Anna Wintour’s recent promotion at Condé Nast just made the influential editor even more powerful.
On Tuesday, as part of a broader strategy revamp under CEO Roger Lynch, Condé Nast announced that Wintour will become the worldwide Chief Content Officer and Global Editorial Director of Vogue — giving her final say over publications in more than 30 markets around the world — while continuing her oversight of U.S. Vogue.
The promotion gives Wintour vision over all of Condé Nast’s titles worldwide and puts her in charge of all of Vogue’s 25 global editions, on top of her longtime role as editor in chief of Vogue U.S.
Wintour is regarded as one of the most influential women in fashion. She was named Vogue’s U.S. editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the most powerful tastemakers in the fashion industry, making stars of upcoming designers while forging deep relationships with the top fashion houses. She turned the magazine into Condé Nast’s biggest moneymaker, and in 2014 she was named the company’s U.S. artistic director. Last year she joined a global leadership team to advise on global content opportunities.
For decades she has been chairwoman of the Met Gala at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she inspired the character played by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.”
“Anna’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay ahead in connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of today’s brightest talent in the industry, has made her one of media’s most distinguished executives,” said Lynch in a statement.
Wintour’s expanded role is part of the media and publishing company’s move to install editorial leaders with a global vision for most of its brands.
Edward Enninful, the most powerful Black editor at Condé Nast, was made the head of Vogue’s editions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Simone Marchetti will become the European editorial director of Vanity Fair, putting him in charge of its editions in France, Italy and Spain. The American and British versions of Vanity Fair will remain under the control of Radhika Jones.
Condé Nast also announced the appointment of global editorial directors of AD (Architectural Digest), Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021. According to the company, the new editorial structure will “ensure global consistency of the brands,” including on the video front in partnership with the Condé Nast Entertainment team.
It’s been a turbulent year for Anna Wintour and Condé Naste. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, the veteran editor was called out over lack of diversity at Vogue and was criticised by members of her own staff for fostering a workplace that sidelined women of colour. In June, Wintour herself acknowledged she had made “mistakes” by not doing enough to elevate black voices on her staff. She likewise admitted she had published images and stories that now are viewed as racially and culturally “hurtful or intolerant.”
“Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work,” Wintour told the New York Times in October.
The changes come at the close of a brutal year in the media world due to COVID-19 and the drop off of advertising, particularly in print, where Condé Nast still derives the bulk of its revenue. The pandemic dashed any hope for a revival. In April, the company cut pay and furloughed staffers. In mid-May, the worsening ad crisis forced layoffs of about 100 people.
Whispers that Wintour would leave Vogue had circulated at fashion-industry parties and gossip columns for years. However, the announcement of Anna Wintour’s recent promotion seems to have dispelled that rumour as she has once again survived another round of intense criticism and seemingly emerged stronger than ever.
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