What It Takes to Get Promoted at Vogue (And Impress Anna)

Erin Fitzpatrick

Have you seen The First Monday in May yet? If so, you'll probably remember Sylvana Ward Durrett, Vogue's director of special projects who stood by Anna Wintour's side throughout much of the film. And thanks to a recent article from The New York Post, we now know a little more about the powerhouse who started as Wintour's assistant.  

So what does it take to climb up the ladder from assistant to director? Emily Rafferty, former president of The Met, worked with Wintour and Durrett closely, and she shed some light on why Durrett has been so successful at the magazine.

"They have the greatest respect for each other," Rafferty told The Post. "It's almost like Sylvana knows by osmosis what Anna would really like to have happen. She has a way about her that is extraordinary—very calm and articulate. She's sensitive to everybody’s needs."

Vogue's social editor, Chloe Malle, also waxed poetic about Durrett to The Post: "She’s not afraid to tell people unfortunate things, like 'You can’t come to the Met Gala' or 'You have to pay more for this,'" Malle said. "It's a tough job."

Have you been taking notes? Here's our running list of qualities that have no doubt helped Durrett rise through the ranks at Vogue: Her ability to anticipate Wintour's needs, keep a level head, communicate articulately, and be decisive even when she has to bring down the hammer in an awkward situation. Keep these attributes in mind: They'll certainly help you in any job. 

What's the best career advice you've ever received? Tell us in the comments below, and for more tips, preorder The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career!

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