Grace Coddington

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Grace Coddington
Grace Coddington.jpg
Grace Coddington at a 2009 signing for her book, The Catwalk Cats.
Born (1941-04-20) April 20, 1941 (age 75)
Anglesey, Wales
Occupation Stylist
Creative Director
Notable credit(s) Fashion Model, Junior Editor for Vogue British Vogue, Creative Director for U.S. Vogue
Title Creative Director for U.S. Vogue
Partner(s) Didier Malige[1]
Family Raised her sister's son after her sister's death

Grace Coddington (born April 20, 1941) is a former model and the creative director at large of American Vogue magazine. Coddington is known for the creation of large, complex and dramatic photoshoots.[2][3] A Guardian profile wrote that she "has produced some of fashion’s most memorable imagery. Her pictures might be jolly and decadent or moody and mysterious."[4]

Early life[edit]

Coddington was born on April 20, 1941 to hotelier parents on the island of Anglesey, Wales. Her interest in fashion began in her teens, when she would anxiously await the arrival of a current issue of Vogue magazine, which was at least three months outdated because she needed to order it on "rush-copy." Coddington lived many miles away from any designer shops, so Vogue was her only connection to the fashion world. She says that she loves "the whole sort of chic thing ("Italianate culture") [about Vogue] that was so entirely out of context compared to the lifestyle that [she] led." As a teen, she was pale-skinned, convent-educated and never went anywhere on her holidays, so she just looked at Vogue.[5]



Around the age of 17, there was a Vogue model competition, and someone submitted her pictures. She ended up winning the Young Model section. She then began her modeling career for Vogue.[6]

At the age of 26, she was in car accident that left her with head injuries and a removed eyelid, which was later reconstructed through plastic surgery.


Two years after the accident she was interviewed by British Vogue's Editor, Beatrix Miller, and was employed as a Junior Editor. After nineteen years as Photo Editor with British Vogue,[7] she moved to New York to work for Calvin Klein.[8] In July 1988, she joined Anna Wintour at American Vogue, where she remains the magazine's creative director.

As of January 2016, Coddington announced that she would be exiting her role as creative director at Vogue in order to pursue other projects. It was announced on May 9th, 2016 that Coddington would be working with Tiffany's.[9]

The September Issue[edit]

Coddington came into the public eye in 2009 with the release of The September Issue, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the making of the September 2007 issue of Vogue. She plays a prominent role in the film as she is heavily involved in the styling and production of the issue. Her often-tense relationship with editor Anna Wintour is also highlighted.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Coddington was married in 1968 to Michael Chow, a restaurateur. They divorced a year later.[11] She later married the photographer Willie Christie. They divorced in 1980.[12]

She raised her nephew Tristan, since the age of 8, after the death of her sister Rosemary.[13]

In 1986, she moved to New York to work for Calvin Klein.[8] She has since then lived with her partner, hair stylist Didier Malige, and several cats.[1]

In 2010, she announced plans to write a memoir with her collaborator Jay Fielden. The two had previously worked together on the 2002 photo book, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue.[14] The book was reissued in by Phaidon in 2015. [15] But after Jay took a job as the editor of Town & Country, Grace had to postpone writing the book until 2011, after she decided to write the book with Michael Roberts. The book deal is reported to be worth $1.2 million.[16][17] Her memoir, Grace, was published in November 2012.[5] In 2015, film production company A24 optioned the rights to Coddington's memoir. [18]

Works and publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b Grace Coddington, Didier Malige, Sally Singer, and Michael Roberts (2006). The Catwalk Cats. Edition 7L. ISBN 9783865213440. 
  2. ^ Wiseman, Eva. "Amazing Grace Coddington: inside the world of US Vogue's creative director". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Holgate, Mark. "State of Grace". New York magazine. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Marriott, Hannah. "Grace Coddington: the woman who made fashion art". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Coddington, Grace (2012). Grace: A Memoir. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-8129-9335-6. 
  6. ^ These biographical details are from interviews appearing in the 2009 film, The September Issue in which Coddington is featured alongside Anna Wintour as they prepared the 2007 September issue of Vogue.
  7. ^ "Grace Coddington", Time magazine, August 28, 2003
  8. ^ a b Mark Holgate, "State of Grace", New York magazine, August 25, 2002
  9. ^ Sherman, Lauren (20 January 2016). "BoF Exclusive: Grace Coddington to Step Down as Creative Director of American Vogue". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 20 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Bryan Moylan, "How Grace Coddington Stole The September Issue from Anna Wintour", Gawker, August 24, 2009
  11. ^ Lydia Martin, "A quiet interview with 'Mr. Chow'", Miami Herald, January 31, 2010
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Picture Perfect," by Charles Gandee, VOGUE, October 1996, page 339.
  14. ^ Coddington, Grace (2002). Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue. Steidl Publishing. ISBN 9783882438185. 
  15. ^ Steigrad, Alexandra. "Grace Coddington to Release Two Books With Phaidon". WWD. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  16. ^ Elle,"Grace Coddington bags a book deal"
  17. ^ Nick Axelrod, "Coddington Memoir... TV Camera Ready...", Women's Wear Daily, August 22, 2010
  18. ^ Mau, Dhani (October 4, 2015). "A Grace Coddington Movie is in the Works". Fashionista. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]