Five things you didn’t know about Anna Wintour

As rumours say she's leaving, here are a few surprises about the fashion industry icon

Anna Wintour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

All eyes are on Anna Wintour after Page Six reported rumours the Vogue editor-in-chief was stepping down.

Although the fashion magazine said there was “zero truth” in the claims, they have nevertheless generated quite a buzz among fashion followers.

An icon of the industry, Wintour has controlled Vogue since 1988, while she was given oversight over all of Conde Nast’s publications in 2013, when she was named artistic director.

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“A Vogue - and a Conde Nast - without Wintour is not easy to imagine,” says The Cut.

Here's five things you might not know about the biggest name in fashion.

She once worked as fashion editor of a women’s erotica magazine

Viva was part of the same publishing house as Bob Guccione’s Penthouse. During Wintour’s time there, it contained articles and fiction “delving into women’s fantasies, exploring women’s sexuality, reviews of the arts, interviews with known personalities, fashion, and beauty”, says Filthy magazine.

Wintour’s position at the magazine was “the first where she was able to have a personal assistant, which was said to begin her reputation as a demanding boss”.

Her first Vogue cover was a big surprise

Wintour's first US Vogue cover featured Israeli model Michaela Bercu wearing Guess jeans and a Christian Lacroix Haute Couture top - “such a break from the norm that the magazine’s printers asked if there had been some sort of mistake”, said the Daily Telegraph.

in an interview with The Guardian, Wintour said: “The jacket was actually part of a suit, but the skirt didn't fit Michaela; she had been on vacation back home in Israel and had gained a little weight.

“Not that that mattered. In fact, it only served to reinforce the idea to take couture's haughty grandeur and playfully throw it headlong into real life and see what happened.”

She’s a mean dancer

When The Devil Wears Prada hit cinema screens in 2006, many assumed Meryl Streep’s acid-tongued fashion editor Miranda Priestly was a thinly veiled portrait of Wintour.

However, according to one of Wintour’s closest friends, Barbara Amiel, there were a number of things the film got quite wrong, not least the journalist’s brilliant dance moves and her penchant for a good time.

“She is stick-thin but manages to be persuasively sexual without obvious flash when she dances, which she does with a vengeance and irritatingly well,” Amiel told the Daily Telegraph.

There’s one guest never invited back to her famous parties

According to Emily K Rafferty, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Wintour raised more than $9m in one night during the economic recession with her famous Met ball.

Held annually on the first Monday of May, the fundraising gala celebrates the past, present and future of the fashion industry.

But there’s one person Wintour will never have at the event again.

Speaking on The Late Late Show with James Corden last year, the chat-show host asked her who she would never invite back to the famed gala. Wintour didn’t hesitate. “Donald Trump,” she said.

You’ll never know if she’s bored – even if you are the Queen

When the Queen made a surprise appearance at London Fashion Week in February, there was only one seat fit for royalty and that was next to Wintour.

Queen and Anna Wintour

(Image credit: Yui Mok/AFP/Getty Images))

But Vogue’s editor-in-chief took a fair amount of criticism online for her decision to wear her trademark sunglasses throughout the show. “People claim it showed a total lack of respect for the Queen,” says Business Insider.

However, in a 2009 profile on 60 Minutes, Wintour revealed why her shades never come off. “They’re seriously useful,” she said. “I mean, I can sit in a show and if I'm bored out of my mind, nobody will notice. And if I'm enjoying it, nobody will notice. So, I think at this point they've become, you know, really armour.”

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