What It’s Actually Like to Interview for a Job With Anna Wintour
“Every fashion writer should work at Vogue—people say it’s is the ‘the bible’ of fashion, which basically makes Anna the pope of fashion.” Consider the similarities: Both the pope and Anna Wintour have a uniform and a signature accessory (white robes and a papal hat for Pope Francis and a printed sleeveless dress with a gemstone choker and dark sunglasses for the editor in chief), wield a massive amount of power, and have the effect of making people freak out in their presence. In her recent book, Tales From the Back Row ($14), Cosmpolitan.com editor Amy Odell noted the rather amusing comparison when reflecting on the time she interviewed with Wintour for a job at Vogue.
The novel gives a refreshing peek inside the industry, as Odell shares what it’s like to be immersed in the fashion world when you yourself have a healthy dose of skepticism and an unapologetic habit of finding the absurd humor in an industry that takes itself rather seriously. Odell’s revealing tales are equal parts hilarious and insightful, and while she covers many aspects of the industry (models, designers, bloggers, oh my!), today we’re focusing on one of our favorite sections of the book: Odell’s job interview with Anna Wintour.
Scroll down to learn Odell’s top takeaways from her interview with the fashion pope herself.
“The double-wide doorway to Anan’s office was flanked by two assistants’ workstations that looked remarkably similar to to the workstations in The Devil Wears Prada. That legendary walk up to her desk was as awkwardly long as everyone says it is. Just long enough for her to stare you down, judge your outfit, and make you feel embarrassed about being in her presence.”
“‘And how’s your fashion history?’ she asked. ‘Not great.’ I said. I still regret that answer. I think I knew more about fashion history at that time then I let on, but I was afraid of being quizzed. ‘It’s something that I’m working on, and look forward to improving.’ ‘But you can contextualize? Decades? Designers? You have reference points?’”
“As I thanked Anna and stood up, she walked around the desk to shake my hand. When she got to me, she looked me up and down in this really obvious prolonged way, probably to make sure that even if I’m some sort of museum-shunning, ignorant loser I was at least wearing an acceptable outfit.”
“The interviewing took more than two hours. I’ve had breakups with men I actually liked that took less out of me emotionally."
If you could ask Anna Wintour one question, what would it be? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to pick up a copy of Tales From the Back Row ($14).