Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Franca Sozzani

During her 20-year tenure as editor in chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani has transformed the magazine from a domestic trade rag into the world's most influential fashion magazine. She uses provocative photos — like a model gagging on oil in the aftermath of the BP disaster — to overcome barriers created by working in Italian. Sozzani drove the supermodel craze of the early '90s by placing models' names on the cover alongside their images — a move that made her contemporaries cringe — and she consistently champions groups that fashion has traditionally snubbed. Vogue Italia's July 2008 issue featured only black models (and sold out in the U.S. in three days), and the June 2011 issue featured a 20-page spread of plus-size models removing their bras. Don't call them acts of tokenism. After launching the web site in January 2010, Sozzani immediately created two sections devoted to black and "curvy" women.