Wintour is involved in every detail of the magazine: the clothes, editing the pictures and articles. She is decisive, impatient and bears a look that says “I’m the boss, and you’re boring.”

*Pray* your editor doesn’t watch 60 Minutes. I know of one magazine owner who after watching Devil Wears Prada started demanding a book with every page in the magazine for approval before going to press.
via CBS News.

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  1. God Bless Anna Wintour.

    I know this is going to sound like I’m about 15 years older than I really am, but one of the things that struck a cord with me while watching the piece is the demand for excellence that seems to penetrate her reign. Interns and first-year designers, shooters, journalists and art directors could learn much from Anna and/or her inner circle.

    Maybe I’ve seen “Devil…” too many times, but I was fortunate enough to have mentors like her and I learned so much more from them than I ever did in art school. And I see WAY too many grads and ‘youngsters’ demanding a fully benefited salary before they’ve entertained the notion of an unpaid internship or showing me that they’re willing to do some “dues-paying” in exchange for showing some faith in a book that belies zero real-world experience.

    I’m a little worried that we’re belching out a generation of, uh, weenies (I’ll hold off on the word I’d prefer) who might be talented, but at the same time, too weak in the spinal area to survive any amount of hardship – like what we’re enduring right now, for instance. We might need to clone talented toughs like Anna.


    • @STONER,
      Well ok yes I think that backbones are severely missing in the magazine industry and I’d prefer either being left in charge to do my job or someone else is in charge and I will deliver what you need (if only they knew what they needed). That being said there’s too much that is passed of as perfectionism that’s really just “I have no fucking clue how to make something great so I’ll just push right up to deadline in an attempt to make it look like I’m a perfectionist.”

      • @A Photo Editor,
        Ah, yes – then there are the OTHERS, Rob! And, unfortunately, you’re absolutely right: it’s surprising how many wannabe Wintours there are in the industry. And even more upsetting that they seem to get promoted so often.

        Seems like the creative industry attracts more of these hacks than some others because of the subjective nature of it…

  2. I dunno what to say… I have to submit multiple complete versions of the book before it goes to press. I have to compromise my own design all the time.

    On Stoner’s note… I don’t think anyone ever needs to have a boss like Wintour to become a professional. Just because there are grads out there expecting those things doesn’t mean they’re going to get it. And what harrowing experience did Wintour endure before getting Vogue? Oh. That’s right. Nothing. Nepotism. It’s one thing if the giant babies have endured the same things you’re expecting them to take but in most cases, they haven’t, and it’s just a trial of learning how to deal with power-tripping egocentric nut balls.

    • @Smith+Fritzy,
      I won’t argue the nut balls syndrome – and I think Rob mentions them above.

      But I will say that I think you’re talking specifically about people in power who are talentless and rob the larger group of vital energy. That’s not Wintour.

      Not having worked for her, it seems to me that she actually IS talented, just by looking at her resume: she didn’t get the Vogue gig by way of nepotism – she worked her way up through the publishing ranks on both sides of The Pond and proved herself, creatively, all along the way. And she’s widely credited for turning Vogue around when it needed to be.

      Harrowing experiences? I’m not sure, but I’d think running a magazine for Guccione and running House & Garden into the ground probably taught her some life lessons that few of us ever have the (mis)fortune of enduring. I’m not saying she hasn’t made mistakes, but her career is one I’d like to learn some things from…

  3. It’s important to have vision and high standards. It’s also important to hire competent, professional people — and trust and treat them well. Hopefully what Wintour is doing is leading — and not micromanaging.

    It’s hard being on top (so I’ve heard). You have few equal peers and there is always someone looking to displace you. To stay on top you probably have to do things that others would never dream of.

    It’s wonderful that Wintour is angered by mediocrity. Good enough should never be good enough.

  4. I’d love to watch this, sadly though it seems outside of the US we’re not allowed. But we are allowed to watch countless adverts…. ho hum (www)

  5. Is it me or does Safer come off as a jerk with his snarky comments about everyone who was nice enough to give him the time to be interviewed. Way to reach for the cliches about how the models are emaciated and how one of the designers could use a new tailor.

  6. Stoner – There is also the fact that Anna came from a privileged family and could do work-for-free internships/work experience and still go home to a luxurious roof over her head.
    Some of us are studying as ‘mature students’ and can’t afford to work for free once we graduate! We’re not living with Mummy and Daddy! What’s with the publishing industry’s expectation of free labour?!
    Getting to the top should be based on talent and hard work. But we all need to be paid, no matter how low the entry-level!

    • @B,
      You’re right – Anna does come from privilege, but her resume speaks for itself.

      We all get to our current positions in our own ways, B. I can tell you that I knew I wanted to be an advertising art director in high school, I applied to liberal arts schools that I could get a BFA in design from, I graduated with that degree, I took an unpaid internship at one of the largest agencies in the world, found a room to rent for $25/week and lived on Ramen noodles and showed up early for work and stayed late. I then landed a job at that agency and survived three rounds of layoffs in my first year.

      But that’s just me.

      Unpaid internships are usually set up with traditional students/recent grads in mind. I’d never ask a working adult with adult-sized financial responsibilities to take an unpaid internship with my firm. But I can tell you that publishing, advertising, design and related creative industries rely on unpaid internships because the book the intern should build from the experience will land him/her a job with an extra digit attached, as opposed to the other applicant w/o that experience.

      I think it’s fair to say that Anna was born into luxury, but I think she also maintained her wealth with her own smarts and talent.

    • @B,

      “Getting to the top should be based on talent and hard work.”

      This is hardly ever the only factor in things in ANY industry, not just publishing and media. Talent, hard work, and 75¢ will get you a cup of coffee, but connections and influence will get you success. Some people are just born with more and the rest of us have to work harder for our connections and influence.

      Sorry. Life’s not fair. Either play the game and get over it or quit and move on.

      • @dude,
        Dud more like… How do you think you get those connections and influence? Connections are made through hard work and to influence people you must have talent. Thanks for apology by the way. You must have to do that a lot coz you talk like an ass.

        • @B, And who said naivete was dead?

  7. Loved the movie and the interview is fantastic. Thank god someone finally did it;)

  8. Thanks for posting this interview. It’s always fascinating watching Anna

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