Tuesday 16 January 2018

The Great Pretender

Anna Wintour often pretends she knows what she’s talking about.

The editor-in-chief of American Vogue is also the creative director of Condé Nast, meaning she oversees all of the publisher’s titles.

While she might be one of the most powerful women in the fashion industry, Anna admits she’s perfected the art of bluffing to appear competent in tricky situations.

“I think possibly what people working for one hate the most is indecision,” she explained while in conversation with Leslie Moonves.

“Even if I’m completely unsure, I’ll pretend I know exactly what I’m talking about and make a decision. The most important thing I can do is try and make myself very clearly understood.”

By taking on the role of creative director, Anna now has many more publications to check over.

While it might seem a daunting task, the 63-year-old isn’t fazed, as she doesn’t feel the need to have ultimate control.

“I don’t think I am that hands-on,” she admitted.

“I’m much more of a believer in finding a great team of people and trusting them to follow their instincts. They work better when they feel they have freedom and they are trusted. Nothing gives me greater pleasure when a great shoot or a great article comes in and it’s absolutely got nothing to do with what we discussed but it’s much better.”

However, she also believes that one leading voice is required to keep a company ticking over.

She added: “It’s very important to take risks. I think that research is very important, but in the end you have to work from your instinct and feeling and take those risks and be fearless. When I hear a company is being run by a team, my heart sinks, because you need to have that leader with a vision and heart that can move things forward.”

Vogue is one of the most iconic fashion magazines and continues to attract a strong following of readers.

Anna believes she knows the secret to the publication’s success.

“We have to speak with authority, we have to speak with confidence, we have to understand who our reader is and we have to be a real friend to the industry,” she listed.

“We have to be in touch with all the designers. We have to keep in touch with our retail friends. We have to be in touch with all the big companies and understand what they’re thinking and how we can help them. Although the print magazine is by far the most important and most profitable part of our business, there’s endless extracurricular parts of the job now that also fit into the power and authority of Vogue.”

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