Condé Nast forces changes to Lucinda Chambers’ firing tell-all
After being posted, taken down, and reposted, former British Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers’ less-than-flattering account of life in fashion publishing has been amended at the demand of Condé Nast lawyers.
Vestoj, the fashion-focused web site that on Monday published Chambers’ first-person account of her 36 years as a Vogue editrix, today put a note above the article reading: “Following the original publication of this article, we’ve been contacted by lawyers on behalf of Condé Nast Limited and Edward Enninful OBE and have been requested to amend the interview. This request has now been granted.”
The web site on Wednesday briefly took the article down, but then reposted it, explaining that the article’s “sensitive nature” led to the decision, but that it was being put back up “in its entirety.”
It appears now that the only change to the article has been to the section where Chambers, who in May parted ways with British Vogue, claimed to have been fired by incoming editor in chief Edward Enninful “in three minutes” and that no one at the magazine knew it was coming.
In the now-deleted section, Chambers explained her perception that management, her editor at the time, h.r. and even the magazine’s chairman were unaware or her firing and recounted running into the magazine’s publisher right after she was let go and him expressing shock and surprise at the development.
Condé Nast had already taken issue with this account of Chambers’ firing and on Thursday reiterated its stance that, in addition to it being “usual for an incoming editor to make some changes to the team,” any personnel changes “are done with the full knowledge of senior management.” The company declined to comment further.
Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, Vestoj editor in chief and publisher, as well as a senior research fellow at London College of Fashion, confirmed that the article was amended on Thursday and that the “offending passage” was Chambers’ account of her firing.
“Considering this is a David and Goliath fight, I don’t have the financial means to enter into, I made the requested changes,” Cronberg said.
As for whether Chambers personally has been threatened with any legal action over the article, Cronberg didn’t speculate, but said, “I suspect Lucinda is under a lot of pressure right now.”
“All I know is that challenging power in those ways has a cost,” she added.
Chambers could not be reached for comment.
Vogue veteran Grace Coddington is set to return to the publication as a contributor after having worked there for 19 years before becoming creative director of U.S. Vogue. Film director, producer, screenwriter and video artist Steve McQueen will also be joining as contributing editor, alongside Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, who was already working with the magazine under Alexandra Shulman, Enninful’s predecessor.
This week has also seen deputy editor Emily Sheffield announce her decision to leave the magazine and more changes are expected over the coming weeks.