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2012 October 22

Catching Up With...Grace Coddington

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Grace Coddington in book-signing mode at Barneys Grace Coddington in book-signing mode at Barneys
Billy Farrell Agency
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(NEW YORK) When a cadre of Vogue-ettes took to Barneys New York recently to unveil Vogue: The Editor's Eye and dole out Sharpie-d signatures to the chic set (including mods like Hilary Rhoda, Carolyn Murphy, and Caroline Trentini), The Daily snagged Grace Coddington between signings to discuss bookish matters, life sans 20/20 vision, and an NYC-induced preference for flats. BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV

There's a great chapter dedicated to you! Does that induce any anxiety?
It's not nerve-racking; I have my own book coming out, and I reveal it all there, so it doesn't really matter if it gets revealed elsewhere.

Any teasers for your memoir? We're waiting with baited breath.
Well, you wait with your baited breath! But don't hold your breath, because you still have to wait until November.

Gotcha. You keep some very chic company in the pages of this
Vogue tome!
It's really an honor because I'm there in the book beside the greatest editors--people like Polly Mellen, who I totally revere. She's a hundred years old, but she's around and still alive.

How would you describe Polly?
She's the most feisty, amazing woman with extraordinary taste. We had our portraits done together for the book at one point, and she was the sharpest one in the bunch!

Has Polly given you any advice over the years?
I can't think of anything that should've been shared with the world; she probably did a lot of screaming. She's very verbal. When I first joined American Vogue, she was still there and it was so amazing to get to work with her.

Since the title is Vogue: The Editor's Eye, how's your eyesight?
Funny you should ask that! I keep thinking I'm going blind in one eye. My far sight is very good, but my near sight means I need to wear glasses to read, though I kind of refuse to do it. It's really annoying to have to put them on, when you look up it makes you kind of dizzy, and I'm always losing them! I have a pair in each room.

Is menu-reading particularly problematic?
Oh, that's the worst! Restaurants are always far too dark, so I constantly can't read menus.

Do you let people order for you?

Pretty much.

You often don flats. 
I used to live in heels, but when you get older, your feet give out.

Was there a certain point at which you bid adieu to heels?
When I came to live in America, I went from very, very high Azzedine Alaia heels to flat Manolos. Everybody runs in America, and they don't run in England. Life has a slower pace there; you have to be able to run in New York.

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