We didn't get that much out of Vogue editor Anna Wintour during our brief conversation last night, but she did admit that running the magazine isn't actually all that hard. Then we asked creative director Grace Coddington to chime in.
Wintour was being inducted into the American Society of National Magazine Editors at last night's Ellie Awards, so she gamely spoke to reporters, rocking a casual white top under a pretty, metallic suit-dress. We asked her if she freaked out when she heard she was getting this lifetime achievement award.
"Umm, I was obviously thrilled," she said. Was there one issue or story that secured her the win this year? "There are lots of issues that I'm proud of, but tonight's about celebrating with all my colleagues. It isn't a magazine about one person, it's about a team."
Since she made it sound like no big deal, we asked if she thought it was hard running Vogue. Anna took just a moment to ponder the question before replying. "No," she said in a tone of voice that was kind of like, "Come to think of it, it's really not that hard!" Or perhaps she was just evading the question. In any case, she added, "It's fun."
There have you it, kids. Running fashion's most influential magazine for two decades: "Fun."
Other facts we learned about Anna Wintour last night (not from our interview):
- Public speaking seems to make her a little bit nervous. (Aw!)
- Her first media gig was at New York magazine, or so she said in her acceptance speech, thanking "Laurie" for getting her "her first job in New York—at New York magazine." She was the fashion editor there in 1981.
- She seems to genuinely appreciate Grace Coddington, Vogue's creative director (and accidental star of last year's The September Issue), whom she thanked first and foremost upon receiving her award: "For always pushing the envelope and never taking no for an answer."
- She has a soft spot for her little brother, Patrick Wintour, a cute, very British editor of the Guardian, who sent in a video congratulating his "big sister" since he couldn't be there in person, as he's stuck in London thanks to Volcano Whatchamacallit. "Many devilish things have been written about her, but she's my guardian angel," he said.
- According to New Yorker editor David Remnick: "The real Anna is loyal and generous." Still, he couldn't help making one interesting comparison, noting she's a bit like a latter-day "Cleopatra."
When we got a chance to talk to Grace Coddington, naturally we had to ask if she was proud of Anna and her award. "Of course I'm proud! What do you think? It's amazing."
Because we didn't get a chance to ask Anna what she really thinks about bloggers—a subject she touched on earlier this week—we posed the question to Coddington, asking the flame-haired editor what she made of the explosion of personal style bloggers such as tween fashion sensation Tavi Gevinson. "Well, my first reaction was I absolutely hate them. Ha! I have to say now, you've got to love them, I'm just a little old-fashioned and old. It takes me a little while to come around to it. I mean—I don't like it if they sit in my seat. But I'm getting used to it. They've grown on me. Some of them hang out at Vogue and stuff, so when you get to know them, at the end of the day, they are people, and then it's OK. It's when they're not people that you don't like them so much, when they're strangers with cameras."
Sometimes bloggers are people, too! Who knew?