The NY fashion world woke up Wednesday morning, in the words of Women's Wear Daily, "to discover they had a new pope – and it wasn't Francis I", after Conde Nast Publications appointed Vogue editor Anna Wintour artistic director of the company.
Wintour's promotion, a new role that puts her in charge of editorial content at titles including Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, ends months of speculation that she was set to accept an ambassadorship from the Obama administration – a rumour many laughed off, but one Conde Nast CEO Charles Townsend didn't treat lightly.
"I would go to great distances to avoid losing Anna, particularly in the prime of her career," Townsend told the NY Times. He told Women's Wear Daily that he broached the subject of Wintour's diplomatic future in January, when he offered her the position, with the caveat, "If you accept it, you can't then come and tell me you've accepted at a later date a job as an ambassador."
Wintour, 63, who celebrates 25 years as EIC of Vogue this summer, described her new job as "almost like being a one-person consulting firm ... really, I see this as an extension of what I am doing, but on a broader scale".
New Yorker editor David Remnick was more concise. "I don't expect Anna to be picking the cartoons or directing our war coverage," he said.
"But I have asked her advice numerous times and always been grateful for it. She's a great editor. Period."
Remnick might not have considered the possibility that plenty of people, as pointed out by the NY Observer, would love to see Wintour's taste in New Yorker cartoons.