Anna Wintour on her fave Vogue cover, cult TV shows and being a fashion icon
The high priestess speaks
Anna Wintour is arguably the most famous editor-in-chief in the business, with books, films and and documentaries focused on her rule at US Vogue. But even though she's a fashion force to be reckoned with, we rarely hear what the editrix really thinks - until now. In an enlightening interview with New York magazine to celebrate the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass at the Anna Wintour Costume Centre, Wintour spills on her favourite covers, her love of cult TV shows and being a working mother. Here are the highlights:
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On her favourite Vogue cover:
If I had to pick one, I'd pick my first because it was a leap of faith and it was certainly a big change for Vogue, where, month after month, you had beautiful images but very familiar. I honestly don't remember who the girl was, but the [Peter] Lindbergh shoot came in and it was just so vibrant and alive and it was just very joyous but it wasn't perfect. The covers previously had been super-perfect and, you know, I remember people asking me if she was pregnant. And her eyes were a little bit closed. But it just felt very inviting.
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On her favourite TV shows:
Oh, Homeland, Game of Thrones, which has just set the bar so high for everybody. I wonder how much one of those episodes costs! The costumes are so good. But I don't watch Mad Men. I can see that it's wonderful, but it's so depressing. Or House of Cards. Everyone is so evil! There's no one to root for, and you always want to root for somebody.
On why she thinks young people are so anxious:
I ask myself that a lot, and I think because of this mass of information coming at young people, plus the way they talk to each other online and how vulnerable they are at that age. It just has to make people anxious. How could it not? It's such a barrage of information coming at them every which way. I'm so grateful for Lena Dunham and Emma Stone, who are out there talking about these issues and making young people realise that they're not alone and that it should be talked about.
On being a working mother:
I think it's very important for children to understand that women work and that it's fulfilling and it doesn't mean that they love you any less or care about you any less.
On balancing work commitments with parenting:
You make the time! You go to the games and you go to the birthday parties and you're there for the times that count, but I also think from your daughters' perspectives and I hope from my kids' perspectives, they saw how rewarding and fulfilling working was. I think it's important for kids to understand that. I'm sure that it's equally rewarding and fulfilling for women who chose to stay at home and take care of their kids, but it just wasn't a choice that I made.
Of course there were times, particularly when you travel, when it's very tough to leave the kids, particularly when they were very young. I would try to take them with me when I could just so they could experience and see a little bit of what a workday involved. I always made a point of talking to them about what I did and introducing them to people I worked with.
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On her public persona as an icon:
I don't think of myself in that way. I get up every morning... and I, you know, work out, I go to work, I try to do the best job I possibly can, whether it's for Condé Nast or for the museum or anything else that I might be involved in, but you know, I'm not thinking, I'm an icon. I hope that I set as good an example as I can, but it's not - I don't wake up in the morning thinking, I'm going to set a really good example today!
On social media:
I follow my daughter. I follow Mario Testino. But it's not something I choose to do for myself. I'm out there quite enough as it is.
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