NEW YORK, United States — The top of Vogue’s masthead is getting a major shake-up. Two of the magazine’s behind-the-scenes fashion cornerstones, who have helped define Vogue’s style for decades, are reducing their duties at the title.
Sources told BoF that Phyllis Posnick, executive fashion editor since 1987, and Tonne Goodman, fashion director since 2000, are stepping down, much in the same way former creative director Grace Coddington did in 2016 when she took on a part-time role with the magazine. Both Posnick and Goodman are expected to continue to work with Vogue in some capacity.
In addition, West Coast editor Lisa Love is leaving Vogue to take on a new corporate role. She joined the magazine in 1990.
A Condé Nast spokesperson declined to comment.
The changes could signal the beginning of a new era at Condé Nast’s fashion bible.
Along with contributing style director Camilla Nickerson, Posnick, Goodman and Coddington have been the image-makers behind modern American Vogue’s glamorous celebrity covers, surreal editorials and cinematic shoots for more than 20 years.
In the last several years, Condé Nast has implemented several rounds of layoffs and restructuring to cut costs in the face of fast-declining print advertising revenues. Until now, Vogue has largely avoided senior editorial leadership changes.
Recently, Vanity Fair’s Radhika Jones and Glamour’s Samantha Barry — who are less than one year in at their editor-in-chief roles — have replaced many of their predecessors’ (Graydon Carter and Cindi Leive, respectively) senior staff members. At GQ and Allure, where Michelle Lee took the helm at the end of 2015, fashion teams have been slimmed down.
Similar changes have been expected at Vogue, which saw some layoffs this spring. But the dominant speculation has been about if and when Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who is also artistic director of the publishing house, might depart. Representatives for Condé Nast and chief executive Bob Sauerberg have denied these rumours.
In the last six months of 2017, Vogue’s average single-copy sales decreased 46 percent year-over-year to 109,000, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. In the same period, total subscriptions increased 6 percent to 1.1 million.
In addition to navigating the challenges of a declining print business, Vogue has also had to contend with the loss of three of its major photographers — Bruce Weber, Mario Testino and Patrick Demarchelier — who were publicly accused of sexual misconduct in the New York Times and the Boston Globe in early 2018. Condé Nast has suspended its relationships with them.
Posnick, who joined Vogue 31 years ago, is known for her close relationships with photographers, particularly Irving Penn and Steven Klein. During her tenure, she has focused on the often surreal and provocative single images that accompanied Vogue’s health and beauty features as well as celebrity portraits. Her images have been published in two books, “Extreme Beauty” in 2009 and “Stoppers: Photographs from My Life at Vogue” in 2016.
Goodman, who was the vice president of advertising at Calvin Klein in the early 1990s, was the fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar before joining Vogue in 2000. The stylist is known now for the more than 100 celebrity cover shoots she has produced, as well as countless editorials.