A Major Vogue Editor on How to Survive the Fashion Industry


Vanessa Jackman

Franca Sozzani has been the editor in chief of Vogue Italia for 25 years, so she knows a thing or two about getting by in the fashion industry. In a new interview with Business of Fashion, she opens up about the intense and fast-paced nature of the field (a very popular topic these days) and points out, quite frankly, that it’s not for everyone.

As she sees it, young people, especially, aren’t always willing to pay the required dues. “There are a lot of young people that do not want to sacrifice anything for what they want but they [still] want to be successful, and they want to be famous and they want to be rich. This is what I dislike,” Sozzani explains. She points to designer Karl Lagerfeld as an example of someone who handles the constant hustle with aplomb: “Karl is a person who works 24 hours a day, but in a light way. He enjoys it, because he does what he likes. I work sometimes 24 hours a day, but I enjoy it because I like it. It’s an attitude that you have to have. If you don’t want to sacrifice anything, but to be rich, famous and beautiful, this is different. If it’s an egoistic choice … it’s impossible.” It’s very wise advice, and we couldn’t agree more—fashion may have its glamorous moments, but real success requires that you handle much more than that. You have to be willing to hustle, especially at the start of your career.

Alas, as Sozzani points out, not everyone wants to put up with this, and that’s not a crime: “You have to respect the fact that not everybody wants to be in the system. Because it’s not [for] all of us. If you have to live with a kind of nightmare, it is better to give up and do something else.”

What do you think of Sozzani's stance on the matter? Sound off in the comments, and shop some of our favorite books on the fashion industry!