Fashion

Anna Wintour’s ultimate tips for success; ‘everyone should get sacked at least once’

The most powerful woman in fashion, Anna Wintour, has candidly revealed her secrets to success as part of a new book.

Taken from Winners and How They Succeed by Alistair Campbell, which also includes tips from other successful public figures such as Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington, the editor of US Vogue suggests that everyone must be fired at least once:

“I think everyone should get sacked at least once. It forces you to look at yourself. It didn't feel it at the time, but it was definitely a good thing for what it taught me. It is important to have setbacks, because that is the reality of life. Perfection doesn't exist.”

Anna has edited Vogue for nearly 30 years, after taking over the title in 1988. She began her career in fashion journalism in 1970 when she was hired as one of the first editorial assistants of Harper's and Queen. She then moved to New York to become fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar, a job from which she was fired.

She went on to have a short editorship of British Vogue and moved swiftly onto becoming the editor of the US version. She is credited with championing celebrities as covers stars, which propelled the magazine to become the market leader beating competitors such as Elle and Harper's Bazaar

Nick-named Nuclear Wintour due to her aloof personality in the office, she is reportedly the inspiration for The Devil Wears Prada character, editor Miranda Priestly.

As the eldest daughter of Charles Wintour, a former editor of The Evening Standard, she clearly has publishing in her blood. Her brother Patrick Wintour is also a journalist and is the political editor of the Guardian.

The longstanding Vogue editor, who received an OBE in 2008 for her services to British journalism and British fashion in the United States also had these pearls of wisdom to share on how to create success. 

On improvement

“We never have post mortems. We move straight on. I don't need people to tell me if it was a good issue or a bad issue; we know, so we just move forward.”

On being a leader 

“It's coming up with an idea and executing it. Ideas are a dime a dozen - it is how it is carried out.”

On being inspired

“I really think you have to go out and see things - screenings, theatre, exhibitions. I travel a lot. Every time you go out, even a walk in the street, you have an idea.” 

On making decisions and being confident

“Even if you aren't sure of yourself, pretend that you are, because it makes it clearer for everyone else. Most people prevaricate. I decide fast. I think it's helpful to people who work for you. the world we are in is about instinct and being fast and responding.” 

On mornings

“I get up every day at 5am - I have always been an early riser - and i always look forward to coming into the office.” 

On turning off

“I don't have a high-powered life out of work. I like to go to the country for the weekend with the kids and the dog and play tennis. I am very good at turning off. I don't like the city at weekends, I have a garden I adore, a life that is very private - and the polar opposite of all of this.”

Taken from Winners and How They Succeed by Alistair Campbell; amazon.co.uk

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