The name is Lucinda Chambers, she was/is a respected fashion director who dedicated 36 years of her career to Vogue, and probably would have dedicated a few more if it wasn’t for the recent appointment of Edward Enninful to the position of Editor-in-chief.
The former fashion director recently sat down with publication Vestoj and kept nothing in. Her words were so real and unfeigned that the publication was actually contacted by Conde Nast lawyers and forced to edit the interview; it’s safe to say Lucinda Chambers knows more than a bit about this industry and wasn’t scared to give her personal and professional opinion.
According to a [now] deleted fragment from the interview she wasn’t given a heads up about her position being at risk: “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.”
She goes on to explain how the industry does not prioritise creativity but prefers to create an environment filled with anxiety and fear: “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.”
She mentions how creatives are forced to think more and more like businessmen and if you don’t catch up the industry will “chew you up and spit you out.”
“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.” she added.
She also addresses an issue that comes up over and over again regarding the industry, the complete lack of realness: “There are very few fashion magazines that make you feel empowered. Most leave you totally anxiety-ridden, for not having the right kind of dinner party, setting the table in the right kind of way or meeting the right kind of people. Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive.”
We are not sure who was appointed to replace her but it is so refreshing to hear such candid truth about an industry that tends to overuse the smoke and screens effect.
All the luck to her on her future career path and we hope Edward Enninful injects the magazine with a bit of the realness is obviously lacking.