— Diana Vreeland in New York, 1981 / Photo by Evelyn Hofer/Getty Images
VIOLET GREY: What made Diana such an exceptional talent?
“Diana was my mentor. [She had an] enthusiasm for the new and an eye for the beautiful. She never made mistakes.” — CAROLINA HERRERA, FASHION DESIGNER
“Diana's most exceptional quality (apart from wit
and imagination) was her ability to spot talent in others and to nurture it.” — PENELOPE TREE, WRITER AND FORMER MODEL
“She had a vision that was like no one else’s. Five hundred years ahead of everyone! She evoked in one word what it would take others volumes to say. And she was absolutely and wonderfully fearless. I love that.” — MANOLO BLAHNIK, SHOE DESIGNER
V.G.: She had famously eccentric taste in interior design. What was her office like at Vogue?
“As I recall, the interior was lipstick red, and the carpet was leopard-skin print. On the wall to the right was a collage of exquisite images, including the head of Marlon Brando and the foot of Rudolf Nureyev.” — ANJELICA HUSTON, ACTRESS AND FORMER MODEL
— Memo from Diana Vreeland to Anjelica Huston, 1969 / Courtesy of Anjelica Huston
V.G.: What is your fondest memory of Diana?
“One day, I
visited the archives of the Costume Institute with her, and she showed
me the shoe collection. It was the opening of a magical
world. She was showing me the most marvelous things and going into
so much detail about what we were seeing. This is how my love for André Perugia started. She showed me his spring heels. What an innovator! Mrs.
Vreeland knew exactly what to tell you and how to tell it to you in order for
you to absorb what she was saying.” — MANOLO BLAHNIK, SHOE DESIGNER
“One of my favorite memories of Diana is of walking
down the street with her arm in arm, and her saying, ‘Never look down.
Always look up!’ Sometimes that meant falling off the curb, but at least
you wouldn’t get a double chin.” — PENELOPE TREE, FORMER MODEL
“One afternoon in 1983, Diana invited me to her apartment to have a
chat. During my visit, I told her I was thinking of moving to the West Side [of
Manhattan]. She tried to talk me out of this idea for 20 minutes. She had
unshakable aesthetic views, and she disliked intensely that neighborhood. I was
really surprised, but after all this was Diana with her assertive opinions.” — PILAR CRESPI, PRESIDENT OF SOURCE OF HOPE FOUNDATION AND FORMER MODEL
I remember walking down the street with her arm in arm, and her saying, ‘Never look down. Always look up!’ Sometimes that meant falling off the curb, but at least you wouldn’t get a double chin.
— Diana and Reed Vreeland / Photo Courtesy of the Diana Vreeland Estate
She had a VISION
that was like no one else’s. Five hundred years ahead of everyone!
V.G.: What did you admire the most about her?
“That at the end when she was blind she could still see more than anyone else. Diana had a memory for details and the intellect to use it.” — CAROLINA HERRERA, FASHION DESIGNER
V.G.: What is something not many people know about Diana?
“My grandmother was extremely fastidious about her clothes. She kept all of her clothes wrapped individually in her closet. In the morning after she would pick what she would wear she would have it ironed by her faithful housekeeper, Yvonne, and at the end of the day she would have it re-ironed and covered once again before it was put back in her closet.” — ALEXANDER VREELAND, PRESIDENT AT DIANA VREELAND LLC
— Diana Vreeland and Yves Saint Laurent at the 20th anniversary of the designer's first collection, 1982 / Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images