Whither Now, Carine Roitfeld?


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Photo: Patrick McMullan
Carine Roitfeld.

If you're like us, you're still trying to digest the news of Roitfeld's resignation from French Vogue today. You're also probably holding out hope that the ridiculously chic editrix's departure in a few weeks signals not the end of an era (sob!), but the beginning of an even more amazing adventure.

So, just what are these "personal projects" that has the fashion muse jumping ship after 10 years at the helm?

The obvious guess is, of course, American Vogue. In 2008 the fashion industry was whispering that the dark-rooted Parisian would be replacing a supposedly retiring Anna Wintour. The rumors turned out to be false, but, two years later, could Wintour finally be mulling a change of scenery? Much as we hate change, the prospect of watching Roitfeld and Grace Coddington ride in an elevator together in a sequel to The September Issue is rather amazing.

But since Roitfeld has always been a bit of a mystery, we've speculated on some more unpredictable career moves worth pursuing. After all, when you've got "pulling off a sheer gown at 56" down as a special skill, the world really is your oyster.

Join Forces With Tom Ford: Carine Roitfeld and Tom Ford make Karl Lagerfeld and Baptiste Giabiconi look like estranged college roommates. She's served as the designer's muse and consultant during his reigns at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, and he memorably guest-edited French Vogue's December issue. Now that Ford has launched his own womenswear line, having a muse on the payroll could really come in handy.

Return to Modeling: Could Roitfeld be ready to return to her modeling roots? We can see it now: mother-and-daughter Lancôme campaigns with model daughter Julia Restoin Roitfeld, strutting down the Tom Ford runway, fronting the covers of all her former magazine competitors ...

Start Her Own Fashion Label: We would definitely be willing to wait around the block and throw an elbow or two to get our hands on a limited-edition Roitfeld design. And the style queen needn’t look further than her bedroom for a partner. Significant other Christian Restoin launched the Equipment shirt label in 1979, and, as luck would have it, is serving as a creative consultant during the brand's auspiciously timed relaunch. Iiiinteresting.

Follow Anna Dello Russo's Lead and Launch Her Own Fragrance: If Vogue Japan's bubbly Anna Dello Russo has merited her own fragrance, then surely Ms. Roitfeld is worthy of a spritz or two. Though daughter Julia has posed for Tom Ford's Black Orchid scent and Roitfeld has cited tuberose as a beloved smell, we imagine she'd plump for a perfume that's dark, mysterious, and undeniably sexy. Wonder what expensive champagne, a whiff of cigarette smoke, kohl eyeliner, and the leathery aroma of stilettos smells like ...

Partner With Julie Gilhart for Fashion-Buddy Sitcom: Coming soon to a (fantasy) TV screen near you: Second Acts. Hilarity ensues when New York City's retail queen and Paris's style icon leave their cushy jobs and move to Green Acres/rock Seattle's talk-radio world/start a glee club.

Launch Her Own Magazine: Conde Nast isn't the only game in town. With her arsenal of contacts and influence, Roitfeld could easily pull a Katie Grand (formerly of Pop, now at Love) and create a new magazine.

Become a Full-Time Stylist: When she wasn't keeping the front-row seats warm, Roitfeld worked as a stylist for the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier as well as French Vogue; she most recently styled Crystal Renn's campy plastic-surgery-themed shoot for the December issue. Should Nicola Formichetti and Edward Enninful be quaking in their boots?

Reality-TV Queen: With apologies to the Kardashians, the Restoin Roitfelds are the family we'd happily keep up with. Mom's the chicest thing to come out of France since the Birkin bag; Dad's a fashion guru in his own right; Julia is a gorgeous model, art director, and girl-about-town; and Vladimir is a hunky art curator and sometime model. They're like the Royal Tenenbaums but with sexier accents and better clothes. Make it happen, Hollywood.

Pull a Daphne Guinness: What exactly does Daphne Guinness do? We're not sure, but we do know it involves a lot of shopping, a lot of muse-ing, and a lot of preening around cocktail parties in fabulous outfits. What's not to like? If we were Roitfeld, we'd swap the office for a 24/7 fashion-muse gig.


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