The Anna Wintour episode of Bloomberg Game Changers–the show that profiles industry leaders and their rise to the top–aired last Friday. Of course, Wintour herself didn’t appear in the show so they profiled the legendary editrix by talking to people who know her well like buddy Vera Wang, one of her first assistants Laurie Schechter, former Vogue publisher Tom Florio, and Condé Nast ceo Charles Townsend. Despite Wintour’s absence from the program–”Wintour manages her media profile carefully and declined to participate in this program”–is how the show put it, we learned a lot about her.
Some things you might not know about Anna Wintour:
- She dropped out of high school.
- She was fired from her first US magazine job at Harper’s Bazaar for being, as she claimed later in a newspaper article, “too European.”
- She worked briefly for Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione as the editor of Viva, an erotic magazine for women.
- After Viva, Wintour went to New York to become their fashion editor. Wintour’s assistant at New York, Laurie Schechter, says she lost eight pounds in two weeks working for her because it was “constant.” “She tells you what she wants and she’s not going to tell you how to do it,” Schechter said.
- Wintour’s staff at British Vogue coined the nickname “nuclear Wintour.”
- Condé Nast brought Wintour back stateside after a stint helming British Vogue to overhaul House & Garden. She did, and readers were so disappointed by the changes she made at the shelter mag (she added spreads of celebrities in their homes and somehow that didn’t fly?) that Condé Nast was forced to offer subscription refunds.
- On her first cover of US Vogue as EIC she paired a $10,000 top with $40 jeans–which was revolutionary at the time.
- According to Emily K. Rafferty, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Anna Wintour’s Met ball raised over $9 million in one night during the recession.
Watch the full episode here.