).

Breaking into the industry as a model at 18, Roitfeld soon turned in her modeling shoes to become a writer and fashion stylist where she worked for the likes of French Elle and Italian Vogue Bambini in the eighties and nineties. At an Italian Vogue Bambini shoot in 1986 (where Mario Testino was the photographer), her daughter Julia Restin-Roitfeld was used as a child model.

Making a fantastic styling and photographic team, Roitfeld and Testino worked together on shoots for US and French Vogue, going on to style advertising imagery for Gucci, Missoni, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein. Before she became editor of French Vogue in 2001, Roitfeld was working as a consultant and muse for Tom Ford at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent for six years. Though at the beginning, Roitfeld didn’t quite know who Tom Ford was

“There was this guy called Tom Ford constantly calling us to work on his first collection for Gucci. But at this time Gucci was just a pair of loafers. I was young, I was, “Oh la la” – it was not trendy – “Who is this guy?” He called me maybe ten times and I say one day, “OK, come to the shoot,” and when he came he was so beautiful, so charming and we say OK, not because of the clothes, but because of him.’ Roitfeld went on to work as a consultant for Ford at Gucci and YSL for six years.

‘I was like a feminine continuity of himself. We are both Virgo. We have the same history of what is beautiful, Studio 54, rock ‘n’ roll. Tom would look at me, the way I was crossing my legs, where I was putting my bags, how I was sitting. He’d say, “How do you wear it?” Me: “Oh, no bag with this, it’s not possible.” He discover maybe an idea of the woman through me. His first collection was not so sexy and then when I come in it was very 1970s, very oh la la low-waist sweaters, very open the shirt… OK, today I wear a very nice white dress, but in this period I was more rock ‘n’ roll.’

Love it.

[Via a fabulous Telegraph article about Carine]

One Comment »

  1. Lisa November 29, 2007 at 12:24 am -

    Wow, I’d love to see some shoots Carine has styled over the years. I love that she is so unassuming and did a whole bunch of different things in the industry before becoming editor of French Vogue

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