Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue Italy, died in 2016 after being at the helm of Italian fashion for 28 years. And she left a void that to this day has not been filled. If you’re unfamiliar with Franca’s fashion style and are a vintage lover, here is an excellent opportunity. In September, Franca Sozzani’s iconic wardrobe will be on display in Milan, and some of her clothes will be for sale. It’s well worth planning a fashion weekend in Milan.
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What makes Franca Sozzani’s style so special
She was editor-in-chief of the most prominent fashion magazine, worked with the best photographers and created historic editorials. However, Franca Sozzani was not interested in dressing fashionably. Instead, she developed a style that was beyond trends and seasons.
Until the end of the 90s, Sozzani had an androgynous and sartorial look, consisting of trousers, a shirt and a blazer; a uniform that gained novelty through the accessories and the quality of the clothes. Her blazer, for example, came from Caraceni, a dynasty of Italian tailors who dressed Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Enzo Ferrari, and Gianni Agnelli, as well as the current King Charles III.
In the 2000s, with the arrival of social media, Franca Sozzani made room in her wardrobe for more feminine and colourful pieces. The tailored suit gave way to midi-length dresses and skirts, and black and grey gave way to flowers, stripes and embroidery. Even so, Franca Sozzani had a recognisable she was far from trends and “le dernier cri”.
Her secret was to mix new and vintage pieces. Another Franca Sozzani fashion trick was to use clothes as a neutral background to pop up her vintage jewellery collection. And she never changed her haircut; her long golden curls behind her ear were her signature.
What made Franca Sozzani’s work unique.
She was not a fashionista or a fashion entrepreneur. Franca was first and foremost a journalist, educated in history and highly interested in the social impact of her work. Her editorials were provocative and had a rallying cry. If you’re not so young, you’ll remember Steven Meisel’s delirious photos of models dressed in luxury and pomp but lying on the seashore covered in oil, denouncing the poor state of conservation of the oceans. The same photographer shot an editorial on domestic violence, and the abuses women are subjected to stay eternally young.
Franca Sozzani saw her editor’s work as a creative work to make the reader dream and think. The magazine was not about the dress of the moment or the season’s trend but an imaginative journey.
I remember that the editor’s letter was the first thing I would read when opening the Vogue Italia website. Franca wrote about life in these weekly letters, and fashion was just a vehicle through which she passed all her thoughts and ideas.
How to follow Franca Sozzani’s style
- A luxury brand combined with another luxury brand, dressed with a luxury shoe and a designer handbag, results in an ordinary and cheap look.
- So mix high and vintage fashion always.
- Choose an outfit where you will always be well-dressed and, above all, comfortable.
- Accessories, accessories, accessories.
- Don’t try to be like the other. Instead, use your energy not to copy but to discover who you are and what you like.
- Beauty is the result of liking yourself.
- Maybe the sexiest part of your body is your brain. So read, inform yourself and learn to use your sense of humour.
The exhibition and sales of Franca Sozzani’s wardrobe
Her clothes, accessories, and works of art are on display at the Sozzani Foundation on Via Tazzoli 3, Milan, from September 15 to October 30. Another selection in the same location is being offered for sale for charity.
The edit includes designs by Azzedine Alaïa, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino, Miu Miu, and Alberta Ferretti. You will also find accessories by Fendi and Louis Vuitton. Besides clothes and accessories, on sale are several works of art and photography from Franca Sozzani’s private collection, signed by artists such as Vanessa Beecroft, Peter Lindbergh, Mats Gustafson, Steven Meisel, and Takashi Murakami.
To further encourage the digital circular fashion ecosystem- and in collaboration with the leading NFT Phygital Web3 platform dedicated to art and fashion- a unique selection of 25 pieces is complemented by an NFT label that allows the history of the garment to be read and its ownership transitions to be traced. FURTHERMORE, Each garment is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Franca Sozzani Fund.
All sales profits will go to the Franca Sozzani Fund for Preventive Genomics at Harvard Medical School.