Anna Wintour On Her Riskiest Cover… And Why It Paid Off

Set your DVRs! At 9AM on Sunday, Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles will appear on CBS Sunday Morning to hype the new $1,600-a-year Vogue archive which, though awesome, seems like a strange subject for the CBS early Sunday morning audience. Then again, it’s Anna and her television appearances don’t come lightly. Luckily, Women’s Wear Daily got a preview of their convo, and it’s definitely worth the lost sleep.

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Interviewed by Serena Altschul, Wintour and Bowles also discuss the magazine’s history — the 120th anniversary of which is next year. And for those of you who bemoan Vogue’s proclivity for celebrity covers, Wintour has some words. Also: blame Madonna.

“I remember getting quite a bit of criticism for my first Madonna cover,” said Wintour. “And you know, ‘She’ll never sell.’ And it was a little bit risky. And it was up something extraordinary, like 40 percent on newsstands. So that was an eye-opener to all of us.”

As for Wintour’s first ever cover for the magazine in 1988, which featured an outtake from an inside spread of a model wearing — gasp! — jeans, the image was so daring that Vogue’s printers called to double check before hitting start. “To me, it just said, ‘This is something new. This is something different,'” Wintour told Altschul. “And I remember the printers called us up because they thought we’d made a mistake. Just wanting to check that that actually was the cover.”

Lesson learned: never question Anna.


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