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A British Legend Calls the Shots in the U.S.

by Amelia Gray
FashionCareerCenter Columnist

Anna Wintour is not a model, designer, or retailer, yet she is one of the most important names in fashion.

Her trademark bob haircut and oversized sunglasses are a familiar sight at New York runway shows and in the headquarters of Vogue, where she has served as Editor-in-Chief since 1988. She's known for her limitless energy, her critical eye, and her attitude. Though Wintour has never worked as a fashion designer, her influence on the fashion world has an international significance.

Fashion Across the Atlantic
Journalism has always been a part of Anna Wintour's life. As the daughter of an editor for The Evening Standard, Wintour grew up under the influence of the press. She was always interested in fashion, and briefly attended a fashion design school before dropping out to pursue her journalistic dreams. She took editorial and fashion department jobs at Harpar's Bazaar, New York Magazine, and British Vogue.

Her influence across the Atlantic became clear when American Vogue took her on as Editor-in-Chief in 1988, a position she has held ever since. "Everyone wants to see what people are wearing," style director Candy Pratts Price told The New York Times. "You can look at it as a good thing or a bad thing, but Anna has her finger in it."

The Life of an Icon
Wintour, who currently resides in Manhattan, has a daily regime as legendary as her life. The 58-year-old gets up at 5:45 every morning to play tennis for an hour before she is chauffeured to the offices of Vogue. Her life and attitude was a focal point for the book and movie "The Devil Wears Prada," a send-up of the fashion editorial industry written by one of Wintour's former assistants.

Fashion design school students should look to this established icon as an example of the energy and passion necessary to work at the top of the fashion industry. Landing in the pages of Vogue is a common designer dream, and even established fashion designers in New York often see Wintour's editorial approval as their key to success.

Sources:
"Citizen Anna" by Cathy Horyn for The New York Times
Anna Wintour Bio

About the Author
Amelia Gray is a teacher and freelance writer in San Marcos, TX. Amelia earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Arizona State University.