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Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia editor, dies at 66

Franca Sozzani at a lunch with Italian Premier

Franca Sozzani at a lunch with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, in Milan, Italy, in February. Credit: AP / Luca Bruno

MILAN — Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, who championed Italian fashion in the magazine she ran for 28 years, has died at the age of 66.

Conde Naste International chairman Jonathan Newhouse said she died Thursday after a yearlong illness with her son Francesco by her side. The online version of Vogue Italia remembered Sozzani with a simple red heart next to her name.

“Franca was one of the greatest editors who ever made a magazine,” Newhouse said in a note to the Conde Naste team. ‘’She made Italian Vogue a powerful and influential voice in the worlds of fashion and photography by publishing groundbreaking photography and journalism.”

After turns at Vogue Bambini, the Italian version of Glamour and a corresponding men’s magazine, Sozzani became editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia in 1988. She also was active in humanitarian causes, and in recent years served as the ambassador to fashion for the United Nations, traveling to support people working in the fashion world in Africa and Asia while helping to raise money and awareness to fight hunger.

Back home in Milan, she was easy to spot in the fashion crowd with her wavy blond locks and bright smile. She also had a big social media presence, running a blog on Vogue Italy’s website as well as an active Twitter feed that went silent in June.

Once asked to define style, she replied, “Today there is not just one. I think people should buy more mirrors than clothes, to see themselves before going out ... but I think that clothes need to correspond to one’s own personality. That is style.”

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