âIt took them three minutes to do it,â Ms. Chambers said in the interview. âNo one in the building knew it was going to happen. The management and the editor Iâve worked with for 25 years had no idea. Nor did H.R. Even the chairman told me he didnât know it was going to happen. No one knew, except the man who did it â the new editor.â
After conceding that the fashion industry could âchew you up and spit you out,â Ms. Chambers went on to criticize some of the âcrapâ magazine cover shoots that she had produced (saying the blame lay in part with Vogueâs allegiances to major advertisers), and the mismanagement of the fashion brand Marni, where she had once worked. She also suggested that Vogue had become an increasingly uninspiring read.
âTruth be told, I havenât read Vogue in years,â she said. âMaybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people â so ridiculously expensive.â
âWhat magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive,â she continued. âItâs a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. Theyâve stopped being useful. In fashion, we are always trying to make people buy something they donât need. We donât need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage peopleâ into buying.
Many industry power players in Paris were tight-lipped after the article was published, including Mr. Enninful, who said he had âno commentâ about the interview as he sat in the front row of the Chanel show on Tuesday. An hour later, CondÃ© Nast, the publisher that owns the Vogue titles, released a short statement that contradicted Ms. Chambersâ account of the end of her employment there.
âItâs usual for an incoming editor to make some changes to the team,â the statement said. âAny changes made are done with the full knowledge of senior management.â
Dozens of readers, meanwhile, were quick to praise Ms. Chambersâs candor. Her profile outside the sector increased after her star turn last year in âAbsolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue,â a BBC documentary in which she won legions of fans thanks to her upfront approach, artistic vision and eccentric yet elegant fashion sense.
Julie Zerbo, of the website the Fashion Law, looked beyond the reader reaction and to the possible legal fallout, wondering on Twitter if Ms. Chambers might be sued:
And then at lunchtime on Tuesday, the tale took a further twist when the article reappeared online.
âDue to the sensitive nature of this article, we took the decision to temporarily remove it from the site, but have now republished it in its entirety,â Ms. Aronowsky Cronberg explained in an email to The New York Times.
âIn terms of the reasons why it was removed, they are directly related to the industry pressures which Lucinda discusses in her interview,â she continued. âAs you know, fashion magazines are rarely independent because their existence depends on relationships with powerful institutions and individuals, whether itâs for tickets to shows, access in order to conduct interviews or advertising revenue.â
âWe created Vestoj to be an antidote to these pressures, but we are not always immune,â Ms. Aronowsky Cronberg added. âWe hope Lucindaâs republished interview will spark a discussion which might, in her words, lead to a more âempowering and usefulâ fashion media.â
Ms. Chambers could not be reached for comment.