Anna Wintour gives inspirational speech to fashion students at York University

Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour (left) takes part in a question and answer session with Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian, Kath Viner, during the Northern Youth Fashion Show at the University of York.

Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour (left) takes part in a question and answer session with Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian, Kath Viner, during the Northern Youth Fashion Show at the University of York. Picture by: Anna Gowthorpe / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Cultivate your interest, be intellectually free and look for new points of view are just some of the pieces of advice given by the grand dame of Fashion and American Vogue’s Editor-In-Cheif, Anna Wintour, at an audience with at York University on Friday.

Raising money for refugees in accordance with Refugee Action York and Xavier Project X (ensuring equal opportunities for refugees), all organised by Wintour’s niece Ellie. The evening was led by The Guardian’s Kath Viner.

Following a welcome speak by Viner talking about her roots in York, Viner described the woman of the hour as a Journalist, Power Broker, the most powerful woman in fashion and the point where fashion and business come together as one.

Wintour’s opening speech detailed her relations to York via her Uncle who was the Vice Chancellor of the University, making her reflect on her daughter’s experience at her own university instead of her own, as at 17 she went directly into work. Now she believes there is a “true generation gap”, with the Millennials and the rest of the world as these have embraced the new technology available.

The owner of the most famous Bob in the world gave her advice to the next generation of Journalist and Creatives, making these the ultimate in Wintour’s words of wisdom:

  • Please don’t become too specialised, be intellectually free and please don’t close your minds to other callings.
  • It is crucial to have multiple interest and skills sets – everyone at Conde Nast is their own Writer, Photographer and Editor.
  • When you understand the nuts and bolts, it makes you better at what you’re doing.
  • One of things to look for in a collection, Designer or Writer is a new point of view.
  • Trust and cultivate your taste.
  • Do not discount training and help – work and learn from the best and have the freedom to create and make mistakes.

From there Kath Viner began her interview with the American Vogue Editor.

Anna Wintour on the differences between America and UK; “The America’s drink Coffee over Tea, exercise at very available opportunity and their Candidates are madder then the ones in Great Britain, giving her first dig at Donald Trump of the evening.”

Wintour’s idea of home: “I’m pretty homeless actually”, it’s due to traveling. Just before the interview she was in Paris for the couture shows, where she is “lucky to experience different cultures and for me home is where my family is”.

Love of the North of England: “I like the Moores , I recently went to a David Hockney exhibition called Action Week, detailing the Moores in bloom”.

Anna’s love of the North is also now home to one of her role models Burberry’s Creative Director, Christopher Bailey. Who is making the brand even more British by having the signature trench coats made in Leeds. Her admiration for Bailey is due to how he manages the brand, discovering new talent to sing at the shows and bringing it into the 21st century.

Wintour also made it known that Coddington isn’t leaving American Vogue, but merely taking a step back to create her own brand by creating a perfume and lipstick line in the works, making us wonder how many shades of orange there will be.

On her inspirations: “I’m very influenced by film by people such as Baz Luhrmann, Wes Anderson and Sandy Powell. It’s anything that has an interesting visual” she joked The Revenant had a good bear costume!

One of her biggest decision: “Moving to New York, as I had had a good career in London as it was a safe situation for me, but it was something I’ve never regretted.”

Rounding the evening off from questions from the floor, revealing a different side to the advice giving legend, her more humorous and sometimes cutting side.

The questions asked her whether people took the fashion business seriously, to which she replied: “People tend not to understand that fashion is a business, in NY it’s the second largest there. Many politicians are frightened by it as they’re scared of being different and breaking away.”

The evening revealed Wintour’s passion for Politics, and the fact she’s backing Hilary Clinton who is running a strong campaign. She believes that Clinton’s opposition, the other most famous hair in the world, Donald Trump, has a no substance, and “I’m not sure he even knows where Syria is. The media purely show him to sell pages and get better ratings”.

Her ability to change from fashion to politics and back again is seamless, and she when was asked ‘what is the best way to cultivate your own personal style?’, her instantaneous reply; “look in a mirror”.

Wintour has spoken.


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