Anna Wintour interview on 60 Minutes

May 19, 2009

All hail Queen Anna! I hope all fashionistas were able to catch Morley Safer’s 60 Minutes interview with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour last night. If you didn’t, check out the full interview above. So at this point in time, most people have heard of Anna Wintour or know of her as the inspiration behind the largely successful movie The Devil Wears Prada. It seems that everyone has their own opinion of her. The interview wasn’t very revealing and did not tell me anything I didn’t know already. For instance, she is stoic and demanding. She also has a no non-sense approach to running a hugely successful magazine.

Morely asks some questions many have been dying to ask but can’t because they are afraid of what Anna might say. Like when the time comes for her to leave Vogue, will she go quietly? Why does she wear sunglasses inside? Does she choose who heads fashion houses? The interview was very dry, a bit reverent and oh so good. I was expecting no emotion whatsoever from Anna Wintour but it was very refreshing to see her smile and laugh at times.

“She’s been portrayed as Darthvader in a frock or as harshly as nuclear Wintour. Or is she really just peaches and cream with a touch of arsenic?” says Morley, during his intro to the piece. Her chilly nature might be inherited. Anna herself tells Morely that her father, who ran a very successful British newspaper, was known as Chilly Charlie. Like father like daughter. She also explains that there is a time and place for fun and games, and work isn’t one of them. Her strict work ethic and need for perfection has turned Vogue into the leading authority on fashion.

Watching the interview made me think of a part in the Devil Wears Prada when Anne Hathaway’s character asks if people would criticize her so much for being ruthless if she were a man. Anna’s tight reign on the fashion industry put American fashion on the map. Not so long ago, fashion week in New York City was nothing. Anna, since her arrival at Vogue, has put American fashion and designers on the map.

She’s been at the helm at Vogue for 21 years and the momentum seems to be going forward. She has a pulse on what’s hot, which designers to support and which ones to ignore. Under her tutelage, many designers have gone on to thrive and win critical acclaim. Marc Jacobs, John Gallliano, Jason Wu and Alexander Wang are just a few names that come to mind when I think of those she’s helped become very successful. She has a good business model and work ethic that has gotten her far.

Can you see American Vogue without Anna? I certainly can’t but the time will come when her reign must end. Who will be there to take her place? There will never be another Anna Wintour but I hope she doesn’t fade out of the fashion spotlight. Love her or hate her, she knows how to run the show. “I have so many people here…that have worked with me for 15, 20 years…If I’m such a bitch, they must they must really be a glutton for punishment because they’re still here,” she says, after being asked if she knows that people think she is a bitch and hard to work with.

I have the utmost respect for this woman. Everyone wants to be loved but sometimes, the work place isn’t the ideal, as Andre Leon Talley says in the interview. She isn’t the nurturing type but will push you to bring the very best in you. Galliano calls Anna his fairy Godmother. Karl Lagerfeld says,“sometimes she is a little tough. But I like tough people, and I like tough woman.”

Watch the interview for more about the woman I aspire to become more like.

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