Inspirational WOTW: Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour
When I started blogging almost a year ago, nowhere near as frequently as I do now, I was too scared to tell many people. But I thought I’d write about a woman I found to be inspirational to me, and chose Anna Wintour.
Maybe it’s because she is everything I am not. She is grounded, I have my head in the clouds. She is quick to make decisions, whereas I am so indecisive, people roll their eyes. She has an air of authority, and says what she likes when she likes. I feel as though I shuffle through life a little more nervously…
Now I’m a little more confident with my writing, I thought I’d dig it up and post it on SLA.
So whilst sat at home on this fine Saturday afternoon, I stumbled across a documentary on Netlix (Netflix= my life right now).
“The September Issue” is a behind-the-scenes look at some of the processes that take place behind the creation of one of many iconic issues of Vogue USA magazine, whilst also giving us a taste of the woman behind the wheels of the operation, British Editor-in-Chief of the American Vogue, Anna Wintour. Having a personal interest in the world of magazines, editing, and publishing, I found this documentary fascinating. I personally don’t have TOO much interest in fashion on a day to day basis, I’m more of a get-dressed-and-go-gal (with the occasional breakdown that I have nothing to wear on the rare occasion I want to look nice). Watching this gave me an insight into the types of personalities that make fashion their life, and the bitchy, glam, artistic, creative, forward thinking and fabulous world that is Vogue.
Whilst doing some research and just generally looking into her life , I came across a YouTube interview consisting of 73 Questions with Anna. I found myself really liking her. She appears more human, more in touch with her sentimental side than she did on the documentary, where she came across very “frosty.”
Here’s some things about Anna, her charisma and her leadership style that I observed from the documentary…
1) She doesn’t waste time bitching or moaning
Or at least, didn’t around the cameras. Whilst all the other women in the office moaned and made a fuss about what decisions Anna had or hadn’t made or the amount of work they would have to do because of it, Anna remained straight talking and stone faced. She said what she thought when she thought it and didn’t waste any time tip toeing around people’s feelings. When other people messed up, she told them straight “Why would you do that, it looks wrong” or “I don’t want x, y or z put forward for the magazine”, and then just gets on with her own business.
2) She is not ashamed to voice her opinion, even if it insults or frustrates others.
Similarly to the above comment, she breezes into a room, quickly scans over any images or aspects of the magazine that other Vogue employees have spent hours of their time putting together, and if she doesn’t like them or thinks they are wrong for the magazine, she waves them away and doesn’t give them a second thought. She’s a busy woman- She never wasted time umming or erring over something, she never thought out loud. I don’t remember her asking a second opinion; she would simply scan the image and think for a couple of seconds before giving permission whether or not to feature it. It frustrated a lot of people in the magazine, but kept a lot of people on their toes, eager to impress her.
3) She is polite and respectable to others
Even though she comes across as being “frosty” and quite stone faced, she never forgets her manners. It’s all “can we get so-and-so’s assistant in as soon as possible please” or “Get Karl Lagerfeld on the phone please.” She doesn’t interrupt people, or talk over people. She doesn’t look down on her colleagues, or snap her fingers at them. She lets people speak their opinions without that “I’m-the-boss when-I-talk-you’ll-listen” attitude. If she agrees with what they say, they glow; If she disagrees, she tells them their idea is awful and they become a quivering mess and stumble out of the room.
4) When she speaks, everybody listens to what she has to say
She has an aura that oozes importance, and people know that she wouldn’t waste her breath saying something if it weren’t important. Therefore when she speaks, people shut up and pay attention.
5) She doesn’t DO small talk.
I liked this most about her (I hate small talk)- she didn’t make small talk just to be polite. If she was working, she talked about topics relevant to her work. She never asked people how their Grandma’s cats were, or attempt to make water-cooler conversation. She got on with it, and if that meant ‘awkward’ silences, she seemed to be oblivious to them, or (most likely) she just didn’t care (like me!)
6) It’s perfectly acceptable to wear sunglasses inside
She loves her Channel sunglasses. Whilst watching the documentary, I noticed a lot of designers and people from the world of fashion wore their sunglasses inside, and somehow they all pulled it off. It made her seem even more cold, not being able to see her eyes. Even more fashionable, and more high class and above those doing all the running around for her. However, later on when I watched the 73 Questions, the interviewer asked “There are no windows in this room, why are you putting your sunglasses on?” She replied “To hide from you.” Which makes me feel a slight connection with her as she lets on a potential vulnerability. I’ve often used sunglasses as a shield between myself and those around me, as if it stops them seeing the real me.
7) Her accessories are always on point
She always has the perfect necklaces to match her outfits. They just complete her look. It’s almost an iconic look for her- I don’t think I’ve seen a picture yet of her without some kind of gorgeous necklace.
8) She’s all about looking forward
Anna predicted the use of celebrities on the cover of magazines, and Vogue may not be where it is today without her starting this huge movement. Back then, using a celebrity on the cover of a fashion magazine was considered controversial. The first celebrity Anna put on a Vogue cover was Madonna. As Coco Channel said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Anna believes that in the fashion world, looking back will get you nowhere; and I agree with this to a certain extent. However, she had just consented to a 1920s style shoot to feature in The September Issue at that time. Oops.
So as you can probably gather, the documentary “The September Issue” showed a serious, business side to Anna. If you’d be interested, go onto Netflix and have a watch for yourself. And then watch the “73 Questions” Interview. Here are some of Anna’s answers to the lightening fast questions fired at her for those 6 minutes, which show a much more personal and soft side to her, and good insight to her life outside of Vogue…
1) Her day starts at 5am. Machine.
2) She has a Starbucks with every breakfast (#goals)
3) She hates when people use the world “journey” in relation to fashion (hold on to that feelin’ Anna)
4) .She doesn’t drink (I was surprised, she strikes me as a champagne lady.)
5) She loves James Corden and Hugh Jackman, and loves good old fashioned British humor.
6) She would never wear head to toe black (We differ there)
7) She says the first thing she notices when introduced to a stranger is their smile
8) She’s an avid tennis player, but when asked to pick another sport she would consider learning, she surprised me by saying “Basketball.” Go Anna!
9) She’s never taken a selfie, and point blank refused to do so for the interviewer (ain’t nobody got time for selfies)
10) She said the most important lesson she learnt from her father was perseverance.
11) When asked her “Favorite vacation spot?” She replied “Home.” (<3)
12) Pride and Prejudice is her favorite book.
13) She hates horoscopes.
14) She was asked what her biggest regret was, and replied “I don’t have any.”
15) When asked her favorite family heirloom, she replied “My memories.” Now that isn’t the answer of a materialistic person.
I think I have myself a new role model!