Anna Wintour – Influential Magazine Editor

Through her 30+career in magazine publishing, Wintour has developed a reputation for being distant and cold. It has been said that she a demanding boss and is difficult to work for, an opinion Wintour doesn’t exactly deny. In 2003, Lauren Weisberger, one of Anna Wintour’s former assistants published the book The Devil Wears Prada, based on her experience working at Vogue magazine. The book was made into a movie in 2006 and Anna Wintour made celebrity magazine and fashion magazine headlines when she showed up to the premiere wearing Prada.

In August 2009, Anna Wintour along with the creation of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine were the subjects of the documentary, “The September Issue.” The documentary shows, for the first time, the demanding work required to produce an issue of Vogue magazine.

Forbes magazine recently reported that though the documentary is touted as “the real Devil Wears Prada,” that “Wintour mostly is portrayed as a professional and a perfectionist with a well-defined vision and an inferiority complex that becomes apparent when she admiringly talks about her three siblings who consider her profession “amusing”; Wintour’s sister, for example, lobbies for farmers’ rights in Latin America.”

Anna Wintour was born in 1949, in London, England, to newspaper editor Charles Wintour and his wife, philanthropist Elinor Wintour. As a teenager, Wintour dropped out of school and instead pursued a life that revolved around the chic London life of the 1960s, frequenting the same London clubs of pop culture’s biggest celebrities and musicians like The Beatles and Rolling Stones.

Before Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour started out in the fashion department of Harper’s & Queen in London. Over the years, she climbed the editorial ladder and bounced from magazine to magazine between New York and London. In 1976, she moved to New York and took over as fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. With a stop at Viva magazine after Harper’s Bazaar in between, Anna Wintour took a job with New York magazine in 1981. From the start, Wintour was driven and had her own sense of style and direction. In 1986, she returned to London as top editor of publisher Condé Nast’s British Vogue magazine.

It’s at British Vogue that Wintour’s cold demeanor earned her a few memorable nicknames: “Nuclear Wintour” and “Wintour of Our Discontent.” In 1987 she went onto another Condé Nast magazine, Home and Garden, where she abruptly changed the magazine’s title to HG.

Though subordinates grumbled about Wintour’s management style, Condé Nast’s top executives clearly supported her decisions; she earned a reported salary of more than $200,000 plus a $25,000 annual allowance for clothes and other perks.

In 1988 Anna Wintour left HG magazine and became editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine with one goal: reinstate Vogue magazine as the fashion authority. At the time of her arrival, Vogue magazine was losing ground to a three-year-old upstart, Elle magazine, which had already reached a paid circulation of 850,000. Vogue’s subscriber base meanwhile, was a motionless 1.2 million.

In her more than two decades at Vogue magazine, Wintour has more than accomplished her goal. She successfully restored Vogue’s supremacy and today the magazine enjoys the nickname of the “fashion bible.”

For all her critics, Anna Wintour has made many influential decisions that affect the magazine industry at large. She popularized putting celebrities instead of supermodels on magazine covers; she mixed low-end fashion pieces with expensive pieces in her photo shoots; she championed unknown fashion designers, making the careers of Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.

While Anna Wintour has garnered much attention for her distant demeanor and contributions to the fashion world, many are unaware of her commitment to philanthropy. Some of her generosity includes raising money for the Twin Towers fund after the September 11th terror attacks and with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, she helped create a new fund to encourage and support up-and-coming designers. Each year, she also organizes a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume department, which over the years has brought in some $50 million. This event attracts many celebrities and is covered relentlessly in fashion, society and celebrity magazines.

As for her personal life, she and husband David Shaffer divorced in 1999. The couple has two children together, Charles and Katherine. Currently, Anna Wintour maintains a relationship with investor Shelby Bryan.

7 Reasons Fashion Brands Should Be Nice to Bloggers

In the fashion world bloggers are rising to prominence as a force to be reckoned with. For some reason many new and established fashion brands still seem to treat them as second class citizens. We think this is a mistake, and here are a few reasons why we think so.

1. 40% of the press at New York Fashion Week are bloggers.

According to Reuters the presence of online media at fashion week has grown more than 20% over the last six months. This means that of the 3, 600 members of press present, nearly 40% are fashion bloggers.

2. Major fashion brands are inviting them to shows.

Designers like Carl Lagerfeld and John Galliano are inviting bloggers to their shows. In some cases they are even paying all costs to fly the bloggers to the show. If top end designers are doing this, don’t you think it’s time you start being nice to your local fashion blogger?

3. In the USA fashion bloggers are becoming very popular.

Blogs like Style Bubble are getting up to 25 000 hits a day. While some bloggers have tens of thousands of twitter followers. If this isn’t enough to make you sit up and notice then I don’t know what is.

4. Bloggers are now judges for CFDA

For the first time ever bloggers have been invited to be judges for the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This is a landmark event for the fashion blogging industry. It is an indicator of the power and influence that is moving into the hands of fashion bloggers.

5. Traditional fashion editors are losing control.

Just like the film and music industry is struggling to come to grips with the fact that the internet has made them largely irrelevant; the fashion editorial industry is losing much of it’s power. In the good (or bad depending on your point of view) old days fashion editors could control what and who the public sees. With the advent of the internet and growth of fashion blogs this power is now gone.

6. Enthusiasm = Influence

Everybody knows that the thing that sells clothes is enthusiasm and passion; not knowledge. The average person out there doesn’t care about technical details and high-brow descriptions of the “silhouette” and “architectural lines” of a garment. On the other hand, having somebody who clearly loves clothes recommend an item they love carries much more weight. Bloggers mostly do this because they love clothes and fashion, yes some of them make money from their blogs, but they only make money because they are passionate about what they do.

7. The rest of the world lags behind the USA

If you are based outside the USE this might be the most important reason to start building relationships with local bloggers. The developing world runs 3-4 years behind the states when it comes to the adoption of internet trends. This means that before long all the major local brands will be beating a path to the door of your favorite blogger. Shouldn’t you be there first?

The Influence of Australian Celebrities on Australian Fashion

Australian celebrities play a big part in the psyche of the Australian public; in fact they could almost be considered part of an Australian’s daily life. Our favourite celebrities are in our sub-conscious everyday – they are on our televisions, we hear their voices on the radio, and see them almost everywhere in print ads such as billboards, newspapers, and magazines. It’s no surprise really that celebrities have an influence on our lives and shape our ideas on things. One area that celebrities are particularly influential in is the latest fashion trends.

Designers prefer to have celebrity endorsers for their clothing lines, particularly as celebrities raise the profile and appeal to celebrity hungry Australian consumers. Having celebrities such as Nicole Kidman (who recently endorsed Chanel No. 5) and Ian Thorpe has been advantageous for fashion labels. The popularity of these celebrities assures that fashion designers and fashion labels get the desired attention from the target market. We all love to wear the latest styles, so when we see the likes of Naomi Watts with a hot handbag, then the rest of us are rushing out to get it! When fashion items such as clothing, shoes and accessories are seen on famous celebrities then the desire for the rest of us to replicate their look has an incredible power on the rest of us. Wearing the latest styles that we see on our favourite celebrity gives us a stronger connection to the stars we admire. Celebrities have special something that makes people want to follow their lead; this in turn makes them powerful trend drivers.

Celebrities are trendsetters, so expect to see them making the headlines when they are out in public with a new style (think Kylie after any of her many changes). Australian fashion critiques judge these styles and we see reviews, feedback and comments across many media forums. Celebrity styles that receive good reviews and get the thumbs up are often quickly picked up and become a trend with the wider public. Think how often we will see an image of Cate Blanchett or Miranda Kerr with a ‘How To Create The Look’ caption and article. Magazines regularly feature such articles to help stylish readers achieve their favourite Australian celebrity’s look, or re-create an outfit similar to one worn by a celebrity for a special occasion or event.

We can even get clothing and other items that famous celebrities have launched. It is possible now to purchase clothing, shoes, accessories, bags, lingerie, and even perfume and toiletries. Stylish consumers can buy lingerie from Elle Macpherson and Kylie Minogue, as well as the Kylie perfume. Just by carrying a celebrity’s name products get a significant level of support from consumers. Fashion editors and trend watchers are always on the lookout for the new styles and trends, eagerly awaiting the next thing that these celebrities will introduce to the fashion world especially those celebrities who have consistently made it on the list of the Australia’s Best Dressed Celebrities.

The glamour of award nights and the red carpet inspire a great deal of public attention and this influences fashion lovers. There are often reviews and commentary for the biggest award nights and there are television shows and even channels that focus on celebrity and fashion. These shows can be a great place for designers to get their brands in the public eye – with fashion lovers tuning in to watch the fashion at events such as the Brownlow’s or the ARIA’s to see what their favourite celebrities are wearing.

There is little doubt that Australian celebrities get to wear some amazing designer fashion. With local shows such as ‘Make Me A Supermodel’ and Australia’s ‘Project Runway’ captivating a whole new audience and expanding their understanding of fashion, the influence of celebrities is sure to continue and grow in the future.