EXPERIENCE EMPORIO ARMANI
On the occasion of her “Irreverent” book signing in Milan, hosted by Giorgio Armani at Armani/Libri on January 16th, the inimitable Carine Roitfeld talks to us about motherhood and “limits”, Tom Ford and Timelessness, and about the next ten years of her already inspired career.
GA: So, you’re book is called “Irreverent” and it’s about your last…fifteen years?
CR: No, thirty years! Of life.
GA: Thirty years. Right, and one thing we can say about you and, this is probably where the title comes from, is that you are well-known for “pushing the envelope” a bit in your pictures.
CR: Yes, always.
GA: But is there anything that is off-limits for you?
CR: You know, my limits have always been a mother’s limits. Because at the same time that I was an editor, I was also a mother. And I would always avoid doing something that would be “bad” for my kids. This was my limit. So maybe I made some errors – no, I certainly made a lot of errors – but I was always thinking about them. Always.
GA: Given those thirty years’ of work to sift through, how did you go about selecting what would go into the book? What was your process?
CR: Well. People are always saying to me, “Oh! You didn’t put this picture or that picture” but I was a very heavy worker. I did a lot of shoots and it was very difficult to edit, but I was seeking to keep the “timeless” pictures. That was the way I tried to select them.
GA: You mean the most iconic pictures that you’ve done?
CR: I don’t know if they are “iconic”, but the ones in the book are the ones I consider to be “timeless”.
GA: What would you say was your “breakthrough” moment of your career? Would it be with [the magazine] “The Face”?
CR: Yes. I think it was “The Face” but also the Gucci campaign, as well as some “V” covers. That was when people began to look at me as an all-round editor.
GA: And finally, because it’s Armani who’s the host of this book signing: what’s your relationship with Mr. Armani? Is it a long-standing one?
CR: Well, it was very tough for me at the beginning, when I took this position as Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue. He’s a tough person, and he must respect you, which takes a bit of time. And the last time I came to visit him, it was just out of pleasure, and I said “I have nothing to sell you, Mr. Armani. I just want to say hi to you, because I really like you.” And so today when he came to the signing, and he asked me to sign the book, and I thought, “Oh. What am I going to write for him?” You know? You have to be very quick and spontaneous and so I wrote: To my hero. Because Armani, for me, is a hero. Because he’s a free person. And this is my goal in life now, to be totally free.
GA: Ok. Last question. What’s the next thing for you? The next step? There are rumours about a magazine…
CR: Yes, it’s true! They’re not rumours! It’s going to be a Women’smagazine. And it will be official in about two or three weeks, because of course, before then there are some…lawyers’ things to do…which are not the most fun, but there are things you have to sign so until then, because I’m a bit superstitious, until certain things are signed I will not make an official interview. But I think in three weeks, it will be over and I can talk about it. And, touch wood, it will be fashion…For a September issue.
GA: Wow. Well, we’ll all look forward to that.
CR: And I hope that it will be different, I always try to be different. I will have to find a new way. I have to re-arrange myself because after thirty years here in this book, I’m fed up with myself and so I have to find new things.
GA: But this is just one stop in the continuation of your career. Which will be very exciting to follow…
CR: It’s like a step, you know? A new area, with this new year in front of me. I seem to move in steps of ten years. Ten years working mostly with Tom Ford, ten more working for French Vogue, and now ten years about…I don’t know yet. But give me ten years!
GA: Well, good luck. And thank you so much for answering the questions.
CR: Thank you.