Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Wintour: An Icon of Power

Remember that scene in TDWP where Miranda hands her publisher a list of fashion industry folks who wouldn't think twice about withdrawing support from HER magazine if she gets booted out and replaced with the young, chic French editor?

Well, again, the fruit of fact does not fall far from the tree of fiction. Cathy Horyn of The New York Times reports that Anna Wintour (upon whom Miranda's character was patterned after) has built a powerful career with her deal-making savvy:

"In recent years she has gone beyond the editorial domain and involved herself in the placement of designers at fashion houses.

She instigated the deal last year between the men's designer Thom Browne and Brooks Brothers, urging the company's chief executive, Claudio Del Vecchio, to give him a chance."She put a lot of pressure on me," Mr. Del Vecchio said. "She'd say, 'I think there's something here. Please keep talking.'"

This fall, Mr. Browne's designs will be in 90 Brooks Brothers stores - and, presumably, in Vogue.

Ms. Wintour has also been busy trying to find a new employer for Phoebe Philo, the English star who left Chloe in 2005. Last May, Ms. Wintour invited Ms. Philo to lunch in New York with Francois-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of PPR, the luxury-goods group that owns brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga."

But unlike our politicians here in the Philippines who wheel and deal for their personal benefit, "People who know her well say her motives are selfless and that her power is really concentrated on her magazines...According to any number of chief executives and designers, she does not extract advertising for editoral favors and she does not run a side business as a consultant to fashion houses. 'I don't feel I owe her anything, or that she owes me anything,' Mr. Del Vecchio of Brooks Brothers said. 'It's the passion that motivates her.'"

Now that's where TRUE STAYING POWER lies, the SINCERE desire to help. Our politicians could learn a thing or two from Ms. Wintour. She might be called Nuclear Wintour and is mocked as a fashion dictator, but she's going to be there at the top of the fashion totem pole longer than Ferdinand Marcos or Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein ever have in their positions of power.

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