Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Anna Wintour Biography

...written by Sherin

I'm sure all of you have heard of Anna Wintour, she is the current head of American Vogue and is a huge icon in the world of fashion. She is most well known for her bob haircut and large sunglasses and is see on the front row of many fashion shows. She is also one of the most powerful people in fashion as she names trends and discovers new designers.
My favourite habit of hers is that she always gets to fashion shows early and used the waiting time to make notes or phonecalls.

She was born in 1949, and her father was Charles Wintour, who was the editor of the Evening Standard, in Britain. For those of you who don't know, the Evening Standard is a British newspaper and is very well known, even today. It's clear that the magazine world is in her blood. Her father used to consult with her on how to make the newspaper more relevant to youths.

Right now, she is most known for her bob haircut and she has actually had this hairstyle since she was a young teen.
She started off in the fashion journalism world in 1970, when she became an editorial assistant for Harpers Bazaar Magazine. She left the job in 1975, after difference with her boss, and moved to New York with her boyfriend.

Over the next few years, she became the editor of various magazines, such as Viva and New York and she eventually made a name for herself as others became impressed with her fashion spreads and photo shoots.

It had always been her dream to work for Vogue and she finally got a chance in 1983, when she got a job as a publisher there after talking to the editor of Conde Naste. She stayed in this role for 3 years, and then was chosen to become editor of British Vogue in 1986.

Within a year, Wintour had completely changed British Vogue. She replaced a lot of the staff and gave herself more control than any editor had before.
Finally, in 1988, she became editor of American Vogue. She immediately changed the magazine, and in her first issue, put an unknown model on the cover, in a pair of $50, but a very expensive t-shirt.

She made American Vogue what it is today and her September 2004 issue was one of the biggest of all time (832 pages), and was only trumped by her September 2007 issue. She wanted vogue to be more pacy and sharp. She wanted to focus more on the average business woman, who went out and had her own money.

Photo Credit

She has a very keen eye when it comes to trends and she heavily supports young designers and made the careers of the likes of Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. Most designers know that they need her approval to make a name for themselves in the fashion world.
Her style is also very well established. Early in her career, she wore t-shirts, with designer jeans, but as she became more professional, she opted more for Chanel suits and wore them throughout both her pregnancies.

She is a very demanding person and she's earned the nickname: "Nuclear Wintour". A former assistant wrote the book 'The Devil Wears Prada' and the main character, Miranda Priestly was supposed to be modelled on her. It is also said that junior staffers at Vogue are not allowed to talk to her, with many being scared to even take the lift with her. She has a reputation for being cold and is clearly a perfectionist and apparently makes close to impossible demands.

She has also been heavily criticised, especially by Animal Activist groups, such as PETA. She is well known for wearing fur and promoting it in Vogue. She was once even pied in the face, while walking into a Chloe show.

She has also been criticised for promoting Elitist views of femininity, by only focusing on rich and thin women. She has also been criticised for her increasing use of celebrities on Vogue covers and makes them meet her standards. Once, she told Oprah to lose 20 pounds if she wanted to be on the cover.
She has used her influence to really shape the world of fashion and change trends. She persuaded designers to loan their pieces to celebrities, and this will influence the public to buy those items as well. That way Wintour can even control what goes on in shops. She even managed to kill the Grunge trend of the 1990's, which she wasn't a fan of and told designers that if they didn't follow the Glamour trend, she would not photograph or feature their clothes.

What she is not really well known for is her charitable work. After 9/11 she helped raise money for the Twin Towers fund, with the sale of t-shirts. She also took control of a PR campaign that was to help people get back into shopping after the attack.
She also works with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to support up and coming designers and has also raised millions for AIDS charities.
Finally, she made sure Vogue opend beauty salons and trained Afghani women in beauty skills and opened lots of doors for them.

Personally, I really love her (apart from the whole wearing fur issue) and loved her even more after watching The September Issue.

How do all of you feel about her??

Sherin xx


janettaylor said...

Gorgeous post, my dear! Thanks for sharing it.

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Jing said...

Thank you for sharing, sherin! now im downloading September issue. hehe. thanks dear. :)

Rachel said...

That is such a great idea, to do a biography of people like this...

annabelle said...

tonnes i didn't know! thanks for posting. also, what's the september issue? X

Imogen said...

Excellent biography. So many things that I didn't know and very interesting.

Couture Carrie said...

Well done, darling!
AW would be proud!


Cafe Fashionista said...

To be truthful, I know very little about Ms. wintour aside from the fact that she has a daughter named Bee, and the way in which she was portrayed in "The Devil Wears Prada." I love this biography you've written about her; and I think that I desperately need to see "The September Issue" now!! :)

Dressing Up For Me said...

I actually like her. I´ve actually seen one of her interviews and she she very determined and focused on what she´s doing. That could be the reason for her success today. Also, she wore a Lacoste shirt on that interview which makes her a bit preppy too.:)

Leah said...

I am a big fan... nobody is perfect and Anna has her share of some imperfections. But the total package is just fabulous and I love that she cares. xoxo

Rachel said...

Great post, Sherin! :)

CMA said...

love the showcase of her
shes wonderful
thanks for sharing as always
and i appreciate the sweet comments, means the world!


Harriet said...

I sometimes tend to forget there are people who haven't heard of her, but maybe I just read too many fashion things! I have the September Issue on my Love Film waiting list and am really looking forward to watching it and learning more about Ms Wintour, because she is such an icon, whatever people think of her.

Kaye said...

I'm surprised she's had the same hairstyle for so long! I can't go a year without making some kind of drastic change

S.Elisabeth said...

I deeply admire her tenacity and genius in the fashion world, though there are of course some flaws I do not agree with (the fur and the cold cruelty concerning weight for one). But if we let flaws cloud our approval of someone, then no one would make the cut! Ah and I remember reading Devil Wears Prada, I didn't like it at all. It was basically one huge tirade against Wintour.

The Man from Amsterdam said...

she is stellar!

Kristin said...

I about fainted when I saw her at FW!

Stephanie said...

I would ride the elevator up with her :p


E said...

She's so intriguing. I love the younger pictures of her. I bet she was a lot of fun :-)

GlamSam said...

Great post... i always find bios like this really interesting! I loved The September Issue and am currently reading The Devil Wears Prada... I wonder if she really is as bad as people make out... hmmm

Sami xx

Style Eyes said...

Great post. I loved seeing her in the September issue. I guess anyway as successful as her is bound to get lots of criticism. I say well done to her for all she has acheieved.

cindy said...

Great article - thanks for sharing. Envious that you are doing a blogger meet up in the UK. Have fun!

Damsels said...

i love her actaully i beleive she is extremely strong woman who knows what she wants .. seh is a role model for all women in the workplace and in fashiom

Graham I. Haynes said...


I love that she told Oprah what to do... and that she's had that hairstyle since she was a teen. So funny.

ana said...

I like the post!!! I'm always hearing news and things about her but never had the chance to read more about her. When I saw the movie Devil wears Prada I knew they were talking about her. She is so powerful!

Tasha said...

Oh Sherin I feel like I get a fashion education from you! :) I love reading posts like this. I really didn't know much about Anna Wintour besides the basics. Thanks for sharing!

Yellow n Pink Creations said...

lovely info, What I like most is that I sit JUST LIKE HER (in the last picture) hahaha.. we share something in common she and I!

good stuff..

Vinda Sonata said...

wow, that's such an interesting review! i love anna wintour, too. aside from her coldness, i think she's a great and influential woman. i watched her in the september issue and i was totally amazed by her perfectionism.

her charities are awesome. kinda new for me, which i don't quite expect from an anna wintour.

thanks for sharing! totally an awesome bio write-up! :)

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