Former Vogue editor-in-chief Grace Mirabella dies at 91
Former Vogue editor-in-chief and eponymous magazine founder Grace Mirabella died at her home in Manhattan last week at age 91.
The longtime editor was at the helm of Vogue from 1971 to 1988 before current editor-in-chief Anna Wintour stepped in. She started her career as an assistant in the merchandising department, before moving to its editorial staff where she worked under Diana Vreeland at the magazine, replacing her come her retirement.
After her stint at Vogue, Mirabella went on to launch her eponymous women's magazine Mirabella. The magazine was in circulation until 2000.
Mirabella grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, and graduated from Skidmore College, with a major in economics. Before stepping into publishing, she got her dose of fashion in positions at both Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue.
At Vogue, she is credited for setting a more practical tone for the magazine, while embracing women in the workforce. In fact, circulation tripled to more than 1.2 million by 1988 from 400,000 in 1971 under her leadership, according to the New York Times.
“Grace guided Vogue through a momentous time in American history—emancipation, sexual freedom, and vital and hard-won rights for women—and she made that time come alive on the magazine’s pages,” said Wintour in a statement in Vogue, following Mirabella’s passing.
“She eschewed fantasy and escapism in favor of a style that was chicly minimalist and which spoke clearly and directly to the newly liberated ways we wanted to live. Grace showcased Helmut Newton at his most daring and championed so many American designers: Ralph, Calvin, Donna, and Mr Beene. She always exemplified the best of America in her vision and values, and she changed Vogue in ways which still resonate—and which we are profoundly thankful for—today.”
Mirabella is survived by her stepsons Anthony and Christopher Cahan, along with seven step-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.
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