Anna Wintour : biography
New York City
In her new home she became a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in New York City in 1975. Wintour’s innovative shoots led editor Tony Mazzola to fire her after nine months.Oppenheimer, 109. She was introduced to Bob Marley by one of Bradshaw’s friends, and disappeared with him for a week.Oppenheimer, 107. A few months later, Bradshaw helped her get her first position as a fashion editor, at Viva, a women’s adult magazine started by Kathy Keeton, then wife of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione. She has rarely discussed working there, due to that connection.Oppenheimer, 118. This was the first job at which she was able to hire a personal assistant, which began her reputation as a demanding and difficult boss.Oppenheimer, 120.
In late 1978, Guccione shut down the unprofitable magazine. Wintour decided to take some time off from work. She broke up with Bradshaw and began a relationship with French record producer Michel Esteban, dividing her time with him between Paris and New York for two years.Oppenheimer, 152. She returned to work in 1980, succeeding Elsa Klensch as fashion editor for a new women’s magazine named Savvy.Larson, Christina; April 2005; ; Washington Monthly. Retrieved 11 December 2006. It sought to appeal to career-conscious professional women who spent their own money,Oppenheimer, 159. the reader Wintour would later target at Vogue.Fortini, Amanda; 10 February 2005; ; Slate. Retrieved 6 December 2006.
The next year, she became fashion editor of New York. There, the fashion spreads and photo shoots she had been putting together for years finally began attracting attention. Editor Edward Kosner sometimes bent very strict rules for her and let her work on other sections of the magazine. She learned through her work on a cover involving Rachel Ward how effectively celebrity covers sold copies.Oppenheimer, 188. "Anna saw the celebrity thing coming before everyone else did," Grace Coddington said three decades later.The September Issue, 1:12:00. A former colleague arranged for an interview with Vogue editor Grace Mirabella that ended when Wintour told Mirabella she wanted her job.Gray, 4.Oppenheimer, 190.
She went to work at Vogue later when Alex Liberman, editorial director for Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, talked to Wintour about a position there in 1983. She eventually accepted after a bidding war that doubled her salary, becoming the magazine’s first creative director, a position with vaguely defined responsibilities.Oppenheimer, 207. Her changes to the magazine were often made without Mirabella’s knowledge, causing friction among the staff.Oppenheimer, 208-10. She began dating child psychiatrist David Shaffer, an older acquaintance from London.Oppenheimer, 193. They married in 1984.Oppenheimer, 223.
A year later she attained her first editorship, taking over British Vogue after Beatrix Miller retired.Oppenheimer, 230. Once in charge, she replaced many staffers and exerted far more control over the magazine than any previous editor had, earning the nickname "Nuclear Wintour" in the process.Oppenheimer, 243. Those editors who were retained began to refer to the period as "The Wintour of Our Discontent."Oppenheimer, 240. Her changes moved the magazine from its traditional eccentricity to a direction more in line with the American magazine. Wintour’s ideal reader was the same woman Savvy had tried to reach. "There’s a new kind of woman out there", she told the Evening Standard. "She’s interested in business and money. She doesn’t have time to shop anymore. She wants to know what and why and where and how."
In 1987 Wintour returned to New York to take over House & Garden. Its circulation had long lagged rival Architectural Digest,Oppenheimer, 269. and Condé Nast hoped she could improve it. Again she made radical changes to staff and look, cancelling $2 million worth of photo spreads and articles in her first week.Zuckerman, Lawrence; 13 June 1988; ; Time. Retrieved 8 February 2007. She put so much fashion in photo spreads that it became known as House & Garment, and enough celebrities that it was referred to as Vanity Chair, within the industry. Those changes worsened the magazine’s problems. When the title was shortened to just HG, many longtime subscribers thought they were getting a new magazine and put it aside for the real thing to arrive. Most of those subscriptions were eventually cancelled, and while some fashion advertisers came over, most of the magazine’s traditional advertisers pulled out.Oppenheimer, 271.