Grace Coddington's long and legendary career at Vogue began in her teenage years, when she won a modeling competition for the British edition. After a disfiguring car accident, she became an editor at the magazine, where she remained for nearly 20 years. In July 1988, she and Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour began work at the U.S. edition on the same day. Unlike her boss, who has become almost as famous as the women who appear on Vogue's covers, the flame-haired Coddington has remained behind the scenes, styling and art directing the majority of the magazine's iconic fashion spreads. But she gained public attention and adoration after the release of The September Issue, a 2009 documentary that detailed the production of Vogue's September 2007 issue and revealed Coddington's brilliant artistic vision and willingness to stand up to Wintour.
Not only is her resume impressive, boasting names such as British Vogue, Calvin Klein, and American Vogue, but her work as creative director manifests everything that fashion means to me. After the release of Vogue’s 2009 documentary The September Issue, Time magazine wrote “If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.” After 50 years in the industry, Coddington still surprises readers and editors with her imagination and creativity. She manages to create pieces of art with each of her shoots, as she draws the reader into a distant, foreign world.