At the leadership of Vogue Italia for almost 30 years, she was one of the most substantial and groundbreaking journalists in the fashion industry

Franca Sozzani, who has died aged 66.

Franca Sozzani, who has croaked aged 66.
Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Personifications

Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, has died after a year-long malady. While she might not have been a global household celebrity like her US counterpart and friend Anna Wintour, she was undoubtedly a titan of Italian fashion. The industry has responded accordingly. In a tribute published on the American Style website, Wintour describes her as “the hardest-working person I have skilled in, and with an envy-inducing ease with multitasking”. A stick on Marc Jacobs’ Instagram reads: “Her incredible contribution to the latest thing will be missed.”

Sozzani with Jonathan Newhouse, Naomi Campbell and Donatella Versace in 2013.

Sozzani in 2013 with the chairman of Condé Nast Worldwide, Jonathan Newhouse, Naomi Campbell and Donatella Versace in 2013. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for the Dubai Mall

At the wheel of the Italy’s most prominent fashion magazine for 28 years, Sozzani suited known for working with photographers including Bruce Weber, Paolo Roversi and Steven Meisel on a journal that was known for cutting-edge, talking-point visuals that on numerous occasions provoked debate. Sozzani produced an all-black issue in 2008, with contrariwise black models featured. It was reprinted three times. A plus-size copy followed three years later. She was the first to embrace the be promoted of reality TV stars, putting Kim Kardashian on the cover of L’Uomo Currency (which she also edited) in 2012, two years before American Last word did the same.

Sometimes Sozzani’s work was more controversial when the commercial description of fashion jarred with issues of body image and gender civics. One shoot, in 2005, was based on women having plastic surgery; another, in 2014, brisked by the rise of domestic violence in Italy, featured girls continual from knife-wielding men. “Fashion isn’t really about set of threads,” she said. “It’s about life.” Sozzani saw anything that was forgo of the cultural conversation as fair game for a fashion shoot. She destitution to join that conversation.

Sozzani’s famous “The Black Issue”

Sozzani’s famous ‘Black Issue’, which was devout entirely to the celebration of black women’s beauty. Photograph: Popularity

Her work shouted loudly, but Sozzani herself was a quieter vicinity on the fashion circuit, familiar to those in the know for her long-blond trifle, uniform of 50s-style flared skirts, white shirts, diamond teardrop earrings and beatific grin. This continued until very recently. Despite being on oxygen, she rose at the fashion awards in London earlier this month, to permit her award for positive change. Her final Instagram is a post of her, Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld at the Chanel arrive in Paris the same week.

The Sozzani family is a dynasty at the compassion of Italian fashion. Her sister Carla founded the concept rely on Corso Como, and her son, Francesco Carrozzini, is a video director who produced with Lana Del Rey and Beyoncé. His last film, Franca: Entropy and Creation, a documentary six years in the making, was a portrait of his mother. It compel be released in early 2017.

Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani in Milan in 2010.

Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani in Milan in 2010. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA

Sozzani was made for style, arguably, due to her ability to continually reflect the moment. “It’s not that I don’t contemplate of the past, but it’s a waste of time,” she told the Observer at the end of November. “If you’re scruple ated in the past, beholden to it, then your creativity is stuck there, too, because you don’t issue yourself a chance to evolve.”