Maybe the tongues will stop wagging — at least for now.
Bob Sauerberg, chief executive officer of Condé Nast, told WWD in a statement that Anna Wintour is decidedly not leaving her position as editor in chief of Vogue, nor her role as artistic director of Condé Nast, addressing months of seemingly nonstop talk from all corners of media that she would relinquish at least one of her posts by year-end.
“Anna Wintour is an incredibly talented and creative leader whose influence is beyond measure,” Sauerberg said. “She is integral to the future of our company’s transformation and has agreed to work with me indefinitely in her role as editor in chief, Vogue, and artistic director of Condé Nast.”
That’s pretty clear and the use of “indefinitely” seems to imply should Wintour ever exit Vogue, where she’s been in the top spot since 1988, or Condé, where she’s been artistic director since 2013, it will be a time and in a manner of her choosing. But that day is not today.
With Sauerberg’s pointed squelching of one major rumor — which seemed to take on a life of its own in recent weeks, reaching an undeniable pitch before the wedding of Wintour’s daughter Bee — it should also take care of another. Still-new British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, most frequently brought up as Wintour’s ostensible replacement, will have no spot to fill. A source had also recently flatly denied to WWD that Enninful was headed Stateside.
And all of this goes with consistent and emphatic denials by Condé spokespeople, who have since last spring been fending off the talk of Wintour’s exit, spoken of by industry insiders as imminent on almost a weekly basis.
So why all of the talk? Yes, it’s summer and hot weather can do odd things to people, but there has been so much talk of not only Wintour’s exit, but of what she was to be doing “next” – with a consensus even starting to form around the notion that she would get more into politics, either here or in her native England. As one of the last remaining Old Guard editors, a few of whom made it through magazines’ Nineties heyday only to find themselves bombarded by the Internet and Instagram and the victims of many a cost-cutting round, it could be a simple case of default.
But fashion and fashion media is also still a relatively small world and gossip, especially about someone at such heights as Wintour, goes so well with Champagne. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Wintour, Condé stalwart though she may be, can’t actually stay “indefinitely” forever. Until then.