Carine Roitfeld was a highly respected and well-connected fashion stylist with no experience in magazine editing when she took the job as editor-in-chief at Vogue Paris in early 2001. See photos from Carine's personal album »
She was already an old friend of renowned photographer Mario Testino; they met 25 years ago when both were yet to make their names. He's now Godfather to her two children, Vladimir and Julia, who are 28 and 27 respectively, and who both now live in New York.
Roitfeld and Testino later teamed up with U.S. designer Tom Ford during his first years as creative director at Gucci to reinvigorate the brand with an innovative advertising campaign.
Roitfeld was approached by Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Conde Nast International to take the role at French Vogue.
During her time there, advertising revenue has increased almost 10 percent and circulation is up 27 percent. "It is probably a 'Carine effect'," concludes Xavier Romatet, the president of Conde Nast Publications, which owns Vogue magazine.
"Carine's probably the most creative person I've met in my life," he told CNN, describing her as a savvy business woman with a finely-tuned intuition as to what her readers want.
Roitfeld scoffs at suggestions that she has an acute business mind, saying, "I think I'm a terrible business woman."
Still, what she's doing at French Vogue is obviously working and despite persistent rumors that she may soon announce her departure, she insists she has no plans, as yet, to leave.
"I'm very happy here," she tells CNN before adding cryptically, "but I'm sure something new is going to happen in the next year."
Many in the industry have tipped Roitfeld to replace Anna Wintour in New York, should the esteemed editor of American Vogue choose to retire. Read more about Roitfeld's views on the New York job
Roitfeld says she hasn't been approached about the job, and if she were, she probably wouldn't take it.
"Of course you'd be proud to be offered a job at this Vogue, because it's the biggest Vogue.
"But I'm not sure I'd be happy to work at the biggest Vogue. It's too big; you have to talk to too many different people. I'm very happy at French Vogue to be able to do everything -- almost everything -- I want to do in the magazine.
"Anyway my husband doesn't want to go," she adds later with a smile.
Roitfeld is anxious not to feed any speculation of a competitive rift between her and Wintour, referring to her U.S. counterpart as the "First Lady" of fashion.
"Anna does a great job... I respect her a lot," Roitfeld says.