Last week, the fashion world was reeling from a tell-all interview with fired British Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers published in the academic journal Vestoj. Chambers — who had worked at Vogue for 25 years — said she hadn’t read the glossy “in years.” She lambasted shallow colleagues, deemed the clothes “irrelevant” and called a recent cover with Alexa Chung “crap.”
Such score-settling is, deliciously, de rigueur in la mode. Fashion folk may be in the beauty biz, but they’re certainly not afraid to pick fights, throw shade and undermine rivals, as these notorious feuds attest.
Karl Lagerfeld vs. Yves Saint Laurent
These two designers’ feud was so legendary there’s a whole book about it (Alicia Drake’s “The Beautiful Fall”). It started in 1954, when Saint Laurent beat frenemy Lagerfeld in a competition for the next great couturier. The two would socialize but also frequently trade barbs in the press, force mutual friends to choose sides and steal one another’s boyfriends. The rivalry ended with Saint Laurent’s retirement in 2002 and eventual death in 2008.
Azzedine Alaïa vs. Anna Wintour
Although Azzedine Alaïa is one of the most respected couturiers in the world, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour hasn’t put one of his outfits in her magazine for 20 years. Alaïa, who refuses to advertise, shrugged it off until 2009, when the Met Costume Institute exhibit “Model as Muse,” which Wintour had a big hand in, left out his contributions. “Who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one,” he lashed out in a 2011 interview with Virgine magazine. Relations haven’t cooled: Last week, Wintour skipped Alaïa’s couture show in Paris — his first in seven years — and Vogue Runway has yet to post photos from it online.
Giorgio Armani vs. Donatella Versace
In 2015, Armani told the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine that the late Gianni Versace said to him, “I dress sluts. You dress church ladies.” Although that assessment was probably kinder to Versace than to Armani, Gianni’s little sis Donatella was not having it. She called Armani’s comments “rude and tasteless,” adding: “The only word that ever came from Gianni’s mouth was ‘glamour.’ ”
Tyra Banks vs. Naomi Campbell
According to Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell bullied her early on in her career and even had her fired from jobs. In 2005, Banks invited her former nemesis on her talk show where the two found “closure.” Perhaps not surprisingly given Campbell’s well-documented anger-management issues, the detente didn’t last: In 2016, Banks told a Norwegian journalist that she was still “very scared” of her.
Giorgio Armani vs. Dolce & Gabbana
The designers have been locked in a tiff since 2009 about who first showed quilted trousers on the runway — a rather dubious distinction to be fighting over.
Elle Macpherson vs. Heidi Klum
While most women wish they could be recognized for their smarts, these two supermodels are battling over who can claim the moniker “the Body.” In 2006, Klum launched a Victoria’s Secret lingerie line by that name, noting it was her nickname. Macpherson fought back, insisting she was the original “Body.” Klum had the last laugh: She ended up taking over the older supermodel’s Intimates lingerie line as creative director in 2014.
Coco Chanel vs. Elsa Schiaparelli
Not only did Chanel consistently disparage the surrealist Italian designer Schiaparelli, she also tried to set her dress on fire, “accidentally” pushing Schiaparelli into a candelabra at a party. Schiaparelli wasn’t an innocent flower, however, referring damningly to Chanel as “that milliner.”