McKinsey Picks Its First Targets: Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler

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"What, you think sunglasses at night are ... impractical?" Photo: Patrick McMullan

Oh, silly McKinsey & Co. According to the Observer, they've picked Condé Nast Traveler and Vogue as "examples" to start with in their analysis of Condé Nast's efficiencies. Since Vogue is huge, and Traveler is mid-size, the rest of the magazines presumably will be able to follow their models as they try to downsize and cut costs. This may fly at Traveler, but Vogue isn't an "example" — it's Vogue. What we anticipate happening when the poor, Brooks Brothers–besuited bright young minds from McKinsey enter the twelfth floor of 4 Times Square can pretty much be adapted directly from the best monologue in The Devil Wears Prada. Witness:


Preppy McKinsey Analyst: It's just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. Y'know, I'm still learning about all this stuff.


Anna Wintour: This ... 'stuff'? Oh ... Okay, I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? [To lackey: I think we need a jacket here.] And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs — and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of 'stuff.'


We think that's about right. And God help the consultant who suggests she picks up her own steak and eggs in the morning.

Vogue, Traveler Get Thorough Exams, Courtesy of McKinsey [NYO]