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Exclusive Interview

Anna Wintour: Remain True to What You Believe In!

Exclusively for The Original, Anna Wintour opens up about what it means to be a working mother and why she looks up immensely to Hillary Clinton.
By Ksenija Pavlović
Datum: 08/04/2016

Anna Wintour: Remain True to What You Believe In!

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Thirty years ago, when she became the Editor-in-Chief of the British edition of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour embarked on a journey that would transform many women’s lives. Strong-headed and uncompromising in her pursuit of the highest ethical and aesthetic standards, she gave a breath of life to the most iconic fashion bible on both sides of the Atlantic. Starting out as a weekly magazine for high-society New Yorkers, the American Vogue kept on living up to its glory under Wintour’s leadership.

The most-watched woman in fashion has always been in touch with the generations of women who looked up to the strong and seductive voice of Vogue, not only to inform themselves on the latest fashion trends, but also to seek inspirational messages given by role models Wintour has been known for featuring in the magazine. 

From the iconic Condé Nast building on Times Square in New York City, Anna Wintour keeps sailing through what are, at times, tumultuous waters. With her signature bob hair cut and unbreakable fortitude, Wintour commands the strength of Margaret Thatcher, sophistication of Audrey Hepburn, and an intellect of Hillary Clinton. Looking at the world through her dark sunglasses, she is known for guarding her privacy with integrity and making no excuse for who she is.

One of the key questions every single working female has struggled with throughout her life is whether or not a woman can really have it all. The challenge of balancing out a career and family life, is one that Anna Wintour — a British born mother of two —  has successfully conquered. As a family oriented woman, she insists that it is important for children to understand that mothers can have rewarding professional lives while being  successful mothers at the same time. Last year, for Wintour’s  66th birthday, her daughter Bee Shaffer publicly  acknowledged her mom’s strength and stamina by stating in a birthday note that Wintour is a kind of a woman who  “has always smiled through the drama”.

“I feel it is important to try and include your children in your work as much as possible. That way they can experience it firsthand, so they feel included and see how fulfilling one's job can be. I always made a point of taking them with me whenever possible and introducing them to the people I work with.  I think it's important for children to understand that women can have rewarding professional lives while fully loving and caring for their family.“

Wintour is a leader who for decades has been breaking every expected boundary and rule of the fashion industry by always looking  for an innovative approach to style and photography for the Vogue cover. Her name has appeared on the list of the most powerful leaders of all time, who at any moment could bend the world their way. However, what is the true meaning of power to her?  

“To me, power means doing the best job that I can. I feel so fortunate to be able to get up every morning and come to work. To repeat a somewhat overused phrase: With much power comes much responsibility.” 

 

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Wintour’s humanitarian activities and her genuine warmth and generosity are glimmering through her inner light of giving back to the world.  The legendary Met Gala, which Wintour has hosted since 1999, is one of New York City's most successful benefits. Forbes magazine notes that under her watch, the Met Gala has raised more than $145 million. 

“While it's a bit of a cliché, I do feel a great responsibility to give back, particularly to the fashion world, which has given me so much. Through initiatives like the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, we have been able to support the next generation of American fashion designers and preserve the history of our industry.“ 

For a closer look into the mindset and work ethic of Wintour, the public could view the documentary The September Issue. Acclaimed filmmaker R.J. Cutler,  has shed light to the inner workings of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief in preparation for the fall-fashion issue. But what does Wintour consider deciding factors in selecting her team?

I like people with a strong vision and point of view

“I like to hire people with a strong vision and point of view and then delegate to them. I trust my team to make important decisions. Of course I am involved along the way and enjoy being part of the conversation, but I truly believe in supporting those who work for me. “One piece of Wintour’s advice to young people is "Get a job, even though it's not your dream job."

She insists that adaptability is the most important quality in a young person looking for a job.

“Young people today need to be diverse in their skill set because jobs have become so multifaceted. The best advice I can give is to find someone you respect and try to learn from him or her. There is no substitute for experience and hard work.” 

Always setting her eyes on the future of the humanity, Wintour is no stranger to political activism. In 2008, she actively endorsed Barack Obama in his presidential race for the White House. Today, in the wake of the 2016 American election, Wintour  believes that America is ready to elect the first female president.

“I am very excited about Hillary Clinton's campaign for president and will be supporting her wholeheartedly” she says candidly.
“Hillary Clinton is someone I look up to immensely. Her exceptional and enduring career has been truly inspiring. She has the ability to evolve with the times while remaining true to what she believes. This is one of the greatest keys to success.“

For me, power means doing the best job that I can


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