Anna Wintour, the thinly-disguised “evil editor” in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, is nevertheless someone most of her colleagues admire. In fact at the annual meeting of the American Magazine Publishers’ Association, the biggest yearly get- together of the publishing industry, Advertising Age this week named her Editor of the Year.
The daughter of former Evening Standard editor Charles Wintour (who also briefly edited Press Gazette) she has been the editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988. She originally crossed the Atlantic in 1976 to join Harper's Bazaar She switched to Vogue, then after a brief return to London rejoined Vogue in 1983 in New York as creative director. . She is now regarded – at 56 – as a “legendary” editor. To her credit, while most American magazines have been losing circulation,:she took Vogue’s single-copy sales up 3.5 per cent in the first six months of this year, no mean achievement. Today she is regarded as queen of the American fashion magazine world. But that’s not all. Last year she oversaw the introduction of Men’s Vogue, then she developed Vogue Living which is due to be launched this week.At the same time Teen Vogue appears to be thriving.
The tell-all book The Devil Wears Prada by one of her former assistants which paints her as something of a journalistic who bedevils her staff, has not apparently fazed her. Nor the movie, whose premiere she attended wearing – of course – Prada. She has shrugged off attacks by animal rights' groups protesting that she continues to run ads in Vogue for fur-trimmed clothing – even to the extent of dumping animal carcases on her table during lunch at The Four Seasons and smearing blood-like red paint on her front doorstep.
At the same conference Ad Age named More, the magazine aimed at over-40 women which was conceived and launched by Myna Blyth (yes, a relation, my wife) while she was editor of Ladies’ Home Journal, as Magazine of the Year. The magazine now has a circulation of nearly l,200,000 – up ten per cent in the past year.Ad pages in the same period were up almost 13 per cent – something few other magazines can claim these days.