For the past 2-3 decades, everyone in and many outside of the fashion industry have assimilated the name Anna Wintour with the dawn of modern day fashion. As artistic director of Condé Nast and Editor-in-chief for the past 32 years of American Vogue – the magazine which has been considered the world’s most powerful fashion publication, she has long been seen as the mother of fashion and one of the main figures who has helped shape the industry into what it is today.
For pop culture she has also played an iconic role which we’ve witnessed with the Devil Wears Prada which was based on her, as well as the countless numbers of rap and hip hop songs that have mentioned her. She has made her entire career through mastering the method of anticipating and responding appropriately to cultural trends, changing the way in which trends are produced and the shift in how we view celebrity culture.
However, for the past few months, one of the main debates within the industry has been whether Wintour has outlived her relevance as head of the magazine amidst the changing times.
Throughout the past few years there has been whispered gossip in regards to the Dame’s retirement, but the main point of pressure and questioning of her significance came earlier this year during the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the streets all across the country were filled with protests in solidarity with the fight against racism, many were also looking inwards at their own institutions and publicly exposing the racism they had witnessed in their own workplaces, and one of the giant companies being exposed was Condé Nast.
“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators. We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.” – Anna Wintour
There is no doubt that the industry is difficult to work in, and this has been abundantly clear in the way Wintour has been portrayed and carried herself. However the questions being raised is not in regards to her competency or rigor as she has proven herself to be one of the key figures of the industry, but what many are now asking is if she now has what it takes to keep up with the current changing times where people are demanding for magazines and fashion in general to keep up with the politically correct times.