Tonne Goodman has a mantra for when things start to get a little messy: “This is happening for a reason.” She is known for saying it on fashion sets when a model calls in sick or a runway look is stuck in customs.
And also when far more serious situations arise, like when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. She finds it reassuring because, as she explained, whatever then happens is some kind of fate, and in that lies mystery and curiosity. Often, it leads you on a better path.
Certainly, Ms. Goodman whispered the mantra aloud last summer when it was decided, by the powers that be, that she would surrender her role as fashion director of Vogue, where she had worked for nearly 20 years, and become a contributing editor — a growing trend, these days, in the struggling magazine industry. Without a doubt, she has found herself on a curious new path.
“My overriding feeling is this is exciting,” she said, seated on a white slipcovered couch in her Greenwich Village apartment, where she has lived for two decades. But her “inner feeling,” she said, is something like fear.
Dressed in her crisp, unwavering wardrobe of white Levi’s, Italian driving loafers and a silk Charvet scarf wrapped precisely around her neck, Ms. Goodman cuts a rather cool figure. From afar, she is the reserved, aloof foil to the colorful Grace Coddington, another Vogue editor. In practice, though, she is “the nicest” of the magazine’s editors, as many of those who have worked with her attest.
While at Vogue she is known for styling her subjects in a classic, clean-cut manner — “the practical woman,” as she put it — Ms. Goodman said that she loves “to do crazy things.”
Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, who assisted Ms. Goodman for four years at Vogue before becoming the style director of Garage magazine, said: “She’s quiet and not bombastic and wears a uniform every day, but Tonne changed this industry and the way Americans look at fashion. Tonne is rad. She is the definition of radical.” And in this new phase of her life, Ms. Goodman, 66, seems eager to reveal as much.
Cue her forthcoming book, “Point of View,” which features, on an opening page, a full-frontal of Ms. Goodman, from her modeling days.
Read more about the new book here….
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