Franca Sozzani exemplifies the woman we, at Hipsters for Sisters, want to be: creative, fearless, passionate and committed to a cause. As editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, she has power and is not afraid to use it. Since taking charge in 1987, she has transformed the medium into a conduit for raising political, social and environmental issues that relate to, but extend far beyond fashion. Among her favored causes are social ills that have been previously perpetrated by her own industry including women’s “body image” issues, racism, and sexism.
Sozzani’s willingness to take risks and create controversy is one of her attributes we admire most. She is not afraid of controversy and in fact, seems to embrace it. Sozzani wrote a blog post on Stylist.com dealing with the controversy that seems to surround her every move: “Each issue of Vogue Italia is seen as controversial and I have found it doesn't bother me at all. It is also amusing to observe how people react to a specific cover or editorial: You realize that you had a certain idea in mind and then find out that people perceive it in an opposite way from what you intended.”
In addition to rocking the status quo on issues affecting women, Sozzani walks her talk in other ways as well. She recently accepted a position as U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development, a global campaign designed to support the U.N.’s work to achieve gender equality and alleviate poverty through fashion-based initiatives. To her credit, Sozzani has become much more than a figurehead. She is committed to creating change: teaching practical skills that will translate into real jobs providing salaries and dignity to previously marginalized populations.
Another attribute we admire is Sozzani’s mental flexability. When asked by Livia Firth of Interview Magazine “How do you challenge yourself?” Sozzani replied, “I like to be risky every day, changing minds every day. I’m not reliable at all in my ideas. I can change my ideas three times a day. I change different things, the parts of the content. But I never change the content of who I am.” Sozzani’s ability to separate her ideas from herself is what enables her to think creatively, embrace new ideas and and point the way to a new, more equitable and humane world.