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Ode To Beauty

Franca Sozzani’s Paris pied-à-terre reflects the late Italian Vogue editor’s lifelong passion for art and design.

J. J. Martin
In trim pencil skirts, chic cardigans, and kitten heels, her long, wavy, golden locks framing her glowing aquamarine eyes, Franca Sozzani, the longtime editor of Italian Vogue, was always the picture of perfection. The Milan based editrix, who passed away just before Christmas, adopted a similarly uniform look for her homes, which she bought and flipped like a savvy Las Vegas card dealer. In each residence—her former New York townhouse, the Milan apartment, a family getaway in Portofino—Sozzani’s take on interiors was rigorously reductive. Stern black and white lines created a spotless and fuss free gallery like aesthetic in all her domestic surroundings (except for a riad in Marrakech, decorated some 30 years ago in a slightly more unbuttoned bohemian style and kept that way).

“If I weren’t in fashion, I would have gone into real estate or architecture,” she said in an interview last fall. “But not interior design. Because what I really like is the division of the house, not where to put the couch and flowers.”

“She was always a minimalist,” notes her son, the filmmaker and photographer Francesco Carrozzini. “The furniture was always clean lined, modern Italian and modern Scandinavian. The visual interest didn’t come from curtains or wallpapers; it was the way she layered things. Her houses were truly an expression of her personal philosophy. When she wasn’t working, she was thinking about her places: what she was going to do next—planning, fixing, doing in the garden.”

Sozzani first spotted her Paris property, a magnificent 19th century townhouse, while browsing an issue of AD France after an haute couture show six years ago. “I went immediately,” she recalled. “It was in bad shape, divided into three apartments, but it totally blew my mind. I said, ‘I want it!’ I knew there was great potential.”

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March 2017

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