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The Chess Queen Wears Prada Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
August 8, 2012
VogueAugCover.jpgGM and former World Women's chess champion Alexandra Kosteniuk was highlighted in the August issue of Vogue Magazine, as "challenging stereotypes at 28."

The article's one line description of chess's changing image is the best PR sentence I've ever seen written about our game.
Once the province of nerds in Coke-bottle glasses, chess has evolved into a glamorous, coolly cerebral sport played by boys and girls.

I also enjoyed Alexandra's thought-provoking and unexpected point that:

Chess requires mental work and focus, but not brilliance. Intelligence can even be a distraction.

Finally, I loved the photo of Alexandra with her daughter Francesca, a surprising choice, which highlights Alexandra’s natural beauty and personality.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of the magazine—the cover model even looks a little like Kosteniuk, and can be a good combative tool the next time a friend suggests that chess is geeky.

Find out more about the backstory on Kosteniuk’s appearance in Vogue on her website, and see the full Age issue spread on the Vogue magazine website.
In another high fashion chess note, Prada advertised its fall line with this colorful commercial. Sticklers for chess accuracy will not be pleased, as one fashion blog points out. 


Another example of chess & style in the spotlight this fall is the World Chess Hall of Fame’s offsite exhibition Chess Inspires, running through October 12th at the Lambert - St. Louis International Airport Meeting Place Gallery.

Courtesy of Lambert- St. Louis International Airport

Among the pieces on display is a Warhol chess inspired shoe drawing. The shoes in the photo are by the late Alexander McQueen, who put on a famous chess inspired fashion show in 2005. 

Courtesy of Lambert- St. Louis International Airport

The December 2011 issue of Chess Life Magazine included a feature by Nelly Rosario, “Dress Like a Grandmaster” with several shots of Alexandra (including the one below) as well as quotes from the owners of Endgame Clothing and Rock Love Jewelry. To access that article, login as a member and click on the December 2011 Chess Life Magazine pdf viewer.  

Alexandra in Moscow Chess Park, Photo Andrei Rozen