Style Icon: Carine Roitfeld

by Katy Hertel

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Anything but a newcomer to the fashion world, Carine Roitfeld has been inspiring legions of fans and shocking audiences with her controversial style for her thirty-plus years in the business. Though her most recognizable role in the industry as Editor in Chief of Vogue Paris ended in 2011, the editor, then 56, didn’t slow down for a second. Roitfeld soon published two books, Irreverent and The Little Black Jacket, and also started her own magazine, CR Fashion Book.

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Today, her most recent work is found in the March 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, as she was recently named Global Fashion Director for the magazine. With this title, Roitfeld will oversee the magazine’s various covers, and will create four annual fashion spreads for publication across every international edition. Needless to say, this forerunner in fashion continues to greatly influence the world, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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But Roitfeld’s influence in fashion is not just behind the page, as her personal style is also a source of inspiration for many. Notorious for her admittedly “porno-chic” aesthetic, both in her published work and individual appearance, Roitfeld initially introduced her brand of sexuality into the world of fashion with her famous smoky-eye look. Yet even with multiple pairs of thigh-high lace up boots being one of her wardrobe staples, she always manages to look elegant and sophisticated, and is the perfect example of making business-appropriate fashion stylish and sexy. For example, knee-length pencil skirts, often misjudged as boring and unflattering, are purely chic on Roitfeld when paired with a flowing blouse, edgy heels, and a structured coat.

Her neutral wardrobe palette, consisting mainly of blacks, whites and browns, proves that a minimal range of colors can go a long way with the right pair of shoes and the perfectly put-together presence. Nevertheless, Roitfeld’s ensembles are never fully complete without her spirited personality and matter-of-fact commentaries, aptly shown when she was quoted saying, “Let the others have the beauty. I have the charisma”.

With the courage, wisdom and imagination she has used to navigate her career and personal style since first entering the industry as a model, Roitfeld leaves us all waiting for what fashionably brilliant move she will make next.

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