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An office like no other

American model Karlie Kloss outside Vogue House. Neil Mockford/GC/Getty

Vogue House – the legendary Mayfair HQ for Vogue, GQ and Tatler, soon to be vacated – “was not like other offices”, says Olivia Petter in The Independent. Outside its revolving doors, which were used by everyone from Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to Linda Evangelista and Kate Middleton, taxi drivers would fight over who got to do pickups because the women leaving were “always so beautiful”. Sophia Money-Coutts, former features editor at Tatler, remembers that on Valentine’s Day the lobby would be “inundated” with piles of enormous, expensive bouquets of roses, and that “floppy-haired posh boys” would regularly loiter outside the building waiting – or hoping – for their date to emerge. “It was like a scene from a Richard Curtis film.”

Most floors had their own distinct identity reflecting their respective magazines and employees. As long-time Condé Nast boss Nicholas Coleridge says, Vogue “really was populated by skinny fashionistas in black, with killer heels”; House & Garden “employed Tory matrons and pretty country girls”; and Tatler was all “party-minded, treacherous socialites”. Vogue’s bathrooms were kitted out with hair straighteners for emergency evening touch-ups; stylists would perform speedy spray tans on Tatler staff in the building’s boardroom. Perhaps because of these differences, there was little inter-floor mingling. But one thing brought everyone together: booze. “I remember people would often gather in the sick bay,” recalls one Vogue House veteran. “Everyone in there was usually nursing a huge hangover.”