It is month two of my feature monthly blog covering Women in Business who have inspired me .
February #TheWomanAlchemist is Anna Wintour, a great inspiration for me both because she showed the way of what is possible if you really believe and follow your convinctions and because she has helped to shape the world of fashion and support/promote many designers I love.
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, is widely regarded as the most influential figure in fashion and arguably one of the most commercially minded editor ever.
She was born in Hampstead, London, the daughter of an American mother and an English father; she started her career in 1970, working in the fashion department at Harpers & Queen in London. Six years later, she joined Harper's Bazaar in New York as its Fashion Editor. After a stint as Senior Editor controlling the title's fashion and lifestyle coverage, Wintour was named Creative Director of American Vogue in 1983. British Vogue hired her back as Editor in Chief for two years. In 1988, she rejoined American Vogue as Editor-in-Chief which she has held since. She also became Artistic Director of Condé Nast in March 2013, and additionally executed the development and successful launch of Teen Vogue in 2001, serving as Editorial Director for the title.
Wintour is a pioneer who, during her tenure at American Vogue
, started the practice of featuring celebrities on the cover, took the title’s fashion pages out of the studio and onto the street and used Condé Nast’s flagship influence to champion new American designers through the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Wintour also launched Fashion’s Night Out.
The New York Times described her as an “in-house consultant for troubled or dated magazines,” the advice of which “can be sought, or delivered.”
Anna Wintour played an instrumental role in reviving the magazine. She made changes in staffing, in the style of cover pictures and transformed the publication into a more youthful and receptive one focusing on modern perception on style and fashion targeting a far-reaching audience. She never hesitated to push for new ground that included inducting celebrities instead of supermodels on covers and introducing a mix of expensive and low-end fashion items during her photo shoots.
Since 1990 she has raised funds for the ‘AIDS’ charities, the CDFA/Vogue fund was started by her to aid unknown fashion designers and she aided raising funds for the Twin Towers after the terror attack of September 11, 2001.
Some of her awards:
I know she has been endlessily criticised for being "icy", she certainly has a strong personality, I personally like that.
I concur with her not liking people who'll say yes to everything she says, but wanting people who can argue, and disagree, and have a point of view which she can then reflect in her work ( the magazine).
I understand her love for New York because (quote) " it is a city for people who want to work. And I love that it is a city where everyone is from somewhere else - so you are not judged by your accent, who your dad was, or any of that .." I feel the same about London - which I adore.
Designer John Galliano says he owes his entire success to Wintour’s recommendation whilst Karl Lagerfeld , “She is the most famous fashion journalist in the world. She says what she thinks. That’s why some people think she’s tough.”
Would she had endured the same criticism if she were a man? Doubt it.
"People respond well to those that are sure of what they want"- she has said and - " Why fit in when you were born to stand out".
For me she is a role model, somebody who inspired me to be myself and to go after what I want, unapologetically and that's why she is #TheWomanAlchemist for February.
And you, my lovely readers, what woman has inspired you to be who you are today?
Leave a comment and let me know :-)