Memo Pad: Churchward Departs... Two Are Better Than One...

Vogue's longtime design director Charles Churchward is leaving the magazine after 13 years.

CHURCHWARD DEPARTS: Vogue's longtime design director Charles Churchward is leaving the magazine after 13 years. He resigned from his post on Monday, but will stay on through July to help close the title's famously large September fashion issue. After that, Churchward will continue to work with Vogue for projects including books and special issues. "There are many projects that I've been wanting to do that I can't put aside the time for when I'm going to an office every single day," said Churchward. Such projects include a biography of photographer Herb Ritts, for which he's currently conducting interviews.

"I personally am so grateful to Charlie for everything he's done. He's been a great colleague and an asset to all of us," Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour told WWD.

Churchward has been with Condé Nast for nearly 30 years and was a protégé of former editorial director Alexander Liberman. He first joined the company as senior designer of Mademoiselle in 1975, but left two years later to join The New York Times Magazine. Churchward returned in 1982 to become the art director of House & Garden and, later, became the executive design director of Vanity Fair. In 1994, he moved over to Vogue. At the time, Churchward replaced Raul Martinez, who later started his own design firm, A/R Media, with partner Alex Gonzalez.

In addition to overseeing all of Vogue's visuals, including fashion, Churchward helped spin off Teen Vogue and is still listed as a design consultant on the magazine's masthead. He also worked on Vogue's coffee-table book, "Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People."

"[Churchward] very much comes from that school of design and thinking and appreciation of great photography and journalism," Wintour said. "He understood the importance of journalism, the importance of paparazzi, the importance of bringing in new photographers, but still have our anchor of photographers like Steven Klein or Irving Penn or Mario Testino. He understood that Vogue had to remain, particularly in such a crowded market, above the fray, and remain, as Alex used to say, 'mass with class,' friendly and accessible, but chic and elegant. He was always able to translate both sides of the coin."
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