So much has been said about Anna “Nuclear” Wintour, but she doesn’t seem to say much herself. The longtime Vogue editor-in-chief conducts herself just about as privately as it gets, so when rumors flew last summer that she was in the process of writing a memoir, we had our doubts. After all, the woman only gives an interview once in a blue moon (and even then, it’s only in the interest of her magazine), let alone a tell-all book. In a rare move, Wintour took to Telegraph this week to talk everything from her father (the editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper) to her creative director and contemporary Grace Coddington’s new read. But here’s what you really want to know: what does she really look for in a potential hire? The answer might surprise you.
“I look for strong people,” she says of her staff. “I don’t like people who’ll say yes to everything I might bring up. I want people who can argue, and disagree, and have a point of view that’s reflected in the magazine. My dad believed in the cult of personality. He brought great writers and columnists to the Standard. I try to do that here, too.”
More highlights from the interview, after the jump… Keep reading »
Hey guys, I know there was a hurricane last week that displaced hundreds of thousands of people within the tri-state area, but the real sufferers? The fashion elite. While the poors had to negotiate finding their next meal and acquiring adequate clothing and shelter, downtown fashionistas had to trudge all the way to the Upper East Side to do cocaine.
Yes, that’s right. There is a hurricane story for all of us, even the desperately clueless, self-involved fashion set. Keep reading »
This year’s September issue of Vogue is, for lack of a better word, epic. It’s, like, 1,000 pages, 600 of them ads, and not one of which includes a beauty spread. (I mean, come on, that’s why I buy these damn magazines.) What it does include is an exhaustive history lesson in all things Vogue, spanning from the magazine’s very society-mag roots in 1892 to the upper echelon, high fashion-driven, Anna Wintour-helmed incarnation of today. In its 120-year history, they’ve featured a number of models on the cover more than once, but only an illustrious few have landed the coveted spot in double digit figures. Behold, the ten most frequent cover girls of all time — the answers may surprise you, but then again, maybe not. Keep reading »
“[Israeli model] Michaela [Bercu] was wearing an haute couture Christian Lacroix jacket with a beaded cross … and stonewashed Guess jeans. The jacket was actually part of a suit, but the skirt didn’t fit Michaela; she had been on vacation back home in Israel and had gained a little weight. Not that that mattered. In fact, it only served to reinforce the idea to take couture’s haughty grandeur and playfully throw it headlong into real life and see what happened … Afterwards, in the way that these things can happen, people applied all sorts of interpretations: It was about mixing high and low, Michaela was pregnant, it was a religious statement. But none of these things was true. I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can’t ask for more from a cover image than that.”
— Anna Wintour took to Vogue‘s Internet presence on the eve of the magazine’s 120th anniversary to reminisce on her beginnings as editor, and also to divulge a little secret. Her first cover, November 1988, beckoned a new frontier: it broke the canon of past versions (a model wearing jeans on the cover of the most grandiose magazine was a novel concept!) and reinforced that Wintour wasn’t one to hesitate in revolutionizing the standard formula. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by Anna’s positive attitude toward wreaking havoc in the halls of couture and embracing a model that didn’t fit in a sample size (well, at that very moment, for what it’s worth). Israeli food is delicious. [Vogue]
“I sat next to Anna Wintour at a Band of Outsiders show, and she asked me, ‘When do you go to school?’ I just felt like, When do your models go to school? I had a really weird moment of feeling like I missed my school and I missed my friends, and there wasn’t any real enthusiasm coming from the people who were there for what was going on around us, even though it should have been this exciting, creative thing. I felt funny about that experience. In a way, fashion had been this magical thing that I was obsessed with. I was just such a fan. But then I got a little too close to it, and that was kind of saddening.”
–Tavi Gevinson, fashion blogging phenom, editor of Rookie, and this month’s Bust cover girl (woohoo!) describes the moment she became disillusioned with the glitz and glamor of the fashion world. I think a lot of people who work in the fashion industry have had a moment like this, although it usually happens a bit later in your career, and isn’t necessarily spurred on by an interaction with Anna Wintour. So, what’s next for Tavi? She’s got her eye on a career in film. “After high school, I think I want to take a year off and live in L.A.,” she says, “because I just really like it there and everything is pretty.” Valid point. [Fashionista]
Inveterate bikini model and Florida girl Kate Upton was shot for this month’s Vogue (the one with Emma Stone on the cover) in actual clothes. And as she is wont to tell you, it was a very strange experience. “I’m from Florida, where your whole wardrobe is flip-flops, cutoffs and bikinis,” said Upton of the experience. Anna Wintour’s magazine set her up in a Joseph Altuzarra coat and Michael Kors boots, fully covering her swimsuit-ready frame. What do you think? Can Upton make the transition from bikini babe to couture cool? [NY Post]
I’m sure Anna Wintour is having a nasty hissy fit that her brand would deign to be associated with the likes of Kimmy Kardashian, but nevertheless, here it is, the L’Uomo Vogue cover featuring the perhaps maybe Ms. Future Kanye West. Because Vogue is cheeky like that, they’ve done the cover paparazzi style. [Vogue]
“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]
It’s perhaps no surprise that the fashion world would come out in support of a more liberal presidential candidate. But what is shocking is that the normally quite demure Vogue editor Anna Wintour would deign to make a campaign video on behalf of one. But yet here is Ms. Wintour, openly praising and supporting Barack Obama and encouraging supporters to enter to win a seat at an upcoming fundraising event! Still, it’s nice to see that even in the throes of political campaigning, Wintour remains her intimidating self. [YouTube]