The fashion industry and beyond are mourning the loss of Beatrix Miller who was an inimitable visionary. If you leaf through the issues of British Vogue that she edited from 1964 to 1986, then you will see her legacy. Those very pages showcase her passion and unwavering dedication to her work. She began her career with the society magazine Queen; starting as a secretary and climbing up the masthead to the editorship. Alongside Jocelyn Stevens and Mark Boxer she transformed the magazine into an original, glamorous and witty publication.
When she became the editor of British Vogue in 1964 she guided the magazine through a period of both sartorial and social changes in the UK. She hired a very talented team and worked with Grace Coddington, David Bailey, Terry Jones and Lucinda Chambers to name a few. Beatrix Miller was an editor who gave her team the creative freedom to produce exciting and innovative work. Many of her staff came to her via the Vogue Talent Contest. She mentored and nurtured them and trusted them implicitly as creators; she saw their talent and developed it by giving them opportunities to do their best. Her focus on the strength of Vogue’s journalism was innovative and kept the magazine firmly ahead of its competitors. Miller had the ability to create a seamless partnership between the fresh visuals and written content. The issues that she edited feature iconic images but the features accompanying them were equally as prolific.
She was unconcerned about looking the part and had no desire to be in the spotlight, but she was often dressed in Jean Muir and had a glossy manicure. As an editor she cared about every single page, she had a clear sense of what every issue should bring to its readership and she wanted Vogue to have a strong identity. She wasn’t afraid of experimenting as long as it remained within the parameters of the style that she had envisioned.
Beatrix Miller mentored, influenced and collaborated with internationally renowned editors and photographers. They have gone on to share what they have learnt under her sharp-eye and have all played a part in shaping the industry. She will be greatly missed by the many people who knew and admired her, but she will always be remembered for her tenure at the magazine, where she led a dynamic team and created issues that encapsulated her imaginative perception of what Vogue should be during that time.
Written by Giselle La Pompe-Moore.