Addressing the rumours of Anna Wintour exiting Vogue

There are two types of rumours, those that are mere whispers in corridors, like will Hedi Slimane change the logo at Céline as he did with Saint Laurent, and those that spread like wildfire, like last week's suggestion that Anna Wintour is to call it a day at American Vogue.

It began with the New York Post publishing an article on Easter Monday conspicuously titled "Is Anna Wintour Out at Vogue?" Of course the authors didn't have the answer, but did cite unnamed sources who confirmed the notion Wintour is to exit her role as artistic director as early as this summer, after her daughter's marriage to Francesco Carrozzini, the son of former Italian Vogue Editor Franca Sozzani, and after finishing the publication's September issue, the most lucrative and important issue of the year.

Is it true?

Then the New York Times weighed up its response to the rumours on Monday, with fashion editor Vanessa Friedman stating "pretty much every conversation I have had with pretty much anyone — fashion friends, book agents, parents at the school gates, my mother — has started with the same five-word question: “Do you think it’s true?”

In London, too, it is a hot topic. After Alexandra Schulman left British Vogue last June, and the appointment of Edward Enninful, its first black editor-in-chief, there have been plenty of shakeups at Conde Nast, not least the launch of a Polish edition in March, the banning of longtime Vogue photographers Bruce Weber and Mario Testino for sexual harassment, and the changing of the guard at Vogue Arabia, after its founding editor, Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdelaziz, was fired after just two issues last year.

Back to Wintour's rumoured exit, Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., chief executive of Condé Nast, told the New York Times: “I am happy to tell you there is no truth to the rumors of Anna’s departure." He called Ms Wintour “a great partner as we continue our ongoing efforts to transform the company into the future.”

An early announcement could bring uncertainty

But of course it would be expected for Sauerberg to refute the rumours. The September issue is still many months away and an early announcement could bring with it uncertainty and economic challenges that the publishing house would be desperate to avoid. Especially if it is yet to appoint a successor.

When Phoebe Philo left Céline, the official announcement was made in December 2017, but the rumours began in February 2016, with the Business of Fashion publishing the news months before the official announcement was made. At the time LVMH categorically denied Ms Philo was leaving the house after ten years, but in all likelihood Ms Philo had hardly worked for the maison since the summer. Contract negotiations with its incoming designer, Hedi Slimane, were no doubt a complicated affair, as would be the contract for the new editor of American Vogue.

And after thirty years, perhaps it is time for Vogue to helmed by a new force. Change, as they say, is good.

Photo credit: Tiziana Fabi / AFP

 

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