When one thinks of journalist and editor, Anna Wintour, there are many attributes used to describe her. For years, Ms. Wintour has been described as aloof, demanding, and closed-off. The film, The Devil Wears Prada, is reportedly based on the experiences of Wintour’s former personal assistant. Despite all these things, the current editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine is one of the most successful journalists and is considered to be an icon in the fashion industry.
Wintour began her career in 1970 when she was hired as a fashion journalist at Harper’s & Queen before landing the career opportunity of a lifetime when she became the editor of Vogue in 1988. Because of her new approach and vast changes she made to the magazine, Vogue flourished and allowed the magazine to attain a high circulation. Wintour’s current net worth is $35 million. Who wouldn’t want to listen to any advice this acclaimed editor would give in regards to become successful? Here are the 10 rules Anna Wintour lives by in order to achieve success!
10 Be A Good Leader
Anna Wintour became the artistic director of Conde Nast, which is Vogue's publisher, in 2013 and took over some of the responsibilities from the company's chairman, Si Newhouse. A spokesperson for the company stated that the position was actually created for Wintour to keep her on board after rumors abounded that she would retire.
Wintour's dedication and devotion to Vogue helped keep her vision of the company clear, as she stated that by becoming the artistic director was an extension of what she was doing but on a "broader scale." Her good leadership skills have definitely led her along a successful path!
9 Have A Sense of Business
When Wintour became the editor-in-chief of Vogue, she immediately changed the focus of the magazine and made more focused on lifestyle rather than fashion. At the time, Vogue was in high competition with Elle magazine.
Industry insiders were concerned with Wintour's approach, particularly the first photo she chose for the 1988 cover that was the first she published. When looking back on the decision she made, Wintour stated that was a "leap of faith," but also a big change for Vogue. Wintour's decision certainly seems to have paid off.
8 Don't Highly Specialize
Ms. Wintour developed her passion for fashion by being a regular view of Cathy McGowan on Ready Steady Go! and from the publications of Seventeen that her grandmother would send to her from America. Wintour stated that growing up in the 60's it was "common knowledge" that something extraordinary was happening with fashion.
Wintour was helpful to her father, too, as he would regularly consult with her about increasing the readership on the youth market. She kept her options open and stayed true to multiple passions.
7 Enjoy What You Do
In 2009, R.J. Culter created the documentary film, The September Issue, which was based on Wintour's relationship with creative director, Grace Coddington.
The film showcased the difficulties of being in the fashion industry and making decisions with others that may have a different approach than Wintour did. Wintour defended the film and how she was depicted as being an "ice queen," stating that, despite appearances, she loved what she did.
6 Always Do Your Best
Wintour has stated that she was an admirer of her father, who was also known as "Chilly Charlie," for how he was "inscrutable." Wintour herself has been known to be equally as distant towards coworkers and even close friends, earning her the nickname, "Nuclear Wintour."
However, Wintour hard-working and intense personality is the reason why Vogue is still one of the highest-selling publications and managed to change the fashion industry.
5 Avoid Mediocrity
Prior to becoming the editor of Vogue, Wintour worked at the publication while it was run by Alex Liberman. Liberman and Wintour discussed a possible position as the company's first creative director.
However, Wintour reportedly refused to work there until they came to an agreement on what Wintour's salary would be. After a short bidding war, Wintour accepted what was offered to her, and the rest is history.
4 Accept Failure
In 1975, Wintour was fired from Harper's Bazaar after being their junior editor for nine months. Wintour then landed a position at the magazine Viva before it was shut down due to do it being unprofitable. The journalist decided to take some time off from work before she was given the opportunity to have an interview with Vogue.
In regards to failure, Wintour stated: "Everyone should be sacked at least once in their career, because ‘perfection’ doesn’t exist. It’s important to have setbacks, because that is the reality of life."
3 Be Decisive
Anna's rebellious nature was in her long before she became a cultural icon in the fashion and entertainment industry. While attending North London Collegiate School, Wintour constantly disagreed with the school's dress code and would take the hemlines of her skirt.
She was 14 years old when she began wearing her hair in the iconic bob that she is known by today. It's safe to say that even back then, the fashion journalist had no problems breaking the rules and sticking to what she wanted.
2 Experience New Things
While many see the direction that Wintour took with Vogue Magazine as ground-breaking and brave, there is still a debate as to if was the right choice. In addition, Wintour has also been criticized for her use of animal fur by the animal-activist group, PETA. Despite all of this, Wintour has remained firm in her decisions and how she chooses to live her life.
"I live life the best I can, try to make the right decisions for the magazine and the company and, at a personal level, the family. It is not a conscious thing," Wintour stated.
1 Be True To Yourself
Because of her unwillingness to give up on her dreams, Wintour took over Vogue Magazine and received many accolades for her contribution to the fashion industry.
On how she makes valuable decisions, Wintour stated: "Even if you aren’t sure of yourself, pretend that you are, because it makes it clearer for everyone else. Most people prevaricate. I decide fast."