Edmonde Charles-Roux, Editor of French Vogue, Dies at 95

Edmonde Charles-Roux, a french editor and novelist, dies at 95 in Marseille, France.

Charles-Roux was among the founding editors of ELLE Magazine and a longtime editor at Vogue before becoming a novelist.

Marie-Charlotte Élisabeth Edmonde Charles-Roux was born on April 17, 1920, at Neuilly-sur-Seine. The daughter of an Ambassador, Charles-Roux was a volunteer nurse during WWII who also joined the Resistance. In 1946, she joined the staff of what was then a women’s weekly called ELLE. After two years, Edmonde Charles-Roux went on to work for French Vogue, becoming its Editor-in-Chief in 1954. In 1966, she was forced to leave Vogue Paris after wanting to place a black woman on the cover or for her coverage of culture over the evolving styles in fashion.

“They didn’t like the way I was,” she told The New York Times in 1981. “For me, fashion has never been frivolous.”

That same year, after her departure from Vogue, Edmonde Charles-Roux wrote Oublier Palerme or “To Forget Palermo,” and received the Prix Goncourt.

The book was a success and she wasn’t even aware.

“When I was fired, I didn’t even know the book had been accepted for publication,” she told The Times in 1966.

Though she left Vogue, Charles-Roux made a mark on the magazine for it’s cultural coverage and highlighting writers such as Alain Robbe-Grillet and Violette Leduc and the photographers Irving Penn and Guy Bourdin. Charles-Roux also showcased many designers including Yves Saint Laurent.

In 1975, Charles-Roux wrote Chanel: Her Life, Her World — and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created which was followed by Chanel and her World in 1981.

Though she leaves no immediate survivors, Edmonde Charles-Roux’s legacy continues to live on.

Shonette Reed

Fashion Writer

Shonette Reed is a Los Angeles based blogger and journalist with a journalism and integrated Media degree from Biola University. She has worked in the fashion industry as a freelance writer for ForHarriet.com and a public relations intern for Liberate Apparel. Her main goal in the fashion industry is to continue to bring more women of color to the media, showing that the fashion industry has diversity worth celebrating.