It has become somewhat impossible, in our day and age, to discuss the fashion industry/world as a whole without mentioning the name Anna Wintour.
For mere mortals, Anna Wintour is the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, for fashion insiders she is the entire fashion industry. We’re not exaggerating.
Today is her birthday, we won’t disrespect her by revealing her age though, that would be very gauche of us and we want to keep Anna on our side. We’ll celebrate the event by talking of her legacy, which at this point is huge!
Wintour started her career in publishing at Harper’s Bazaar UK, followed by the american incarnation of that magazine, which then fired her citing her provocative fashion spreads as the reason for the split. She bounced back at British Vogue and after much back and forth, she was appointed editor at american Vogue in 1988, her and every other girl’s dream fashion job.
Little do people know that Wintour is responsible for helping the careers of some of the most successful designers of our time; Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Zac Posen and even Marc Jacobs! Her tremendous platform can bring much needed attention to talented people who aren’t getting the coverage they deserve.
She’s pushed that influence even further with Vogue‘s and the CFDA‘s introduction of the Vogue Fashion Fund in 2003. A fashion grant set up to help emerging american designers, former recipients include such fashion bigwigs as Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler and Thakoon!
Designers aren’t the only ones benefiting from Wintour’s helping hand, the economy got a major boost in 2009 with the first ever Fashion’s Night Out in New York City. To get people back in the stores and spending following the economy crash of 2008, Anna and her Vogue team collaborated with the CFDA again on the nightly event where fashion professionals mingled with the general public in one big fashion extravaganza.
In 2010, the event had already grown to 16 countries and took place over 8 days internationally. The fashion economy has Wintour to thank for this annual sales boost.
Perhaps the most interesting and culture defining aspect of Anna Wintour’s legacy has to be the industry changing decision to feature celebrities on the cover of Vogue.
Yes, you read that correctly, Wintour is responsible for the celebrity crossover in the fashion world. Putting actresses and famous women instead of models on the cover of her magazine helped grow circulation by millions. Not to mention the fact that it turned the whole industry upside down. Every fashion magazine on the face of the earth now showcases famous women on their covers, with the occasional famous model in between, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
It was the first step in the complete celebrity takeover of the fashion world. Nowadays, an actress wearing a designer’s dress on the red carpet is worth more press than 20 fashion shows put together. We have Wintour to thank for this.
Anna understood the marketability of celebrities like no other and she used that knowledge to grow her brand. just think of the last Vogue September Issue, with Beyoncé on the cover, it sold like hot cakes without even an interview with the star inside it’s pages. The simple fact that she was featured on the cover was enough.
Times have changed!
Anna Wintour‘s influence is here to stay, and it has had an impact on all of us.