An interview in which Lucinda Chambers was quoted as making accusations against British Vogue has been republished after editors decided to temporarily remove it due to the “sensitive nature” of its content.
It is Chambers’ first interview since stepping down as fashion director from the publication in May and it earned her praise from some social media users.
The interview, entitled ‘Will I Get a Ticket?’ by Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, was originally published on Monday 3 July, but then it was removed from the site until Wednesday when it was republished on Vestoj in its entirety.
However, just a day later the article was amended and the following editor’s note was added to the top.
″ Following the original publication of this article, we’ve been contacted by lawyers on behalf of Conde Nast Limited and Edward Enninful OBE and have been requested to amend the interview. This request has now been granted.”
The edit removed quotes from Chambers which stated she had been fired from Vogue in just “three minutes”.
Chambers is also said to comment on a front cover featuring Alexa Chung in a Michael Kors T-shirt, which she believes was “crap”.
Condé Nast Britain, the company that publishes Vogue UK, issued the following statement in response, denying Chambers claim that management did not know about her dismissal:
“It’s usual for an incoming editor to make some changes to the team. Any changes made are done with the full knowledge of senior management.”
“Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years,” Chambers was quoted as saying by Vestoj.
“Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life.”
Alice Hines, online editor at Vestoj told HuffPost UK the article was initially removed from the site due to industry pressure.
“In terms of the reasons why it was removed, they are directly related to the industry pressures which Lucinda discusses in her interview,” she said.
“Fashion magazines are rarely independent because their existence depends on relationships with powerful institutions and individuals, whether it’s for tickets to shows, access in order to conduct interviews or advertising revenue.
“We created Vestoj to be an antidote to these pressures, but we are not always immune.
“We hope Lucinda’s republished interview will spark a discussion which might, in her words, lead to a more ‘empowering and useful’ fashion media.”
After amending the article Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, founder and editor-in-chief of Vestoj gave HuffPost UK the following statement:
“The on again-off again nature of the article is a direct result of being pressurised, and the amended section was a request from lawyers representing Condé Nast and Edward Enninful.
“I decided to acquiesce because I just don’t have the financial means to fight that kind of David and Goliath fight.
“In all this hullabaloo I hope the larger picture isn’t lost.
“On the surface this appears to be a story is about a fashion editor breaking rank.
“But now that a little time has passed since I published Lucinda’s interview, I’ve been thinking more about the fashion industry as a business where it’s notoriously difficult to say or publish anything even vaguely critical of the status quo.
“Even the things that ‘everybody knows’ are obfuscated from the wider public via a screen of smoke and mirrors.
“We see this in how bland show review often are, how magazines kowtow to advertisers and how most write-ups are barely disguised puff pieces, primarily intended to maintain the existing power dynamic.
“What I mean to say is more that there is a lot at stake at keeping the status quo as is.
“That’s why some of the things that Lucinda said appear so sensational: Shock! Horror! Fashion editor does not subscribe to everything her (former) employer represents!
“But really, is it that hard to understand that there is the individual, and then the organisation she represents?
“And that the paradox of working for Vogue (and loving it) while not leading a ‘Vogue-y kind of life’ isn’t actually so much of a paradox, more about just being human?
“I really hope that Lucinda’s interview, but also the subsequent fall-out, is an opportunity to examine why it is so hard to be critical in fashion and look at who gains from the industry’s rigid and static power structure - but also at how the fashion system mimics a wider social environment where elites dominate the media and dissidents are typically marginalised.
“And in light of this interview, and hopefully others to follow, maybe more people will ask whether it is in fact possible to challenge the status quo, and, if so, how?”
Chambers, who had a career with the prestigious fashion title for 36 years, made the announcement of her departure on Wednesday 17 May.
“I adore British Vogue and am so very proud to have been a part of it for so long,” Chambers said at the time.