“To be in ‘Vogue’ has to mean something. It’s an endorsement. It’s a validation.”
Anna Wintour is the most emblematic figure in the fashion industry. She is also the most successful and powerful women in fashion. The actual inspiration for the character Miranda Priesly in The Devil wears Prada has always been represented as a cold and rigid person.
Anna was born in the late 40’s London high society. Her father, Charles Wintour, was the editor in chief of the London Evening Standard. The wealth of her family gave her the opportunity of pursuing what she wanted to do. She left school and started working in a famous department store in London while frequenting the “hottest” clubs of the capital, where the Beatles or the Stones had their habitudes. She dated famous singer Bob Marley for a bit. She then quickly moved to the editorial world with a first job at Harper’s Bazaar in New York as fashion editor at only 27 years old. Wintour then moved on to different publications and created a stylish and creative image of her work, especially noticed when she was working for the New York magazine. In 1986 she moved to London and made her first entrance in the world of Vogue by working the british edition as chief editor. Two years after she got offered the position of Editor in Chief of Vogue US. This was the beginning of the consecration for Anna Wintour. She had “carte blanche” for all the shootings and everything she needed to work efficiently was given to her. Indeed this worked extremely well and boosted the sales, influence, audience of Vogue which was in perdition. Anna is the visionary person in fashion. She was the first editor to put a celebrity and the first to put a black model on the covers of her magazine.
The 39th most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes, says what she thinks. She already told Oprah Winfrey that she would have to lose 20 pounds before being on her cover. Or told Hilary Clinton (who was worried that she would look to girlish on the cover) and it was basically the 21th Century and not some backward mentality country so she should stop being so narrow minded. Anna Wintour is a workaholic. She is at the origin of the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund to help the young designers in their quest for success, created three other magazines (Teen Vogue, Vogue living, Men’s Vogue) and is the organiser of the Met Gala which each year raises a few millions for the Met Museum of NYC. She is also involved in politics and supported the campaign of US president Barack Obama by organising a gala evening. She launched some of the greatest designers such as Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen or Marc Jacobs.
For me Anna Wintour is the model of being successful as she knows what she wants and makes everything to achieve it. For some more informations, I would recommend to watch well done documentary The September Issue on the biggest Vogue issue to have an overview of the world of Vogue.