LONDON (Reuters) - Alexandra Shulman, one of the biggest names in the world of fashion, is stepping down as editor-in-chief of British Vogue after 25 years, the magazine's publisher Conde Nast announced on Wednesday.
Shulman's reign culminated in Vogue's centenary celebrations last year, marked by an exclusive cover photo shoot with Prince William's wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, whose dress sense is widely admired by fashionistas.
"It has been very hard to find a rational reason to leave what is unquestionably a fascinating and rewarding role but last autumn I realized that I very much wanted to experience a different life," said Shulman.
Conde Nast said an announcement about a successor would be made in due course.
Shulman was honored by Queen Elizabeth in 2005 for services to the magazine industry and in 2013 she was included in a list of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom, compiled by the BBC's "Woman's Hour" radio program.
Shulman said Vogue was a "precious cargo" and one of her greatest privileges had been to steer it during its centenary, which also involved an exhibition at Britain's National Portrait Gallery of photographs that had appeared in the magazine.
During its 100th year, British Vogue was also the subject of a fly-on-the-wall BBC television documentary, "Absolutely Fashion", in which Shulman featured prominently.
The filmmaker, Richard Macer, reported that Shulman had a fear of flying and had to steel herself whenever she had to travel to attend fashion shows. Having written two novels, Shulman said she had discovered the best remedy was to concentrate on writing whenever she had to fly.
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)