Thakoon summed it up pretty well in R.J. Cutler's revealing documentary The September Issue, the film about fashion's most revered publication and the woman who spearheads the whole operation.
"Anna is, like, Madonna," the designer said in obvious awe.
Yes, even the style universe has a queen. Anna Wintour has long been touted as fashion's most powerful figure.
Ms. Wintour appears to reign over the whole fashion world with an iron fist. Among her many trademarks, like her pageboy bob and oversize sunglasses, she is notorious for her brazen approach.
She chooses the trends. She chooses the next big designers. She chooses what goes in every single issue of Vogue. If she doesn't like it, it gets tossed out. Whether it is a piece in a designer's collection, an editorial spread or any feature content, it must be up to her high standards. She has the final say. And she'll say exactly what she thinks.
Who can forget the scene in the (somewhat) fictitious The Devil Wears Prada, the film based in part on Vogue and Anna herself, where editor-in-chief Miranda attends the run-through? The one where Miranda purses her lips at a dress and sends the designer and his staff into an immediate tizzy, ready to change his whole collection?
As creative director Nigel says, "Her opinion is the only one that matters." The same could be said about Anna's.
She has supposedly told celebrities to lose weight before they appear in the magazine. She is often credited for stopping the grunge trend in the 90's by telling designers that it wasn't selling, and it wasn't going in Vogue. And she has huge sway in the industry, by dressing the media magnets for everything from elite events to everyday looks. When they are photographed, either for Vogue or other publications, it immediately translates to sales.
Carine Roitfeld, born September 19, 1954, is the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, a position she held from 2001 to January 31, 2011. A former fashion model and writer, she announced her resignation on December 17, 2010, and was succeeded by Emmanuelle Alt. |
She is a fixture in the front row of the top designers' shows during fashion week, and attends the productions of the up-and-comers she has found and nurtured. If Anna's at a newbie's show, then watch out---you're probably witnessing the next big breakthrough.
She is an unmovable icon with a reputation for being ice cold, earning her quite a nickname; Nuclear Wintour. Some have criticized the way she does business, especially dealing in the world of fashion which is often taken as cotton candy journalism next to more serious, hard news magazines.
But I doubt many news editors are as well-known and influential as Anna is. She simply dismisses the naysayers.
"I think what I often see is that people are frightened about fashion, because it scares them or makes them feel insecure, so they just put it down," she said in The September Issue. "On the whole people that may say mean things about our world, I think that's usually because they feel, in some ways, excluded or, you know, not a part of 'the cool group' so as a result they just mock it.
"Just because you like to put on a beautiful Carolina Herrera dress or a pair of J Brand blue jeans instead of something basic from K-Mart, it doesn't mean that you're a dumb person."
Wintour is anything but silly, displaying a nearly formidable fa?ade in all settings. She is serious about her craft, and pours all her energy into every issue of Vogue. Incredibly enough, she never even finished high school, dropping out at the age of 16, and quit taking fashion classes soon after that.
"You either know fashion or you don't," Anna proclaimed.
I think she's right.
You may like her, or you may not. I'm sure that a lot of people don't. But then again, I'm sure she never meant them to. One truth is certain, though: She absolutely knows fashion. True style is innate, and some people were just born to sit at the top of their industry. Wintour personifies both, and that's why she has the whole fashion world's undivided attention.
That's why she's Anna.