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Franca Sozzani, Editor in Chief of ‘Vogue Italia,’ Dies at 66

Riposare in pace. Franca Sozzani, the iconic, longtime editor in chief of Vogue Italia, passed away after a yearlong illness on Thursday, December 22, at the age of 66.

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“This is the saddest news I have ever had to report to you,” Jonathan Newhouse, CEO of Condé Nast International, wrote on Vogue Italia’s website. “Franca Sozzani, the editor of Italian Vogue for 28 years, died today in Milan after a yearlong illness with her son, Francesco, by her side. It is an incalculable loss for Vogue and for the fashion world, along with the many people around the world whose lives she touched — readers, photographers, journalists, fashion designers and professionals — and people around the world whom she met through her role at the United Nations.”

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Franca Sozzani
Franca Sozzani

Born in Mantua, Italy, Sozzani began her prolific career in 1976 at Vogue Bambini, working her way up the ranks at Condé Nast. She also served as the editorial director of Condé Nast Italy, and was the ambassador to fashion for the United Nations, as Newhouse noted. It was a “mission that took her around the world to bring support to the fashion world and the people behind it in places like Africa, Asia and regions beyond the usual fashion venues,” he continued. “In her UN role she also joined the fight against hunger in poor countries and helped raise awareness of the issue along with money. She carried out these activities with deep commitment and energy.”

Franca Sozzani
Franca Sozzani and Anna Wintour

The luminary lived a fulfilling life to the very end. On December 5, Tom Ford presented Sozzani with the Swarovski Award for Positive Change at the Fashion Awards 2016 in London. And three days later, she Instagrammed a shot from a Chanel fashion show alongside Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour.

Wintour remembered her longtime collaborator and friend on, shortly after the news of her passing broke. “In private, Franca was warm, clever, funny, and someone who could give the Sphinx a run for its money when it comes to keeping a confidence,” she wrote. “She was also the hardest-working person I have known, and with an envy-inducing ease with multitasking. She made everything she worked on appear effortless, regardless of whether it was an event for several hundred; a whirlwind trip to Africa to support the continent’s emerging designers; or the creation of yet another newsworthy, provocative, and utterly spellbinding issue of Italian Vogue.” 

Sozzani leaves behind one son, Emmy Award–nominated director Francesco Carrozzini.

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