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Anna Wintour is once again the Met Gala’s honorary co-chair.
The Vogue editor-in-chief, 72 — whose life as an enigmatic fashion icon was recently chronicled in a new book, “Anna: The Biography” — has been at the decision-making helm of the magazine since 1988. She’s also co-chaired the Met Gala for many years. The first time-ever was in 1995.
Known for her signature bob cut and dark sunglasses, the British-born journalist’s career has made for countless articles tracking her rise to one of the most prominent positions in the fashion editorial world since she began forging her way atop the totem pole in London back in the 1960s.
Here’s what to know about Anna Wintour:
Anna Wintour’s life early on was derived from a literary background as her father, Charles Wintour, made his bones as the editor of the London “Evening Standard,” a position he held from 1959 to 1976.
Meanwhile, Wintour’s brother, Patrick is the diplomatic editor for The Guardian. She has credited Patrick with learning the methods of being a “great reporter.”
Wintour quickly climbed the ranks of fashion journalism after stops at New York Magazine and House and Garden before she landed the role of editor at British Vogue — which she held from 1985 to 1987 before taking over the Vogue imprint entirely.
She also had previous stints at Viva and Savvy — as well as Harper’s & Queen, where she worked as an editorial assistant. Wintour then jumped to Harper’s Bazaar, where she worked as a junior fashion editor.
Successful career and a multi-million dollar net worth
These days, Wintour is estimated to be worth around $35 million.
She is also said to have the final say on anything printed in Vogue. In 1989, Wintour reshaped the future of high-fashion magazine covers when Vogue released its May issue that featured the controversial Madonna as its main draw. It was the first time that any celebrity had graced the coveted cover.
At the time, the issue would run readers just $3.00 on newsstands.
It is reported that the high fashion maven has attended more than 3,000 fashion shows in her time at Vogue.
Mind behind the Met Gala
As artistic director at its publisher Condé Nast, the most specific details of the famed Met Gala, which takes place every year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the museum’s Costume Institute on the first Monday in May, is decided by Wintour.
Wintour reportedly has the ultimate sign-off over the event’s high-profile guest list and seating chart.
May 2’s Met Gala is the second part of “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” — this year’s sub-theme is “Guilded Glamour.”
Mistakes made: ‘I take full responsibility’
Wintour has a reputation for being equal parts demanding and controversial, not only for her penchant to don precious furs, but also due to allegations of racial inequality within the scope of Condé Nast, which Wintour acknowledged in an open letter to her employees in June 2020.
In an emotional note to staff at the time, Wintour wrote: “I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too.
“I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.”
“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.”
Added Wintour: “It can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue, and there are too few of you. I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will — and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward. I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either.
“I am proud of the content we have published on our site over these past few days but I also know that there is much more work to do. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me directly. I am arranging ways we can discuss these issues together candidly, but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts or reactions.”
“This is a historic and heartbreaking moment for our country and it should be a time of listening, reflection, and humility for those of us in positions of privilege and authority. It should also be a time of action and commitments. On a corporate level, work is being done to support organizations in a real way. These actions will be announced as soon as possible.”
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