Anna Wintour is considered one of – if not the – most influential people in fashion today. Runway shows don’t dare start until she is comfortably seated on her front row perch. Unknown designers become overnight success stories with an approving nod from the editrix. Trends are started or banished at her demand. The legendary Vogue editor in chief has held her current post since 1988 since returning to America after a short three-year stint at British Vogue.
Born in Britain on November 3, 1949, Wintour is known for her flawless (albeit icy) exterior and haughty attitude. Her razor sharp bob, slim frame and dark, oversized sunglasses are her signature calling card while her dislike of “fat people” is always a hot topic of controversy. Reportedly she once told an interviewer she wouldn’t hire a fat person, even if he/she was a brilliant editor. And true to form, she makes no apologies for it.
Wintour’s love of fur makes her a constant target of the animal activist group PETA before, after and during fashion week. They once dropped a dead raccoon on her plate while she was dining at an upscale Manhattan eatery.
The public’s obsession with Wintour just keeps growing. The 2003 release of Lauren Weisberger’s (Wintour’s former assistant) novel The Devil Wears Prada and the upcoming movie by the same name has critics wondering just how much of the “fiction” novel is based on Wintour.
In February 2005, Jerry Oppenheimer released the biography, Front Row: Anna Wintour: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue’s Editor in Chief, which is the most revealing look at Wintour to date.