Born on the island of Anglesey, Wales, Grace Coddington's interest in fashion began in her teens, when she would anxiously await the arrival of a current issue of Vogue magazine, her only connection to the fashion world. When she was 17, her photograph was submitted to a Vogue model competition and thus her modelling career and life in fashion began.
At the age of 26, Grace was in car accident that left her scarred. After her recovery, she was interviewed by British Vogue's Editor, Beatrix Miller, and she was employed as a Junior Editor. After nineteen years as Photo Editor with British Vogue, she moved to New York to work for Calvin Klein. In July 1988, she joined Anna Wintour at American Vogue, where she remains the magazine's creative director, or "the jewel in the crown" as Anna Wintour refers to her.