Anna Wintour’s long been considered a multi-talented, one-woman show. Now, her employer Condé Nast has added to her duties as editor of Vogue and editorial director of Teen Vogue with a new role: artistic director of the entire publishing house.
Wintour has helmed Vogue for the last 25 years. Now 63 years old, she’ll assume some of the duties of Condé Nast’s S.I. Newhouse Jr, who last year at 85 began quietly rolling back his duties as editorial manager of his family-owned business, says the New York Times. The paper speculates that Wintour’s new role will “be to look for new talent and reinforce aesthetics,” and will have her taking on “broader creative duties throughout the company.” But Wintour herself felt it too soon to narrowly define her new duties.
Of the appointment, she told the paper: “It is something I do a lot anyway in my role at Vogue. I advise all sorts of people in the outside world, and really, I see this as an extension of what I am doing, but on a broader scale.”
As artistic director, Wintour will not only oversee Condé Nast’s fashion titles, but their general interest publications as well which include Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. Of her appointment, New Yorker editor David Remnick told the Times: “I don’t expect Anna to be picking the cartoons or directing our war coverage. But I have asked her advice numerous times and always been grateful for it. She’s a great editor. Period.”
Condé Nast will make an official announcement of Wintour’s new role on Wednesday. To media onlookers, the move seems to be somewhat of a ploy to keep Wintour at the company. Last year she was famously floated for an ambassadorship to either England or France--a runoff of her campaigning work for President Obama’s reelection campaign. “I would go to great distances to avoid losing Anna, particularly in the prime of her career,” Charles Townsend, Condé Nast’s chief executive told the Times.
According to WWD’s media reporter Erik Maza, Wintour’s new role “had been discussed by Conde executives as far back as [December] ’12,” he tweeted on Tuesday evening. It was then that Wintour signed a three-year contract with the publisher, locking her in to their employment with significant clauses that reportedly outlined financial penalties should she leave the company prematurely.