Vogue Italia's editor and fashion legend Franca Sozzani has tragically passed away aged 66, following a year-long illness. Condé Nast's chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse took to the magazine's website to share the sad news, revealing that the style icon was with her son Francesco when she died on Thursday in Milan.
"This is the saddest news I have ever had to report to you," he wrote. "Franca Sozzani, the Editor of Italian Vogue for 28 years, died today in Milan after a year-long illness with her son Francesco by her side."
Franca Sozzani has passed away aged 66
In a separate statement, Jonathan shared another heartfelt message about Franca's impressive career, describing her as a "talented, influential and important person".
"Franca was one of the greatest editors who ever made a magazine," he said in statement to Vogue. "She was by far the most talented, influential and important person within the Condé Nast International organisation. She made Italian Vogue a powerful and influential voice in the worlds of fashion and photography by publishing ground-breaking photography and journalism.
"In doing so she expanded Vogue beyond what had been the traditional model of a fashion magazine and often courted controversy by doing so. The greatest fashion photographers looked to Franca as the creative leader who would give them the freedom and the scope to produce their best work and they did so, month after month."
Anna Wintour shared a touching open letter about the pair's friendship
Tributes for the fashion legend immediately began pouring in. "RIP #FrancaSozzani Her incredible contribution to fashion will be missed," fashion designer Marc Jacobs wrote on Twitter. Meanwhile, icon Anna Wintour wrote a touching open letter describing her close friendship with Franca, describing the Italian fashionista as "warm, clever, funny and someone who could give the Sphinx a run for its money when it comes to keeping a confidence".
There's no doubt that Franca made her mark on the industry with her ground-breaking fashion spreads and flawless style, from giving Kim Kardashian her first appearance in the fashion bible to serving as an Ambassador to Fashion for the United Nations.