Anna Wintour : biography
Anna Wintour, OBE (born 3 November 1949) is the English editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a position she has held since 1988. In 2013 she also became artistic director for Condé Nast, Vogue‘s publisher. With her trademark pageboy bob haircut and sunglasses, Wintour has become an important figure in much of the fashion world, widely praised for her eye for fashion trends and her support for younger designers. Her reportedly aloof and demanding personality has earned her the nickname "Nuclear Wintour".
She is the eldest daughter of Charles Wintour, editor of the London Evening Standard. Her father consulted her on how to make the newspaper relevant to the youth of the era. Anna became interested in fashion as a teenager. Her career in fashion journalism began at two British magazines. Later she moved to the United States, with stints at New York and House & Garden. She returned home for a year to turn around British Vogue, and later assumed control of the franchise’s magazine in New York, reviving what many saw as a stagnating publication. Her use of the magazine to shape the fashion industry has been the subject of debate within it. Animal rights activists have attacked her for promoting fur, while other critics have charged her with using the magazine to promote elitist views of femininity and beauty.
A former personal assistant, Lauren Weisberger, wrote the 2003 best selling roman à clef The Devil Wears Prada, later made into a successful film starring Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a fashion editor believed to be based on Wintour. In 2009 she was the focus of another film, R.J. Cutler’s documentary The September Issue.
- Horyn, Cathy; 1 February 2007; ""; The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2007.
- Oppenheimer, Jerry; Front Row: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue’s Editor In Chief, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2005, ISBN 0-312-32310-7
- Weisberger, Lauren; The Devil Wears Prada, Broadway Books, New York 2003, ISBN 0-7679-1476-7
She had two children by Shaffer following their 1984 marriage: Charles (Charlie) born 1985, and Katherine (known as Bee) born 1987; the latter wrote occasional columns for The Daily Telegraph in 2006,Alexander, Hilary; 15 February 2006; ; The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 February 2007. but says she won’t follow her mother into fashion.The September Issue, 0:35. The couple divorced in 1999. Newspapers and gossip columnists claimed her affair with investor Shelby Bryan ended the marriage.Oppenheimer, 341–42, She declined to comment.Gray, 1.Oppenheimer, 342. Her friends say Bryan has mellowed her. "She smiles now and has been seen to laugh", the Observer quoted one as saying.25 June 2006; ""; The Observer. Retrieved 7 February 2007.
Wintour is also a philanthropist. She serves as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she has organised benefits that have raised $50 million for the museum’s Costume Institute. She began the CFDA/Vogue Fund in order to encourage, support and mentor unknown fashion designers. She has also raised over $10 million for AIDS charities since 1990, by organising various high profile benefits.
She claims to rise before 6 am, plays tennis and has her hair and makeup done, then gets to Vogues offices two hours later. She always arrives at fashion shows well before their scheduled start. "I use the waiting time to make phone calls and notes; I get some of my best ideas at the shows", she says. According to the BBC documentary series Boss Woman, she rarely stays at parties for more than 20 minutes at a time and gets to bed by 10:15 every night. She exerts a great deal of control over the magazine’s visual content. Since her first days as editor, she has required that photographers not begin until she has approved Polaroids of the setup and clothing. Afterwards, they must submit all their work to the magazine, not just their personal choices.Oppenheimer, 244. Her control over the text is less certain. Her staffers claim she reads everything written for publication,Oppenheimer, 325. but former editor Richard Story has claimed she rarely, if ever, read any of Vogue’s arts coverage or book reviews.Oppenheimer, 326. Earlier in her career, she often left the task of writing the text accompanying her layouts to others; former coworkers claim she has minimal skills in that area.Oppenheimer, 70–71, 123–24, 161–62, 179–80. Today she writes little for the magazine save the monthly editor’s letter. She reportedly has three full-time assistants but sometimes surprises callers by answering the phone herself.Horyn, "Citizen Anna", 2. She often turns her cell phone off in order to eat her lunch, usually a steak (or bunless hamburger), undisturbed.Amiel, Barbara; 2 July 2006; ""; Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2007. High-protein meals have been a habit of hers for a long time. "It was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs every single day" for lunch, says a coworker at Harpers & Queen. "She would eat nothing else."