In ‘Anna: The Biography’, fashion journalist Amy Odell explores the life and career of legendary Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has remained a mysterious figure even as an influence on culture until now. American. While many recognize her as the woman who inspired the character of Miranda Priestly in the 2003 novel and 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada,” little is known about the scope of her empire. Ms Odell recently spoke about the importance of Ms Wintour, as well as how that translates in an age of social media and social justice movements.
Why did you decide to write about Anna Wintour?
He is someone who has always fascinated me. He is a person who has occupied this unique position of power. Some people I interviewed even said they thought his cultural innovation was comparable to that of Steve Jobs. He is also a person who has had this extraordinary longevity. I mean, if you think about business leaders, she’s been the head of Vogue for 34 years. Jeff Bezos left Amazon after 27 years, so that’s remarkable. I really walked into the book with this question of why is she powerful and why has she been powerful for so long? And the other thing is that despite being in this public position at the helm of Vogue for so long, she’s remained an enigma even to people who know her. I want this book to really pull back the curtain.
What should we understand about his career?
This book is really for anyone interested in business and people who are becoming powerful, because she had a power that touches many different areas. Of course, there’s fashion and there’s publishing. But she has an influence on Hollywood. She has influence in politics. [Actor] Bradley Cooper is someone who counts on his contribution. I found it remarkable that he sent him his script for “A Star is Born” for advice. I have another example in the book where [actor] Hugh Jackman wants advice from Anna and her team to create “The Greatest Showman” [on Broadway] and he calls them to a meeting and they present their ideas. I believe she was the first Vogue editor to put a first lady on the cover, along with Hillary Rodham Clinton. Recently, Jill Biden. She also put Michelle Obama on the cover several times. And these are big decisions that have had a broad impact on culture and have strongly tied the fashion industry to Democratic politics. And he was someone the Obama administration looked to when it thought of ambassadors after the 2012 election.
How did she deal with issues such as the lack of diversity?
She has had a lot of criticism, especially in recent years. Diversity is one of the things she has been criticized a lot for. She didn’t embrace diversity until recently, and she was late for it. I’ve been writing about fashion since 2008, and diversity has always been an issue. … We talked about it in the 1980s, we talked about it in the 90s, the lack of black models and black fashion in magazines and in campaigns – we talked about it. It wasn’t like it just happened. Anna is someone who reads a lot. So it would seem strange to me that she was not aware of it. So why didn’t she adopt him until recently? I think it’s because the audience really, really asked for it.
Is its influence dwindling in the digital age?
Powerful people behind the scenes seek her advice and rely on her and still think she is powerful and her opinion matters. It is important. Anna pushed the industry to go online around 1999. She pushed labels to go online early. She was at the forefront of that. I think Vogue has worked to make sure they get that social media impact from the [Met gala]. Another remarkable thing about her having held this position for so long is that she has seen the publishing industry transform. I think what’s really interesting about fashion and culture today and with social media is the changing power dynamics. Anna remained powerful in her position and her influence is still there. It really is.
What is the future of fashion?
Fashion conversations are going to unfold based on what’s happening online. The print magazine stays relevant because it has the budget to create those beautiful, standout and memorable images and images that are distributed online, which are then jumping off points for discussions on TikTok and Instagram. So things will go online; there will probably be a time when we have far fewer issues of a magazine like Vogue. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing more of a working model where influencers get together maybe once a quarter and create a magazine and then publish it.