Grace Mirabella, longtime Vogue editor, dead at 92 – FOX23 News
Grace Mirabella, an influential fashion voice during her 17 years as editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, died Thursday at her New York home. She was 92 years old.
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Mirabella’s death has been confirmed by her stepson, Anthony Cahan, The New York Times reported.
Mirabella started working at Vogue in 1951 as an assistant in the merchandising department, before joining her editorial team three years later, Vogue reported. After a brief stint at the head of advertising for the Roman fashion designer Simonetta, she returned to the United States and to Vogue. She became one of the magazine’s best assistants when Diana Vreeland was appointed editor in 1963, The Washington Post reported. During this time, Mirabella described Vogue as a place “with gorgeous editors walking the halls like peacocks.”
Vreeland’s dismissal by Vogue publisher Condé Nast in 1971 came as a surprise despite declining runs and ad revenue, the Times reported. Mirabella was told about her promotion during a photoshoot in California.
“It was very difficult working for her,” Mirabella told The Post in 1988. “But you can get along with someone who is difficult if you admire them.”
Mirabella remained the magazine’s editor-in-chief until 1988, Vogue reported.
Under Mirabella’s watch, Vogue emphasized the naturalness of hairstyles, makeup and clothing rather than artifice, the Times reported.
The magazine added sections on the arts, fitness, health and beauty while keeping the focus on fashion. The circulation tripled during Mirabella’s tenure, to over 1.2 million in 1988 from 400,000 in 1971, according to the newspaper.
“She was an icon, a legacy,” Samir Husni, professor of journalism and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism, told The Times.
“No one has ever written a book about her, ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘,” said Husni, a reference to the later-film-made novel based on Vogue’s successor to Mirabella, Anna Wintour. “She wore the Prada without the devil.”
Marie Grace Mirabella was born on June 10, 1929 in Newark, New Jersey, the Times reported. She was the daughter of Anthony Mirabella, sales manager for an alcohol import company, and Florence Belfatto Mirabella, who had immigrated from Italy.
She graduated from Skidmore College in 1950, majoring in economics, Vogue reported. Mirabella got a spot on Macy’s executive education course and then joined the Saks Fifth Avenue advertising department.
Mirabella returned to Vogue in 1955 as chief purchasing editor, the Times reported.
After taking over as editor in 1971, Mirabella learned of her dismissal in 1988 following the television announcement of gossip columnist Liz Smith, the Post reported. Her bosses at Condé Nast, owner of SI Newhouse Jr. and creative director Alexander Liberman, had not told Mirabella that she was being replaced by Wintour.
Soon after, Mirabella met Rupert Murdoch for lunch, and the media mogul funded a new magazine with Mirabella not only at the helm, but with her name on the cover, according to the newspaper.
Mirabella magazine debuted in 1989, designed to fill a niche for slightly older women who were interested in more than just fashion, according to the Post.
She left the magazine in 1996 to lecture and write freelance, The Times reported. The publication closed four years later.
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