Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani dies aged 66

Franca Sozzani attends the Christian Dior show at Paris Fashion Week on 30 September 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Franca Sozzani was considered a giant of the Italian fashion industry

Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia for 28 years and a champion of Italian fashion, has died at the age of 66.

She died in Milan after a long illness, Italy's Ansa news agency reports.

Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of publishers Conde Naste International, described her as "one of the greatest editors who ever made a magazine".

Celebrities including Madonna, Kanye West and Victoria Beckham paid tribute to her.

In a post on Instagram, Madonna posted a photo of her with the caption: "RIP Franca Sozzani! A trail blazer and a True Rebel! You are loved and adored by so many! We will miss you."

US fashion model Kendall Jenner tweeted: "Rest peacefully, Franca Sozzani."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Franca Sozzani was a UN goodwill ambassador for the fashion industry

Sozzani took charge of Vogue Italia in 1988 and became a key figure on the global fashion scene.

In 2008, she produced an "all black" issue, featuring black models only. It became an international hit.

Once asked how to define style, she said: "I think people should buy more mirrors than clothes, to see themselves before going out... but I think that clothes need to correspond to one's own personality. That is style."

Image copyright Twitter

Sozzani was also a champion of humanitarian causes. She served as goodwill ambassador to fashion for the UN, supporting workers in the fashion world in Africa and Asia and helping to raise money to fight hunger.

In a tribute on the Vogue website, US Vogue editor Anna Wintour described Sozzani as "warm, clever, funny".

"She made everything she worked on appear effortless, regardless of whether it was an event for several hundred; a whirlwind trip to Africa to support the continent's emerging designers; or the creation of yet another newsworthy, provocative, and utterly spellbinding issue of Italian Vogue," she said.

Sozzani attended the Fashion Awards in London earlier this month where designer Tom Ford presented her with the Swarovski award for positive change.

Image copyright Twitter

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