News that Carine Roitfeld, the adored editor of Paris Vogue, is to stand down at the end of January after 10 years of dominating European style has come as something of a shock to some fashion followers, but it will be no surprise to anyone who saw the film The Devil Wears Prada.
The similarities are striking: the edgy Roitfeld and her counterpart at US Vogue, the icy Anna "Nuclear" Wintour, have long been rumoured rivals, with Roitfeld openly expressing an interest in the American title a couple of years ago. Now she's leaving to work on "personal projects", and although there is no indication yet of what those could be, there are rumours that she could return to Tom Ford, with whom she worked at Gucci when she was a stylist a decade ago. "I think it's time to do something different," is all that she has said.
Certainly, fans of the French title will be devastated: along with Vogue Italia, Paris Vogue was considered the most "pure fashion" of the Conde Nast stable, eschewing the big-selling commercial style of US Vogue. She will also be missed by the bloggers and snappers with whom she dealt so kindly at fashion week and in the street, always ready with a smile or a word of encouragement.
In fact, there are possibly only two groups for whom the departure of Roitfeld is good news: the minions at Paris Vogue, who will be scrapping for a step-up in their careers; and the anti-fur activists for whom her position at the top of the fashion tree has meant a boost in the popularity of animal skins. It really is a jungle out there.