“I am not a self-confident person” – seven words it is almost impossible to imagine Carine Roitfeld uttering and yet utter them she does, on the set of the NET-A-PORTER shoot. The style icon, uber-stylist and publishing powerhouse is apparently not as assured as she always seems. That she has put herself in the public eye at all, says Roitfeld, is down to two men: “Mario Testino convinced me to put my style on a picture and that gave me confidence. Then I met Tom Ford. I had worked on my own for ten years and I never felt that confident about my style. But Tom was like my stamp of approval. We had the same ideas of fashion and about what was sexy. I was his feminine side.”
Roitfeld’s work with both – the trio collaborated during Ford’s 14-year tenure at Gucci and later at Yves Saint Laurent, with Roitfeld acting as Ford’s “muse” – is enduring. The campaigns they created, and indeed Roitfeld’s shoots with Testino for Vogue Paris, are referenced – yet never emulated – time and time again.
Of course, there have been other influential fashion editors, other stylists who create aesthetics rather than just interpreting fashions, but still Roitfeld stands out. Few editors could leave the “gilded cage” of Vogue, as she described it, and set up an entirely new publishing brand, as she has done with CR Fashion Book. Even fewer with such success – the first edition, launched last September, sold out internationally.
But why? What is it about Roitfeld that sets her apart? “Carine is the ultimate woman’s crush,” explains The Edit’s Editor-in-Chief, Lucy Yeomans, who set Roitfeld the challenge of styling her own look for the new season, by taking pieces from her own wardrobe and mixing
“Tom [Ford] was my stamp of approval. We had the same ideas about what was sexy. I was his FEMININE side”
Bodysuit, bib and belt Carine’s own