Carine Roitfeld: A Woman Of Many Trades

By: Kisatchy Le’stelle Owens

Carine-Roitfeld-MAC-CollaborationIt was at the tender age of 18 that commenced the early stages of what would later evolve into a successful career for a young Carine Roitfeld. Being at the right place at the right time seemingly came into play for one of fashion’s esteemed figures. As she paraded through the streets of her Paris hometown, eyes were drawn, fixated on her presence and captivating look. It was there, where a photographer’s assistant scouted her to work as a model. “I wasn’t a star,” she said. “I was just booked for junior magazines.”

Indeed modeling gave Roitfeld the keys that opened the door to fashion, but it became evident that she yearned to unlock many more. Her interest in expressing through words and admiration for clothing led to a remarkable profession writing and styling for the French edition of one of the most recognized magazines, Elle.

In 1990, Carine’s daughter followed in her mother’s footsteps and starred in a children’s fashion shoot for Italian Vogue shot by photographer, Mario Testino. In a 2005 interview with 032c magazine, Roitfeld stated, “I was not the best stylist when I worked for fifteen years for French Elle, but certainly when I met Mario Testino something happened.” In fact, something did happen — the beginning of a long-term partnership began, where the two collaborated, and continue to do so on a multiple of creative projects including photo shoots and advertising work for American and French Vogue.

Last year, the dynamic duo teamed up to dedicate a 72 page iconic tribute to the late Elizabeth Taylor for V magazine’s Fall 11’ September issue. Roitfeld expressed to WWD that the starlet “had the kind of elegance that went far beyond clothes.”  Featured in the stylish editorial was model Aymeline Valade who certainly possesses a striking resemblance to the Hollywood legend.  Memorable looks included a dramatic blue eye makeup look by artist Charlotte Tibury complimented with heavy eyeliner, exaggerated darks brows, contoured cheekbones and orange glossy lips. Not to mention inspirations were drawn from Andy Warhol’s famed portraits of Taylor and the genius behind hair stylist Marc Lopez added generously to the shots.  The replica of poses that Valade depicts for the editorial are enthused with Taylor’s persona and a vivid masterpiece displaying flamboyant garments and lavish jewelry.

Of October of this month it was announced that Mrs. Roitfeld had been named the Global Fashion Director of Harper’s Bazaar. According to reports on, she will collaborate with creative director Stephan Gan on a multiple of stories each year for all 26 international editions of the magazine. Uniquely a fashion milestone has been created in the industry. Hearst’s president and CEO Duncan Edwards announced, “This collaboration marks the first time anything like this has been done and we’re very excited about what Carine will bring to Bazaar editions around the world.”

The countdown has begun for the new venture, which will unveil in March of 2013. “I am thrilled to be contributing to Bazaar, a brand with a rich history of creativity,” said Roitfeld. “Working with Stephen and a roster of talented photographers will be a wonderful collaboration and one that will give these stories a truly global audience.”

As if life wasn’t busy enough for this reigning phenomenon, she has yet acquired another title as the editor in chief of her very own magazine, the CR Fashion Book whose first issue debuted September 13th of this year. Out of its 340 pages, 150 pages were dedicated to brand advertising, including campaigns from Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Tom Ford.  90 percent of the issue was taken over by fashion shoots while the remaining 10 percent covered features and stories.  It’s a fresh concept that embraces the talents of the well known to showcasing new faces the world has yet to know.

But one face that remains in the limelight is Roitfelds.  In the beginning of the current fall season, she launched a collaborative effort with the prominent brand MAC Cosmetics that includes a limited edition collection representative of the editor and stylist’s signature makeup look. With the products wearers are able to achieve Carine’s famous smoky eyes.

With all the amazing opportunities that have surfaced, they have become more and more apparent after her 10-year departure as editor-in-chief of Vogue back in 2010. MAC, the CR Fashion Book, and freelance styling are some of her many highlights. She expressed to WWD, 
“When I was at Vogue, I had a lot of freedom. But I was still in a beautiful golden cage. I could not do a campaign with Karl Lagerfeld or launch a line with MAC. I want to do all these propositions. I think its fun. This magazine is a project to do between all the other crazy projects I have. I want to enjoy, you know?”

Carine Roitfeld’s commendable efforts are made known through her irreplaceable display of creativity and tremendous work ethic.  A respected woman of many trades, she is consistently on the go venturing off into new areas, showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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