Rumours persist that fashion’s most powerful editor, Anna Wintour, could be preparing to stand down after 30 years at the helm of US Vogue.
New York Post‘s famous gossip column Page 6 says Wintour will quit the role after closing the all-important September issue this summer. Although the rumours have been denied by publishing house Condé Nast, Page 6 has a history of getting its stories right.
Rumours gained traction following the passing of the head of the Condé Nast empire, Si Newhouse, last autumn. Wintour had been very much Si’s protegée and he was known for allowing his editors to have creative and budgetary freedom.
Si Newhouse’s cousin Jonathan Newhouse, who is currently based in London and who is chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, is said to be less indulgent of Wintour’s spending and sceptical about her increasing influence at the company; in 2013 she was appointed artistic director of the entire group along with her role as editor in chief of Vogue.
Newhouse, along with new British Vogue editor, Edward Enninful were rumoured to be irked when Wintour took a seat next to the Queen at the recent London Fashion Week show of rising fashion star Richard Quinn, who was receiving an award from the monarch. Word has it the pair were kept in the dark about the Queen’s planned attendance at the event (to be fair those in the know were all subject to non-disclosure agreements) and therefore did not attend, even though it may have been considered more appropriate for British Vogue to be represented at such a prestigious event on its home turf.
Interestingly Enninful, who took over from British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman who stood down last year after 25 years in the role, has been tipped as a potential successor for Wintour. A known favourite of Newhouse and his wife Ronnie, Enninful worked for Anna Wintour at US Vogue for a number of years. His short tenure at the British edition wouldn’t necessarily rule him out for a move, Wintour herself edited British Vogue for a brief tenure (but long enough for her to earn her lifelong nickname “Nuclear Wintour”) before returning to New York and eventually landing the role she had always wanted, editor of the world-renowned US version.
Whether her imminent departure is true or not, news that Wintour, who is now 68 years old, is considering her future don’t seem too far-fetched. Condé Nast has also been obliged to make some tough decisions in recent years as the publishing industry undergoes a structural shift, including the closure of Style.com, which it had relaunched as an e-commerce proposition, and the closing of the print editions of prominent brands such as Teen Vogue and British Glamour.