Page 3 Profile: Anna Wintour, Editor of US Vogue


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The Independent Online

Resigning as editor of Vogue?

With a gaze as unforgiving as the Siberian wastes, and hands that bear the blood of a thousand interns, Anna Wintour is the overlord of the fashion world. It is rumoured that the Vogue offices in New York operate as a sort of fabulous gulag, with malnourished staff afraid to challenge her decisions and banned from setting foot in the same elevator. But now it is claimed that President Obama wants to give her an ambassadorial post in either Paris or London.

She doesn't strike me as a diplomat.

Diplomats need to exert their influence over the cream of society, something Wintour would have no problem with. But you sense there would be some difficulty in being… well, diplomatic. While America's furriers would surely be delighted with her appointment, serious politicians might have reason to question whether she deserved the post.

Then why is she up for the job?

Wintour was one of the top 10 fundraisers for Obama following a $40,000-a-head event at the home of Sarah Jessica Parker and an only marginally less expensive dinner at the Connecticut residence of Harvey Weinstein. Her "Runway to Win" clothing line, featuring T-shirts with the President's face and campaign logos, amassed $40m. Susan Johnson, the President of the American Foreign Service Association, told Bloomberg that Wintour is "clearly an intelligent, energetic, capable, attractive, elegant person", but warned: "Having experience in the practice of diplomacy and international relations is really a great advantage."

Who's the competition?

Ambassadorial positions often go to big fundraisers, so it's no surprise to see Matthew Barzun, Obama's campaign finance chairman, as favourite for the London job. A Vogue spokeswoman suggested Wintour isn't interested, saying: "She's very happy with her job."