I love that she is rumored to have said she hates fat people, has a deficiency when it comes to patience, and has zero tolerance for a lack of courtesy. In short, I finally understand her. I adore Anna Wintour because she isn’t afraid of telling people what they don’t want to hear (and that perhaps what they need to know).
And once again, Cathy Horyn made my Thursday morning a bit brighter and certainly more inspired. Today her "Citizen Anna" profiles the ever-present Vogue editor who isn’t afraid to opine– and in the process salvage an industry that is veering a bit towards the more democratic aspect of design. As Horyn so eloquently illustrates, "she is…a symbol: the small cross-armed woman in the front row, inscrutable behind her dark glasses and self-protecting English bob, her effect equal parts terrifying and calm, like the center of the storm she has dominated for 19 years." As a symbol of Taste (capital T) she does what any good editor does– figure out what doesn’t belong and what does.
Furthermore, after "Devilish" films that illustrate what many of my colleagues and I call the "slacker generation" (those 20-somethings that doesn’t understand they might actually need to "learn something from others" and "work" to advance in the industry) I embrace a woman who says stop, shut up and suck it up.
But more to Horyn’s point, Wintour has taken the reigns in an industry that is changing more quickly than any former Vogue editor could have possibly predicted. "In recent years she has gone beyond the editorial domain and involved herself in the placement of designers at fashion houses. Her efforts fall across a spectrum of involvement, from outright pitching the name of a person she likes to a chief executive, to putting her weight behind a pending decision, to effectively make a marriage," writes Horyn. To be sure, that’s what it means to be a fashion editor– becoming a business woman and industry participant and not just a woman who like pretty purses.
And this is what Horyn says might be a key component of her legacy: Promoting young designers by helping with their placement (such Philo, Lam) and by "…lay [ing] the groundwork for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which, after years of industry lip service, provides the first practical support for young talent." As for fears that she may be promoting socialites to the top ranks, I doubt Wintour would let that happen– she’s way too invested in the quality of her work and her self– and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
For the full story go to: nytimes.com
–Joanne Molina of Second City Style
Photo: Diane Bondareff/Associated Press