Anna Wintour Finally Speaks Out About Vogue’s Asma al-Assad Profile

Julie Gerstein / June 13, 2012

“Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.”

Vogue editor Anna Wintour on the profile the magazine did on Syrian first lady Asma Al-Assad. Assad’s husband Bashar al-Assad is responsible for Syria’s spate of violence against its own citizens. The March 2011 profile happened to coincide with the rise in violence in the country, and was unceremoniously removed from Vogue’s website in April 2012. Author Joan Juliet Buck explained that she chose to profile Assad because, “I think that Vogue is always on the lookout for good-looking first ladies because they’re a combination of power and beauty and elegance. That’s what Vogue is about. And here was this woman who had never given an interview, who was extremely thin and very well-dressed and therefore, qualified to be in Vogue. And they had – Vogue had been trying to get her for quite a long time.” [Fashionista]