Each rumor about Anna Wintour's purported retirement — and, it follows, the equilibrium of the universe — tempts us to latch on and believe. Yesterday Gawker reported Si Newhouse was in Paris, meeting with French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld to offer her the job. Newhouse denied this in the afternoon, but just hours later Fashion Week Daily suggested that British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman was in line to succeed Anna. Today the Independent steps back from the vicious rumor mill to assess the likelihood and implications of a major Vogue shake-up:
In reality, the chances of Newhouse offering Roitfeld the position appear minimal. Senior sources at Condé Nast yesterday virtually laughed the idea into touch. "I would eat my hat if such a changeover came about," said one. "It is borderline theatre of the absurd."
Absurd because Carine "is considered to be the most radical of all the Vogue editors," writes the Independent. Roitfeld doesn't consider wearability or accessibility of the clothes in her fashion layouts, unlike Anna, whose Vogue must appeal to Middle America. Plus, American Vogue's circulation is 1.2 million while French Vogue's is just 133,000. Which brings us to the matter of the ever-shaky economy:
Condé Nast sources say that Roitfeld does not possess the experience to take over at American Vogue, particularly when difficult economic conditions demand stable leadership. "Not at this tricky moment would you replace a knowledgeable editor who knows the American market thoroughly with an editor from Europe who is not experienced at that type of magazine."
It's hard to argue with cold, hard numbers.
Anna might not have dispelled her ice-queen persona when we asked her about the possibility of retirement at the National Book Awards last month, but she appears to be trying to mollify her image. Why else would she agree to fully cooperate with a documentary film crew? That movie is expected to screen at Sundance. "It will, she hopes, be fairer than The Devil Wears Prada," reports the Independent. Despite her terse remarks at the National Book Awards, this round of rumors — The Devil Wears Prada story incarnate — could not be better publicity.
The knives are out for Anna Wintour [Independent]