A Short List of People We Think Should Succeed Anna Wintour at Vogue
This week, Page Six reported from a number of anonymous sources that Anna Wintour might be set to leave her post as editor-in-chief of Vogue. The sources suggest she’ll stay put until after the wedding of her daughter Bee Shaffer, to Francesco Carrozzini, the son of late Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani in July, and will go out on a high note after closing her last ever September issue.
Joe Libonati, a corporate spokesperson for Condé Nast says, “We emphatically deny these rumours.” Wintour’s vision for Vogue – a highly-manicured, aspirational interpretation of glamour – has shaped Vogue’s editorial content for the past 30 years, and it’s hard to imagine what magazine will look like without her stamp of approval.
According to Page Six, the frontrunner to replace Wintour is Edward Enninful, a visionary stylist who was appointed the editor-in-chief of British Vogue in August 2017. While Enninful is certainly a possibility, we suspect he’s more likely to stay in his post and make a long-term impact at British Vogue.
Here’s a short list of people, both frontrunners and dark horses, who may be primed to take Wintour’s place.
Sally Singer, Digital Creative Director, Vogue
Singer is a long-time Vogue staffer who has been at the magazine since 1999. She left briefly on 2010 to take up the top spot at T: The New York Times Style Magazine but returned to Vogue after only two years. Singer is deeply embedded with the magazine and almost as familiar with Vogue’s DNA as Wintour. If the rumours of Wintour leaving are true, then she’s likely the top internal choice for the position.
Kate Lanphear, Creative Director at Marie Claire
Known for her sleek, icy all-black outfits, Lanphear is something of an anti-Wintour. She generated massive excitement in 2014 when it was announced she would take the top spot at Maxim in 2014, but didn’t live up to they hype and was out after only 6 months. Still, her stark vision would be a welcome shift from Wintour’s aggressive commitment to good taste.
Deborah Needleman, editor-at-large of Harpers Bazaar
Needleman brought plenty of controversy to her four-year tenure as the Editor-in-Chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, from her apology for the magazine’s lack of racial diversity to an awkward trend story on the end of ‘slut style.’ Though she’s got plenty of magazine chops, she definitely isn’t the wokest choice for the post.
Michelle Lee, Editor-in-Chief, Allure
Appointed in 2015, Lee has been tasked with bringing Allure’s slightly stuffy brand into the digital age. The 42-year-old editor has made a number of splashes since her appointment, from announcing Allure will no longer use the term ‘anti-aging’ to making history as the first mainstream US magazine to feature a hijabi cover model. Lee’s bold moves and commitment to diversity garnered her of Adweek’s Editor-in-Chief of the Year award for 2017. She’s also wildly good at nail art, which in our opinion, definitely gives her a competitive edge.
Laura Brown, Editor-n-Chief at InStyle
Brown is a bubbly Australian best known for her editorial pluck and charming social media presence. She’s the coastal breeze to Ms. Wintour’s chilly Nor’easter. While InStyle might not carry the same clout as Vogue, her immense relatability on social media makes her the perfect power broker for this image-obsessed position.
Sarah Mower, Chief Critic, Vogue.com
Mower is reknown for her sharp, ancillary fashion criticism – she received an MBE for “services to the Fashion Industry” in 2012 – and has been a contributor to Vogue for the past two decades. Her appointment to the top role could signal a new more serious and thoughtful direction for the magazine.
Eva Chen, Director of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram
After a long run at Lucky magazine – and the first Asian-American to ever hold the editor-in-chief position in Condé Nast history – Chen left publishing to become Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships in 2015. The Telegraph once called her “the Anna Wintour of the digital age,” which could be a promising sign regarding her fit for the role.
Venetia Scott, Fashion Director at British Vogue
“Visionary, influential and inspiring are overused terms, but in this case appropriate to describe Venetia’s work,” said Edward Enninful when he appointed Scott to the position of Fashion Director of British Vogue in June 2017. Her Instagram is full of dreamy, aspirational fashion editorials that would look perfectly in place in the pages of Vogue.
Sarah Harris, Fashion Features Director, British Vogue
The glamorous grey-haired style maven was acting editor of British Vogue between the time Alexandra Shulman left and Edward Enninful was appointed. Perhaps her brief time in the top spot has given her a taste for the role?
Samira Nasr, Fashion Director at US Elle
Originally from Montreal, Nasr moved to NYC in the early ’90s to get her journalism degree at NYU. She joined InStyle in the mid-2000s and later moved to the position of Fashion Director at ELLE. While she’s more than likely to stay in her post at ELLE, we’re rooting for her as the most obvious CanCon choice.