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Inside the Unauthorised Biography of Anna Wintour

On this week’s episode of The BoF Podcast, BoF’s Imran Amed quizzes Amy Odell on how she went about biographing the fashion media icon, and the surprising things she learned on the way.
Anna Wintour.
(Getty Images)

Background:

Anna Wintour is arguably the most recognisable name in fashion media. In her new biography of Wintour, author Amy Odell sets out to paint a nuanced and meticulously researched picture of Wintour’s life based on hundreds of interviews and sweeping archival research.

This week on The BoF Podcast, Odell joins BoF’s Imran Amed to talk about the process of biographing the complicated fashion titan, and provides some insight as to what she learned about Wintour’s life and career, as well as what the future holds for Vogue in a post-Anna Wintour era.

Key Insights:

  • Even amid a number of industry shifts, including the decline of print media, Wintour has maintained her power in part because of the strong network of people — in fashion and beyond — who value her advice and her ability to bridge the business and creative sides of fashion.
  • Former colleagues and friends have described Wintour as future-focused and hungry; she hasn’t stopped working because she enjoys the work.
  • Whoever succeeds Wintour as editor-in-chief will inherit lots of sway that comes with the role. Odell theorises that a Vogue veteran will be tapped next as has always been the case in the past.

Additional Resources:

  • What Anna Wintour’s Big Promotion Means for Condé Nast: As the publisher focuses on returning to profitability, a new unified content strategy under Anna Wintour, more powerful at the publisher than ever, aims to make its strategy more efficient and intertwined.
  • Org Chart: Vogue’s New Global Editorial Structure: The heavyweight international Vogue editors who once filled the front rows at Paris Fashion Week were gone this season, a stark sign of the restructuring that has consolidated power in the hands of global editor Anna Wintour and her regional deputies.

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