The stories just keep coming out of Conde Nast about top execs being under pressure to deliver, questions about newly installed editors, a boy wonder and now the possible exit of Anna Wintour from the editor in chief gig at Vogue which she’s held for 30 years and from her role as artistic director of all of Conde Nast. All this news out of the glossy publisher reminds us of the days leading up to the eventual sale of Time Inc. So OK that sounded like we’re implying this is the case here but that wasn’t the intention though that would be an event no one should be shocked by. Forget the artistic director gig. Anna Wintour exiting her post as editor in chief of Vogue would be a seismic event but not necessarily a shocking one. it would be seismic because of how long she’s held the title and her influence over the years. Anna Wintour is Vogue and Vogue is Anna Wintour. But if recent reports are true, that once mighty influence has weakened over the past years thanks in part to the rise of digital native competitors registering millions in traffic and social media, where brands and fashion designers control their own destiny.
Perhaps for symbolic reasons an up and coming or a well known designer would welcome approval from Anna Wintour and Vogue. But today, designers are going straight to consumers for their approval and who are we kidding, its what the consumers think that matters. Designers like Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing with almost 5 million instagram followers doesn’t need Vogue or Anna Wintour’s approval. It’s a new world we live in where once mighty publications are being decimated by the rise of digital and a new generation that is not into carrying around bulky print fashion magazines. Because of these realities many of the old guard of the magazine publishing industry are having to play catch up or bow out all together as publishers like Conde Nast try to keep up with digital rivals. This may the the situation with Anna Wintour who according to the NY Post, may be designing an exit from Vogue and Conde Nast for this summer.
For years Ms. Wintour’s power and influence were protected by company chairman Si Newhouse. But with his passing last year, some changes and shift in direction were inevitable. One big change will be the arrival of Jonathan Newhouse, the head of Conde’s international operations who is coming back to New York as Si Newhouse’s possible successor. His arrival in addition to the above points made, is what seems to be fueling speculation about Ms. Wintour’s exit. According to the Post, Mr. Newhouse is not a fan of all the power she carries and is said to favor recently installed British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful as a possible replacement. An Anna Wintour exit would be huge but it would simply fall in line with the departure of other longtime editors inside Conde Nast and across the industry where the magazines they edited for years was unimaginable without them. But those magazines have all since taken on new leadership and its business as usual because at the end of the day, Vogue won’t stop if Anna Wintour left. So what would someone with Ms. Wintour’s experience and influence do after leaving Vogue after three decades? Well apparently she would have endless options.
You might also like
More from INS AND OUTS
Some major changes are beginning to happen over at Essence Magazine under its new ownership. Essence which was part of …