Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of fashion bible Vogue magazine, was just given a big promotion — named the artistic director for all of Conde Nast, the publishing company behind that and many other notable magazines. According to The New York Times, the position was created for her as a way to keep her at the company and to fulfill the duties that are slowly being relinquished by the company’s 85-year-old head, S.I. Newhouse Jr. She told the Times that she views the new position as “almost like being a one-person consulting firm,” giving her the ability to work with other editors outside of Vogue and Teen Vogue.
In his role, the paper says, Si Newhouse would look over the covers of some of the company’s magazines, including Vanity Fair and Glamour. And Wintour says the role is one that will be much like one she fills now, talking with people in the broader industry about their ideas. If you’ve seen The September Issue, you’ve probably marveled at the level of influence that she has on top designers and retailers. The specifics of the new position haven’t been mapped out, but the position does make her “one of the most powerful women in publishing.”
So congratulations Anna! Except, people are already buzzing with “concern.”
“We have a lot of autonomy as editors … No one wants to see that go away. People need a little more clarity,” an unnamed source tells WWD. (via NYMag.com) Another says that the competition between the magazines could get in the way.
The way it’s framed in the Times article, having someone look over their work should be something that the editors at Conde are used to. So a part of me wonders if Wintour’s reputation is getting ahead of her. People are already “worried,” but she’s not even a day into the position? And given her success with Vogue magazine and the problems in the media industry, wouldn’t you welcome the chance for a little counsel from a woman who’s at the top of her game? Who’s hanging out with the President and First Lady and a leader of one of the biggest nights in New York society, the Met Museum’s Costume Institute Gala?
A part of me feels like this is a reaction to a powerful woman being given a little more power. What do you think?