Anna Wintour, celebrated US Vogue editor-in-chief and much written about media mogul, is absolutely fascinating as a person, mostly because she’s so closely guarded.
While there have been documentaries featuring her, such as The September Issue and The First Monday in May, the latter of which is about the Met Gala, little is known of what she’s really like in her personal life.
Anyone who’s a fan of magazines, or indeed of the movie The Devil Wears Prada (loosely based on someone who sounds an awful lot like Wintour, but has never been confirmed) should give these books a read to learn more about the magazine editor.
The first one isn’t technically about Anna, but it features her prominently and it contains definite Wintour-flavoured juice throughout, particularly in the latter half. It’s called The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir, and it’s by the Vogue former editor-at-large, André Leon Talley, who passed away in January 2022 at the age of 73.
Next up is Anna: The Biography by journalist and author, Amy Odell. This definitive biography of Anna Wintour chronicles the climb of an ambitious young woman who would become the most powerful woman in media, and one of the most talked-about editors of her generation. Odell’s in-depth reporting is eye-watering and she unveils what it’s really like to know Anna.
It would be remiss of us not to include the OG Anna book (or, should we say allegedly the OG Anna book?) The Devil Wears Prada. It was written by Lauren Weisberger who spent some time as one of Anna’s two assistants, and she apparently based the character Miranda Priestly on Wintour. Many of the scandalous elements of the film are believed to be fairly true to life – but Anna has coolly never responded to allegations or rumours that the book is based on her. Although she did wear a Prada outfit to a special advance screening of the film in New York. Make of that what you will.
Lastly, Grace: A Memoir, written by Grace Coddington, long-time Vogue fashion editor and right hand woman to Wintour herself. Both British ex-pats in the US, they formed a bond early on in their careers and rose through the magazine ranks together. Grace is of the fashion industry’s most revered creative directors, but stepped down from her position at US Vogue after 28 years back in 2016.