Emmanuelle Alt Named Editor of French Vogue

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Photo: Maydele
Emmanuelle Alt is the new editor in chief of French Vogue.

Carine Roitfeld sent shockwaves throughout the industry last month when she announced the unthinkable: She was stepping down from her 10-year position as French Vogue’s much-admired editor in chief.

Citing the need to explore “personal projects,” she explained to New York Times fashion writer Cathy Horyn her rationale for leaving: “When everything is good—I think it’s the time to do something else.”

Naturally, industry reaction soon shifted from shock to speculation: Who could possibly replace Roitfeld, the woman many believed could succeed Anna Wintour as the Vogue empire’s ultimate editrix?

Though Le Figaro editor and novelist Virginie Mouzat was considered a potential front-runner, Emmanuelle Alt—French Vogue’s fashion director and Roitfeld’s trusty “right-hand lady”—immediately became the logical favored candidate.

Today, rumor became fact: Alt will indeed take over as French Vogue’s editor in chief on February 1, and she is reportedly “thrilled” over the news. And who could blame her?

Alt began her career at Vogue Paris in 2000 after working at trendy European glossy Mixte. She and Roitfeld were already friends, having spent creative time together in the ’90s as assistants at 20 Ans magazine. Aside from their status as queens of Paris Fashion Week’s front row, Alt and Roitfeld collaborated on some of the decade’s most memorable fashion editorials, proving that their professional and personal partnership was an inspired one.

Those who appreciate the sophisticated yet subtly subversive vision French Vogue established under the women’s shared direction are no doubt anticipating how Alt will maintain, and evolve, the legacy they built together.

With’s recent upgrade earning high praise, will French Vogue finally explore a similar technological renaissance? According to Condé Nast France president Xavier Romatet: maybe.

“I give her full confidence to embody and lead this demanding brand and to let it live in all of its different dimensions—including digitally,” he said of Alt when announcing her promotion this morning.

Fortunately, we’ll be able to find out what Alt’s reign will entail for her magazine—in all its capacities—soon enough: Roitfeld claims her successor is already hard at work on the March 2010 issue.

Meanwhile, see what Carine Roitfeld might be up to next.