In 2017, Condé Nast announced Alexandra Shulman would be stepping down from British Vogue after leading the publication for 25 years, come June.
During her quarter of a century tenure, British Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman has led a quiet revolution from above.
Shulman’s editorship has seen monthly readership of the magazine rise above a million. Notably, she has introduced of collector’s issues, including the December 1999 ‘millennium issue’, which cast readers as cover models with a reflective cover, and the ‘gold issue,’ depicting Kate Moss in silhouette.
Shulman’s astute appreciation of commercial matters and understanding of what readers want to buy is matched by her awareness of what it is that brings readers back to the magazine time and again. Shulman thinks of herself more “as a journalist than a fashion editor because that's what I've spent most of my time being," an attitude that has led to her nurturing Vogue’s features, as much as its fashion pages, to great acclaim.
Shulman has used the platform her title affords her to raise important issues within the fashion industry. She has spoken publicly on fashion’s size debate, stating that “anorexia is a huge problem”, and writing an open letter to fashion houses in 2009, she criticised sample sizes so “miniscule” that the models who fit in them had “jutting bones.” Shulman’s British Vogue has never published a feature on dieting.
Shulman began her career at Tatler in 1982, before becoming Vogue’s features editor, editing men’s title GQ, before returning to Vogue as its editor. She has written a column for The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail. Her first novel, ‘Can We Still Be Friends?’ was published in April 2012. Shulman was awarded an OBE for her services to the industry in 2005.
The “normal one” of the Vogue editors is anything but.