Lucinda Chambers, the Vogue UK fashion director of 25 years who departed this May, addressed a number of contentious topics in a candid interview with journal Vestoj. Chambers told Vestoj: “A month and a half ago I was fired from Vogue. It took them three minutes to do it. No one in the building knew it was going to happen. The management and the editor I’ve worked with for twenty-five years had no idea. Nor did HR. Even the chairman told me he didn’t know it was going to happen. No one knew, except the man who did it – the new editor.”
The interview stayed live only briefly before being taken down, but it was enough time for screenshots to begin circulating online. Vestoj ultimately reposted the article in its entirety. In another arresting excerpt, Chambers says: “You’re not allowed to fail in fashion – especially in this age of social media, when everything is about leading a successful, amazing life. Nobody today is allowed to fail, instead the prospect causes anxiety and terror. But why can’t we celebrate failure? After all, it helps us grow and develop. I’m not ashamed of what happened to me. If my shoots were really crappy… Oh I know they weren’t all good – some were crappy. The June cover with Alexa Chung in a stupid Michael Kors T-shirt is crap. He’s a big advertiser so I knew why I had to do it. I knew it was cheesy when I was doing it, and I did it anyway. Ok, whatever. But there were others… There were others that were great.”
Challenging the approach of some of her colleagues, and the industry at large, she continues: “If you want good results, you have to support people. You don’t get the best out of anyone by making them feel insecure or nervous. Ultimately, that way of treating people is only about control. If you make someone feel nervous, you’ve got them. But in my view, you’ve got them in the wrong way. You’ve got them in a state of anxiety.”
The Vestoj interview has already proved to be highly controversial. After reposting the article, Aronowsky Cronberg said: “In terms of the reasons why it was removed, they are directly related to the industry pressures which Lucinda discusses in her interview. As you know, fashion magazines are rarely independent because their existence depends on relationships with powerful institutions and individuals, whether it’s for tickets to shows, access in order to conduct interviews or advertising revenue. We created Vestoj to be an antidote to these pressures, but we are not always immune. We hope Lucinda’s republished interview will spark a discussion which might, in her words, lead to a more ’empowering and useful’ fashion media.”
Read the full article on Vestoj now.
(Feature image via Pinterest)