Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Two years after French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld vowed in a Vogue interview that she would never feature a cigarette in a fashion spread again, she’s featured three in the second volume of her magazine CR Fashion Book.
In a fashion story called “Once Upon A Dance,” a dance instructor is shown dangling a burning cigarette in one hand as she observes a male dancer’s footwork. In another shot, she holds a cigarette in her lips as she demonstrates a pose for the dancer.
A cigarette wouldn’t be the most shocking accessory to see in the pages of a $30, biannual fashion magazine that counts artists such as Gus Van Sant, Bruce Weber and Rick Owens as photographers. But Roitfeld had sworn off cigarettes in her photo shoots in the August 2011 issue of Vogue.
At the time, Roitfeld’s partner of three decades, Christian Restoin, founder of the shirt company Equipment, had just quit smoking seven months earlier. “When he decided to stop smoking, I said, ‘My God, it’s too bad I didn’t try to help him to stop before’,” the former French Vogue editor recalled at the time. “Now I decide I will never use a cigarette again in any shoot.”
She, quite rightly, cited it as a bad influence on her readers, who are looking to the magazine to dictate the latest trends. “If your girl is smoking a cigarette, they can say, ‘Oh, my God, it’s smart to smoke a cigarette, it’s good for the look, so I’m going to have one, too’,” she said at the time. “And it’s totally stupid. It’s an easy solution to make a picture more interesting, but it’s not the only solution. And now it’s like, forgive me for all these cigarettes I’ve put in all these issues.”
If she has an equally well-thought out reason for backing out of her pledge, she hasn’t explained it. Although fashion magazines are notoriously fickle when it comes to trends, even the most rebellious editor must realize that, unlike, say, jumpsuits, cigarettes are never coming back into style.