Dame Anna Wintour is a British-American journalist and editor who has been editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988 and artistic director for Conde Nast, Vogue’s publisher, since 2013. With her trademark pageboy bob haircut and dark sunglasses, Wintour has become an important figure in much of the fashion world, widely praised for her eye for fashion trends and her support for younger designers. Take a look below for 35 more interesting and awesome facts bout Anna Wintour.
1. Her reportedly aloof and demanding personality has earned her the nickname “Nuclear Wintour.”
2. Her father, Charles Wintour, editor of the London Evening Standard, consulted her on how to make the newspaper relevant to the youth of the era.
3. She became interested in fashion as a teenager.
4. Her career in fashion journalism began at two British magazines.
5. Later, she moved to the US, with stints at New York and House & Garden.
6. She returned to London and was the editor of British Vogue between 1985 and 1987. A year later, she assumed control of the franchise’s magazine in New York, reviving what many saw as a stagnating publication.
7. Her use of the magazine to shape the fashion industry has been the subject of debate within it.
8. Animal rights activists have attacked her for promoting fur, while other critics have charged her with using the magazine to promote elitist views of femininity and beauty.
9. A former personal assistant, Lauren Weisberger, wrote the 2003 bestselling book “The Devil Wears Prada,” later made into a successful film starring Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a fashion editor, believed to be based on Wintour.
10. In 2009, she was the focus of another film, R. J. Cutler’s documentary “The September Issue.”
11. Wintour was born in Hampstead, London in 1949, to Charles Wintour, editor of the Evening Standard, and Eleanor “Nonie” Trego Baker, an American, the daughter of a Harvard law professor.
12. Her parents married in 1940 and divorced in 1979.
13. Wintour was named after her maternal grandmother, Anna Baker, a merchant’s daughter from Pennsylvania.
14. Audrey Slaughter, a magazine editor who founded publications such as Honey and Petticoat, is her stepmother.
15. The late-18th-century novelist Lady Elizabeth Foster, Duchess of Devonshire, was Wintour’s great-great-great-grandmother, and Sir Augustus Vere Foster, the last Baronet of that name, was a granduncle.
16. She had four siblings. Her older brother, Gerald, died in a traffic accident as a child.
17. One of her younger brothers, Patrick, is also a journalist, currently diplomatic editor of The Guardian.
18. James and Nora Wintour have worked in London local government and for international non-governmental organisations, respectively.
19. She lives in Greenwich Village.
20. In her youth, Wintour was educated at the independent North London Collegiate School, where she frequently rebelled against the dress code by taking up the hemlines of her skirts.
21. At the age of 14, she began wearing her hair in a bob.
22. She developed an interest in fashion as a regular viewer of Cathy McGowan on “Ready Steady Go!,” and from the issues of Seventeen which her grandmother sent from the United States.
23. Her father regularly consulted her when he was considering ideas for increasing readership in the youth market.
24. At the age of 15, she began dating well-connected older men.
25. She was involved briefly with Piers Paul Read, then 24.
26. In her later teens, she and gossip columnist Nigel Dempster became a fixture on the London club circuit.
27. Through the years, she has come to be regarded as one of the most powerful people in fashion, setting trends, and anointing new designers. Industry publicists often hear “Do you want me to go to Anna with this?” when they have differences with her subordinates.
28. Her salary was reported to be $2 million a year in 2005. In addition, she receives several perks, such as a chauffeured Mercedes S-Class (both in New York and abroad), a $200,000 shopping allowance, and the Coco Chanel Suite at the Hotel Ritz Paris while attending European fashion shows.
29. Condé Nast president S.I. Newhouse had the company make her an interest-free $1.6 million loan to purchase her townhouse in Greenwich Village.
30. She had two children by David Shaffer following their 1984 marriage: Charles born 1985, and Katherine born 1987.
31. Wintour has been a supporter of the Democratic Party since Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate run and John Kerry’s 2004 presidential run and serving Barack Obama‘s 2008 and 2012 presidential runs as a “bundler” of contributions.
32. She supported Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign, forming part of Clinton’s long list of wealthy donors or “Hillblazers” as well as serving as Clinton’s consultant on her wardrobe choices for key moments of the campaign.
33. She reportedly told Oprah Winfrey to lose weight before her cover photograph.
34. Wintour surprised observers when developing an association with the Kardashian family and Kanye West, which culminated in having the Kardashian-Wests on a Vogue cover; Wintour reportedly commented that having only “deeply tasteful” people in the magazine was boring, and her decision to resort to such personalities has led some to accuse the magazine of being “desperate for buzz.”
35. Defenses of Wintour have often come from others. Amanda Fortini at Slate said she was comfortable with Wintour’s elitism since that was intrinsic to fashion.