Grace Mirabella

Grace Mirabella

Former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.
Date of Birth: 10.06.1930
Country: USA

  1. Grace Mirabella Biography
  2. Early Career and Rise to the Top
  3. Later Career and Legacy

Grace Mirabella Biography

Grace Mirabella, former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, was born on June 10, 1930, in Newark, New Jersey. She came from an Italian heritage and graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs in June 1950 with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Grace Mirabella

Early Career and Rise to the Top

Mirabella began her career in her youth, starting as a salesperson in a family friend's sporting goods store. After college, she held several junior positions in the retail business, including working as an administrative intern at the famous Macy's and as an assistant merchandise manager at the luxurious Saks Fifth Avenue.

Grace Mirabella

In the early 1950s, Mirabella landed a job as an assistant at Vogue magazine. Over the years, she worked her way up and eventually became an editor. According to her own words, getting a job in a fashion magazine in the 1950s did not require special skills or talents, but one's background and appearance could play a significant role. Throughout the majority of the 1960s, Mirabella served as an editor under Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor-in-chief.

Grace Mirabella

In 1971, Mirabella herself was appointed as the editor-in-chief, succeeding Vreeland. However, after 17 years, she was replaced by Anna Wintour in 1988 due to the emergence of aggressive and successful competitors such as Elle magazine. Mirabella learned about her own dismissal not from the management of Condé Nast Publications, the publisher of Vogue, or her immediate supervisor and friend Alexander Liberman, but from the prominent television columnist Liz Smith during a broadcast.

Later Career and Legacy

In the early 1990s, Mirabella launched her own magazine, Mirabella, with financial support from Rupert Murdoch. However, it had a short lifespan in a market dominated by heavyweights such as Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Elle, and Vogue. From 1989 to 2000, Mirabella's magazine struggled to compete against its rivals.

During her tenure as editor-in-chief, Mirabella focused more on the lives of average American women rather than fashion trends. As a result, the magazine's circulation grew from 400,000 to 1.2 million, but Vogue's authority as a fashion trendsetter declined. The period from 1971 to 1988 is often referred to as the "beige" era due to the color of Mirabella's office, which was repainted shortly after Vreeland's departure.

Mirabella's contributions to Vogue included publishing notable works by fashion photographer Helmut Newton and having Richard Avedon work on most of the magazine's covers. She also introduced the works of other renowned photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Albert Watson, Mike Reinhardt, Kourken Pakchanian, and Chris von Wangenheim.

In 1995, Mirabella released her autobiography, "In and Out of Vogue," which chronicled her 38 years in the fashion industry.