Carine Roitfeld Named Global Director for Harper’s Bazaar

Former Vogue Paris editor has controversial past

Carine Roitfeld has kept busy since departing French Vogue in January 2011: In the past month alone, the famously smoky-eyed editrix has launched her own magazine, CR Fashion Book, and a makeup collection with MAC cosmetics. Now, Roitfeld is adding another project to her plate. Hearst Magazines announced today that Roitfeld, the former editor of Vogue Paris, was named global fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar. In the newly created position, Roitfeld will work with Stephen Gan, creative director for Bazaar’s U.S. edition, to produce “several stories a year” and oversee covers across all of the magazine’s 26 international editions, beginning in March 2013.

The 58-year-old Roitfeld's reputation for stirring up controversy makes her an interesting choice for the buttoned-up Bazaar brand. She been called the "Anti-Anna Wintour" thanks to her overt eroticism and uncensored image (which has included such un-Anna-like public statements as "I will always prefer to go to pee behind a car").

During her 10-year tenure as editor of French Vogue, Roitfeld’s provocative aesthetic was dubbed “porno-chic” due to frequent images of nudity, sexual taboos, and very underage models. (One of Roitfeld’s last photo shoots, featuring a couture-clad, fully made-up 10-year-old girl lounging on a tiger skin rug, created such scandal that it was rumored to have factored into her departure from Vogue.)

Not only is Roitfeld taking a new position at the rival publishing house of her former employer, Condé Nast, she’s also joining a magazine for which she’s long been rumored to be in the running as editor: For years, fashion insiders speculated that Roitfeld was at the top of the shortlist to take over for Bazaar’s U.S. editor in chief Glenda Bailey. (Thought that prospect, of an outsider from a 166,000-circulation title taking over at the 734,504-circ Bazaar, seems highly unlikely) But, following last spring’s successful Bazaar redesign—the debut cover, which featured Gwyneth Paltrow clad in a skin-baring dress with an up-to-there slit, marked a subtle shift away from the magazine’s conservatism—it appears that Bailey is staying put.

Roitfeld will also continue to edit her CR Fashion Book, according to Hearst.