WSJ. April 2011: The Business of Being Anna

Photo: Fashion Gone Rogue Magazine: WSJ. April 2011 Title: The Business of Being Anna Cover model: Anna Wintour Photographer: Mario ...

Magazine: WSJ. April 2011
Title: The Business of Being Anna
Cover model: Anna Wintour
Photographer: Mario Testino

The Devil Wears Prada, indeed.

Wearing a Prada frock, Anna Wintour, one who usually hires Mario Testino to shoot Vogue US covers, has now stepped in front of the lens for her WSJ. magazine cover.

Despite her image as an ice queen, those who know her say she can be loyal and even warm to those in her inner circle, which reads like a Who's Who list: Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Harvey Weinstein, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Nicole Kidman, Roger Federer and Amar'e Stoudemire, among them.

Friends and others who dreams of falling in that group don't dare say no to her, according to the article, which quotes Jacobs as saying: "If I get a request for something, there aren't two possible answers. First I get an email, then a phone call from someone at Vogue, and now I don't even bother to say no — I know the next call is from her."

Jacobs is one of those who benefitted from Wintour's influence. She suggested Jacobs' name to LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault when he was looking for a designer to take over Louis Vuitton in 1997.

"She's a really powerful figure in America ... someone whose power extends beyond what she does," says Deborah Needleman, editor of WSJ., which scored the rare profile of Wintour — and posed cover photograph — for its April issue.

Needleman says "it's hard to imagine that Arnault wouldn't ask her for advice for something like Dior," referring to the future of the Christian Dior brand following the firing of designer John Galliano for his anti-Semitic outbursts. Dior is owned by LVMH; Galliano had gotten his position with Wintour's help.

"You have to wonder, how does one person have such a broad influence?" says Needleman, adding: "She's basically a global brand."

Her biggest feat yet might be the shopping phenomenon that is Fashion's Night Out, a huge-scale retail event she masterminded in 2009 in New York and made bigger last year to span the globe. She persuaded stores to host lavish parties mixing celebrities and shoppers, offer discounts and pour free champagne, then she nudged consumers to open their wallets despite the recession.

"She basically created a holiday from scratch," Needleman says. "Who else has the power to take New York and create a holiday?"


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