The editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, will step down from the publication in June, publisher Condé Nast has announced.
Shulman has been editor-in-chief of British Vogue for 25 years. A successor has yet to be named.
The news comes just weeks after Condé Nast International’s managing editor, Nicholas Coleridge, announced that he is to move aside from the day-to-day operations of the company and take the role of chairman.
Coleridge is being replaced as managing director by Albert Read, the publisher’s general manager and deputy managing director of the British division, with Wolfgang Blau – currently Condé Nast International’s chief digital officer and formerly of The Guardian – becoming its president.
Shulman will not work under the new management team, who begin their roles on 1 August.
British Vogue recently celebrated its centenary year with a raft of high-profile events including an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Vogue’s journalists were also filmed for a year for the behind-the-scenes BBC documentary Absolutely Fashion.
In October 2016 Shulman released a book, Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year, which was widely interpreted in the industry as a pre-emptive move to outline her legacy, leading to rumours that she was planning to leave.
The tensions between the traditional world of fashion magazine publishing – the sumptuous photo shoots and slow-burning ideas – and the immediacy of the digital age were a key theme in the BBC documentary in which Shulman was openly uncomfortable with the level of intrusion required by the documentary. In one notable scene she hid the news that the magazine had secured an exclusive cover photo shoot with the Duchess of Cambridge from the programme makers.
Luxury publishing is currently in a state of flux as the old systems and hierarchies are challenged by digital journalism and social media. Recently, a spat between Shulman’s colleagues at US Vogue and the bloggers who now populate the front rows of fashion shows as frequently as traditional fashion editors became international headline news.
The most high-profile name remaining at the magazine, who will be in the mix of names rumoured to replace Shulman, is the deputy editor of British Vogue and the associate digital director of Vogue.co.uk, Emily Sheffield, who is also Samantha Cameron’s sister.
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