Alexandra Shulman has been made a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, rounding off what has been an extraordinary 2017 for the former editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
The award comes 13 years after she was made an OBE for her services to fashion journalism, and 11 months after she stood down from arguably the most sought-after and influential post in the British fashion industry.
“I am absolutely delighted to receive this recognition for work in an industry I admire so much," Shulman told The Telegraph today. "It’s a huge honour and lovely to have just as I embark on a new stage of my career."
Shulman’s 25 year tenure at Vogue’s helm was the longest of any editor in the magazine’s 100 year history. When she exited her blush pink office on 23rd June, a changing of the guard began, as several of her long-serving colleagues (some of whom had been with her for over 20 years) chose to follow her out the door, and her replacement, Edward Enninful, arrived on 1st August, bringing with him a new team to help shape his New Vogue.
During her time as the magazine’s leader, Shulman, 60, successfully developed the luxury magazine publisher Conde Nast’s established title into a modern brand for the new media age. At a time when magazine sales have been floundering, and with many rival fashion titles under threat, Shulman’s Vogue had maintained a strong print readership. She also had the steer to expand Vogue in innovative new directions - from the introduction of Vogue.co.uk in the early 2000s, and its subsequent exponential growth, to various new iPad editions, video channels and even a Vogue Festival - all of which were designed to bring its pages to life.
Honoured to become a Commander of the British Empire in The New Year’s Honours. Couldn’t be more pleased.
A post shared by Alexandra Shulman (@alexandrashulman) on Dec 29, 2017 at 2:49pm PST
Shulman took the magazine through its landmark centenary, achieving a revered cover shoot with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2016 - an issue which instantly became a collectible. She hosted a corresponding exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, wrote a book Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue's 100th Year, plus allowed the BBC’s cameras in to record a one-of-a-kind documentary about life at one of the UK’s most fascinating offices.
“I have edited British Vogue for 25 years almost to the day, and to have steered it during our spectacular centenary has been one of the greatest privileges," Shulman said when she announced her exit, swiftly dubbed ‘Vrexit’ by the media. “I have worked with an unparalleled collection of talent both inside and outside the magazine and have been lucky enough to see both Vogue and the British fashion industry expand and flourish.”
In her new, post-Vogue life, Shulman has had plenty of time to reflect on her experience (the public speaking opportunities have, naturally, been filling her freelance inbox) and with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, she is beginning to decide what to do with her influence as a soloist. Journalist, novelist, commentator and consultant are just some of the titles that headline her profile for now.
Alexandra Shulman chicest editrix looks
One of her first moves was to accept a role as a columnist for The Business Of Fashion, a digital fashion news platform for which she now writes a monthly opinion piece. Her first story, September’s ‘Fashion's Toon Town’, attracted a great deal of attention as she addressed the furore around a bikini selfie that she had posted in the summer, and considered why so many of her colleagues in fashion adopt a signature, cartoonish look. Her second column, ‘What Makes a Great Magazine Editor?’, also went viral, as she put the turbulent magazine world to rights and had a pop at the new generation of 'celebrity' editors, out to boost their own social media followings rather than concentrate on business.
Shulman has picked up several accolades in the months since she departed Vogue - Editor’s Editor at the British Society of Magazine Editors awards, and an Outstanding Contribution to Fashion trophy from trade journal Drapers. The Queen’s CBE, surely, completes the set quite nicely.