Anna Wintour is the Editor-In-Chief of VOGUE magazine, but is often called the director and producer of the fashion world itself. She is the final say in the most influential fashion magazine in the entire world. As the Editor-in-Chief, she has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of the publication. For example, when fur was thought to be out of style, Anna Wintour wore fur, and singlehandedly brought back the movement.
Grace Coddington is her Fashion Editor, and is the creative powerhouse of the magazine. She is Wintour’s right hand woman, having worked together for years. Her roles include styling photoshoots, creating concepts behind the photoshoots, pitching the ideas to Wintour, and directing photography. She is also known for being one of the only Fashion Editors who actually dresses the models themselves and truly gets involved in the design process instead of directing from afar.
The roles of these two women are similar to that of an agency creative director in that they are in charge of approving creative concepts and providing a creative direction to the rest of the designers. What their vision is, the rest of the designers should realize. Though Grace Coddington’s level of power is not on par with Anna Wintour’s, the understanding of each other’s styles and a very long history together allows the lines between “Fashion Editor” and “Editor-in-Chief” are blurred and allow for better collaboration.
What I found interesting was the way a magazine storyboard is laid out. The miniature spreads are used as thumbnails and are slid into holders to allow the editors to visualize the magazine as a whole. The whole process involves a crazy amount of printing and reprinting colour photos. I can only imagine how much paper and ink this magazine uses in a year! I imagine that design studios go through a similar amount of printing thumbnails for proofing and showing to clients.
As for Grace Coddington, I can’t imagine having to work with somebody like Anna Wintour for as many years as she did. I guess knowing how her boss operates and developing a tough skin helps, and almost puts you on par like an unofficial partner. I’d think you’d need patience, and an understanding for why Wintour operates the way she does to be able to cope. You can’t have a hot head, and be accepting if not open to having your idea shot down. I admire a person like Coddington, who has so much love for what she does that she finds it worth it to work so closely with a personality like Wintour, and to sacrifice some of her creative freedom for the greater good.