Anna Wintour

Born: London, England, 1949

What can you say about the woman who was the first to bring the world’s attention on Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Zac Posen? We’ll give it ago…

It is important to note at this point that Anna Wintour is not a fashion icon. Anna Wintour is fashion. As the leader of the Fashion World her decisive nature and precision to detail has led to Vogue becoming the most successful fashion magazine in the world. With controversy surrounding her less than fashionable personality at times, she still is the person that brought us some of today’s most celebrated designers.

Born on the 3rd of November, 1949 in London to Charles Wintour, the Editor of The Evening Standard and began her life with a open eye on the swift change fashion was about to succumb to. Even in her youth she was rebellious and stubborn when she shorten the hemline on her school skirts

Anna was fully encroached during the fashion overhaul of the 60s and it no doubt helped shape her in terms of her extensive knowledge and open sense of fashion. Her career began in 1970 at Harpers Bazzar UK before moving off to America to continue with Harpers Bazzar working as a Junior Fashion Editor. She was fired 9 months later for her too provocative fashion spreads, something which upset the future fashion queen.

British Vogue was Anna’s first taste of the company she would later covet, and finally in 1988, after years of dreaming, she got it. Anna’s first issue was in 1988 and featured model, Michaela Bercu wearing jeans (a first for Vogue) and a Christian Lacroix bejewelled T shirt worth $10,000. Her whirlwind change of the magazine began almost immediately focusing more youth into the magazine whilst imagining a business savvy women with a penchant for fashion.

Anna’s own style has become something of a status, donning her signature bob and black sunglasses she already creates the elusive, Anna Wintour look. Before her reign however, Anna was something of a style nympho, wearing an eclectic collection of high fashion sexy and wacky fun prints. This turned regal once she came to Vogue, perhaps due to her stance within the fashion industry, and her seriousness over her role.

The light, conservative attire, usually a Chanel suit or cardigan draped over a dress or a creation by Prada acts as a solution to Anna’s working, with a nifty $200,000 clothing allowance from Vogue’s publishers. Her sunglasses have become more famous than her glare with Wintour professing that they are extremely useful at hiding her emotions which only adds to Wintour’s overall alienation of people outside the fashion realm.

She has worked hard, bring to the forefront Marc Jacobs, who she champions along with John Galliano, helping him come into his own at Dior. She critiques some of the most invaluable designers across the fashion field and has lead to such nicknames as ‘Nuclear Wintour’ for her apparent mood swings.

She has always been fashions best kept secret in terms of her actual running of Vogue, with many rumours spawned from the corridors of the fashion bible. Events like an intern stepping over a fallen Wintour because she was not to be spoken to, to getting her assistants to fish through trash to look for that one photo she wanted.

She is however, not the total monster the press can make her out to be. She currently sits on the board of the Metropolitan Museum Costime Institute which raises funds for the Institute, bringing together some of the worlds most notable people. In 2003 Vogue partnered with the CFDA to created the Vogue Fashion Fund, a chance for Manhatten designers to get on the fashion ladder and has proved to be invaluable with the likes of Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler and Thakoon all being past recipients. Helping emerging talent and keeping historical talent has become very much part of Anna Wintour’s legacy for the arts, but what about fashion as a business? Que Fashion’s Night Out, a night of splendour and sparkle as thousands of stores across the globe, stay open late allowing for fashion folk and consumers to come together and celebrate fashion.

Anna Wintour, an enigma in the public eye but as person perched on top of the Vogue Masthead, she holds a title and place where many would kill to be. Yet, she regains her post with over 20 years at Vogue, and as fashion’s Pied Piper, she shows no sign of slowing.

In 2010, Wintour took on the role of Artistic Director at Condé Nast, the parent company of Vogue. This expanded her sphere of influence, allowing her to shape the creative direction of not just Vogue but also other prestigious publications within the Condé Nast portfolio. Her keen eye for fashion and unwavering commitment to excellence further solidified her position as a tastemaker and trendsetter.

One notable event in Wintour’s career came in 2014 when she played a pivotal role in organising the inaugural Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience. This ground breaking event aimed to showcase and promote emerging designers from the Middle East, providing a global platform for regional talent to shine. Wintour’s involvement in this initiative underscored her dedication to supporting and nurturing new voices in the fashion industry.

Wintour’s influence extended beyond the pages of Vogue in 2016 when she featured prominently in the documentary film “The First Monday in May.” The film provided a behind-the-scenes look at the intricate preparations and creative processes involved in organising the annual Met Gala, an event for which Wintour has been a co-chair and driving force. Her involvement in this high-profile event further solidified her status as a tastemaker and cultural influence.

Recognition for Anna Wintour’s outstanding contributions to fashion and journalism came in 2018 when she received the esteemed honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) from Queen Elizabeth II. The DBE honour recognized Wintour’s unparalleled services to the fashion industry and her significant impact on journalism.

Wintour’s influence extended beyond the world of fashion in 2020 when she was appointed as one of the co-chairs of New York’s economic recovery task force. 2021 marked a significant milestone for Anna Wintour as she celebrated her 33rd anniversary as the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. This remarkable achievement solidified her as one of the longest-serving and most influential editors in the history of fashion journalism. Her ability to continuously steer the publication with an unwavering vision and an impeccable eye for talent has propelled Vogue to unparalleled success and cemented its position as the ultimate fashion authority.

As we move forward into the future, Anna Wintour’s career remains an inspiring testament to her unwavering passion, unparalleled expertise, and transformative influence. Her commitment to supporting emerging talent, shaping the creative direction of publications, and navigating the ever-changing landscape of the fashion industry has left an indelible mark.

Anna Wintour’s legacy as a tastemaker, cultural influences, and champion of excellence continues to shape the world of fashion and inspire generations to come.

Anna Wintour Biography

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Written by Tobias Orrells

Tobias Orrells graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in International Journalism, however, steering away from news, has focused his creativity to reporting on the progression of men’s fashion. He is an avid writer and lover of fashion and music and combining the two helps create the icon profiles. Looking after the Catwalk Yourself Icons biographies

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