Thursday, 25 June 2009

Anna Wintour - Rare interview - Anna Wintour, Behind The Shades

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Vale a pena is ate o site da CBS, e ler na integra toda a intrevista com Anna Wintour.

"(CBS) She is said to be the most powerful woman in fashion and she does nothing to dispel that belief. Her name is Anna Wintour, a name that strikes terror in some, loathing in others, and transforms yet others into obsequious toadies.

It should also be said she commands a loyal band of friends and admirers. Nevertheless, she was the inspiration for the novel and movie "The Devil Wears Prada."

For 21 years, this divorced mother of two has been editor of Vogue, the last word in sophisticated fashion and fantasy.

The aura of mystery that surrounds the 59-year-old Wintour is palpable. She is a paparazzi and gossip column magnet. Every twitch, every frown, every suppressed smile is recorded.

She's been portrayed as Darth Vader in a frock, or less harshly, as "Nuclear Wintour." Or is she really just peaches and cream, with a touch of arsenic?

"The blurb on your unauthorized biography reads 'She's ambitious, driven, needy, a perfectionist. An inside look at the competitive bitch-eat-bitch world of fashion' Accurate?" 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer asked Wintour.

"Well, I am very driven by what I do. I am certainly very competitive. What else? Am I needy?" she replied. "I'm probably very needy, yes. I'm, a bitch…."

"Perfectionist?" Safer asked.

"Perfectionist?" she asked.

"Well, let's try bitch first," Safer said.

"Well, I hope I'm not. I try not to be. But I like people who represent the best of what they do and if that turns you into a perfectionist than maybe I am," she replied.

High above Times Square, Anna Wintour oversees a small army of girls - coiffed, skinny, beautiful and running scared - the worker bees whose job it is to inspire women to dream.

The pages of Vogue conjure up a never-never land of beauty, of the sweet life. The unattainable comes to life, in the up to 800 pages per issue. Under Wintour's direction, Vogue has been hugely successful.

"Vogue is the best of everything that fashion can offer, and I think we point the way. We are, you know, a glamorous girlfriend," she told Safer.

But the glamorous girlfriend, like Vogue readers, is facing leaner times: "I do wanna make the point that September really has to be about value. But we don't want to give up completely the dream and the fantasy but I also feel like we need to have a sense of being more grounded," she told her staff during an editorial meeting.

Wintour is involved in every detail of the magazine: the clothes, editing the pictures and articles. She is decisive, impatient and bears a look that says "I'm the boss, and you're boring."

"Should I do the faces of the moment because that's what we have on the cover or should I just still keep thinking?" one editor asked her, presenting a spread.

"Keep thinking," Wintour curtly replied.

"An editor in the final analysis is a kind of the dictator - a magazine is not a democracy?" Safer asked.

"It's a group of people coming together and presenting ideas from which I pick what I think is the best mix for each particular issue but in the end the final decision has to be mine," she explained.

"(CBS) There was "Miranda Priestly,"

" the beastly editor in "The Devil Wears Prada," featuring Meryl Streep as Anna incarnate.

"I've heard that Miranda Priestly is just a teddy bear compared to Anna Wintour," Safer said.

"It was entertainment. It was not a true rendition of what happens within this magazine," she replied.

"I understand that. But where people made comparisons with you - that coldness, that Anna must not be spoken to when she's on the elevator," Safer pointed out.

"Oh yeah. I heard that. You're not allowed to get in the elevator with me," Wintour said laughing.

"Well, you can get on, but just keep your mouth shut. Is that true?" Safer asked, laughing.

"That’s an exaggeration. I guess in response, I can only say that. I have so many people here, Morley, that have worked with me for 15, 20 years, and, you know, if I'm such a bitch, they must they must really be a glutton for punishment because they’re still here," Wintour said.

"Well, I wouldn't use the word 'bitch.' I would say a certain coldness," Safer remarked.

"Well, we're here to work. There's on duty time and off duty time and we're drawn together by our passion for the magazine. If one comes across sometimes as being cold or brusque, it's simply because I'm striving for the best," she explained.

"It's not like a tea party here. We work very hard," Vogue's editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley told Safer.

He has worked with Anna for decades. Asked what kind of boss she is, Talley told Safer, "Let's say that Anna can be intimidating. I think that's her armor, to intimidate. To give the people the sense that she is in charge."

"She is not a person who's going to show you her emotions ever. She's like a doctor, when she's looking at your work, it's like a medical analysis," Talley added. "Some of us can't cope with that, we need to be loved."

Fat chance of that, says Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington, another veteran colleague. "I think she enjoys not being completely approachable, you know. Just her office is very intimidating, right? You have to walk about a mile into the office before you get to her desk and I'm sure it's intentional," Coddington said.

She told Safer she had never seen Wintour less than perfect.

"That must take terrific discipline," Safer remarked.

"I think she's a very disciplined woman," Coddington agreed.

She is also a very pampered one: Conde Nast, her publisher, picks up the bill for her hair and makeup every day of the week, and her rumored $200,000 a year clothing allowance.

"You made yourself the personification of Vogue. I mean, look at you. Not a hair out of place. Do you feel that that's your mission in life? To appear perfect?" Safer asked.

"It's very important to me that I look good when I go out publicly. I like looking at my clothes rack in the morning and deciding what to pick out. I enjoy fashion. Morley I mean, I wouldn't be in this job if I didn't," she explained." ...


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