Anna Wintour: 'To be big these days, you have to think small'

From a speech by the editor of 'Vogue' magazine, to the Periodical Publishers' Association Magazines 2005 conference in London
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If you want people to think out of the box, it helps to get them out of the box first. [At Vogue] I'm much happier working with a small team of visionaries than an army of functionaries. It means we can mesh fashion and arts stories and social criticism.

If you want people to think out of the box, it helps to get them out of the box first. [At Vogue] I'm much happier working with a small team of visionaries than an army of functionaries. It means we can mesh fashion and arts stories and social criticism.

Speaking of visionaries, I have always been an admirer of the spunky, visually arresting titles that London is so good at: ID, Dazed & Confused, Another, and now Ten. What they have is an original point-of-view, and an ability to create cultural shifts rather than react to them.

Of course this is exactly what Vogue does - and the similarities don't end there. These hip little magazines are often working with the same celebrities, photographers, and designers that we work with. One of the most interesting developments in the fashion magazine business over the past decade has been a revolution in our sense of size.

These days, to be big you have to think small, and to be small you have to think big. Let me give a couple of examples: we're as likely as Dazed & Confused to break the story about a cool pair of platforms or an African dress suddenly available in the Archway. When Olivier Theyskens, now one of fashion's brightest stars at Rochas, was still in Brussels, we were the first English-language magazine to send a writer to interview him. We were also the first so-called big magazine to use Elaine Constantine and Mert and Marcus, three terrific young British talents. And Mario Testino, who we started working with in the late Eighties , was once just a Peruvian photographer waiting tables in London looking for a break.

Then there's thinking big to stay small. Recently, Drew Barrymore was on the cover of both Vogue and Another. This overlap works for everybody: if you're Drew Barrymore you look as edgy as you've ever looked in Another, and as beautiful as ever in Vogue, all in the same month. What you don't look is bland. The reason we now see Prada and Versace advertising in small magazines is that designers with strong cool visions want to be associated with other strong, cool visions.

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