Anna Wintour: Fashion Must Take A Strong Stand For Democratic Party Values + Female Leadership

Anna Wintour attends the 72nd annual Tony Awards in New York City in June 2018  Image by Walter McBride  via CNN

Anna Wintour attends the 72nd annual Tony Awards in New York City in June 2018 Image by Walter McBride via CNN

CNN's Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour interviewed Vogue’s Anna Wintour in New York on Friday April 5, 2019.

Wintour’s 2019 Met Gala is scheduled for May 6, with the theme ‘Camp Notes on Fashion’ , a topic at the heart of Gucci’s brand revival under creative director Alessandro Michele. Curated by Andrew Bolton, the exhibit opens to the public on May 9.

"I like to say that we go from sun kings to drag queens in the show; it's to be hoped that there will be plenty of both, not only at the gala but also coming to see the exhibition," Wintour says about the exhibit.

The organizing committee for the event includes the top names in fashion and especially acting, with Bradley Cooper, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lopez with fiance Alex Rodriguez on the list. For a complete rundown, read The Hollywood Reporter.

Last year’s theme focused on the Vatican’s influence on fashion, giving Lena Waithe the opportunity to make a major fashion statement in the time of Trump. Wintour talks politics and values with Amanpour.

Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala wearing a rainbow pride flag cape designed by Carolina Herrera. (Getty Images  via The Evening Standard.)

Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala wearing a rainbow pride flag cape designed by Carolina Herrera. (Getty Images via The Evening Standard.)

Amanpour writes that Wintour referenced multiple times during the interview the need of “taking a stand”. Both her support of Hillary Clinton and agony over the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency are well documented. Wintour put Michelle Obama on Vogue's cover three times, and the magazine has recently profiled Senator Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Asked about Vogue's forays into politics, Wintour said: "I don't think it's a moment not to take a stand ... I believe, as I think those of us who work at Condé Nast believe, that you have to stand up for what you believe in and you have to take a point of view."

Asked about the majority of Vogue political figures being Democrats, the editor-in-chief responded: "I think it's very, very important to have a point of view, and we profile women in the magazine that we believe in ... After the defeat of Secretary Clinton in 2016 (in particular), we believe that women should have a leadership position and we intend to support them."

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who received a staggering amount of praise for her response to the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, is another female politician with major support from Vogue and Wintour herself. "I think that she's an exceptionally direct, articulate person," Wintour said of Ardern. "And there is no sense that she's ever on message.

"She truly brought the country together in such a remarkable way that I haven't seen many other leaders achieve. And she was just so moving, and when she said, 'we are all one country,' it was a message that a lot of other leaders could learn from."

Anna Wintour will celebrate her 70th birthday this year, and Condé Nast insists she’s not going anywhere. Amanpour’s interview happened the day after Condé Nast appointed Roger Lynch, former CEO of the music streaming service Pandora, as its first global chief executive.

"Anna Wintour is an incredibly talented and creative leader whose influence is beyond measure," Sauerberg's statement read. "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."

WWD quotes insiders as saying that British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, most frequently brought up as Wintour’s future replacement, is not headed Stateside.

"Edward is a brilliant editor," Wintour tells Amanpour. "And I think he's really, in his fearless style of editing, brought a completely different point of view to British Vogue -- with no disrespect to the editor that was there for many years before Edward.

"I think that he's very passionate about race. He's very passionate about politics ... He is taking a stand and he is not trying to please everybody, because you can't in this day and age."

De Young Museum's 'Contemporary Muslim Fashion' Exhibit Opens To Protests In Frankfurt


San Francisco’s de Young museum presented a paradigm-busting show titled ‘Contemporary Muslim Fashions’ that opened September 22, 2018 and closed Januaryn 6, 2019. The exhibit challenged museum-goers to “explore the rich diversity of one of the fastest-growing fashion sectors today” — modest fashion.

In an examination of Muslim dress codes worldwide, trom those who cover their heads to those who do not, the exhibit sought to draw attention to contemporary Muslim life.

The exhibition was initially organized by Max Hollein, now director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Yori. It traversed a multitude of religious interpretations, high-end luxury fashions and streetwear alike.

Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Celine Semaan summarized AOC’s long-held position on this subject, words that were then featured on the exhibit’s website.

Ten years from now, we may look at “Contemporary Muslim Fashion” at the de Young Museum as a turning point in American history, where mainstream America, despite an angry minority, embraced its “others” at the highest institutions.”

AOC’s prior coverage of the San Francisco ‘Contemporary Muslim Fashions’ exhibit.

The exhibit has now moved to the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt. artNet writes that there were protests weeks before the exhibition even opened. An unlikely alliance of second-wave feminists, the far right, and self-proclaimed secular immigrants gathered to protest the headscarf — or hijab — on view in several exhibits as “an instrument of oppression against women’. Condemning the show as “propaganda” for Islamism and a “blast” against feminists, a small group protested “what they deemed a glorification of an oppressive tool and interrupted the opening ceremonies with an attempted slutwalk” at last week’s opening ceremony.

"This exhibition, which supposedly depicts religious dress requirements as fashion, is a slap in the face of domestic and foreign women's rights activists," says a group letter published by feminist magazine ‘Emma’. The group, composed of Iranian refugees, also reminds people that "Every year, thousands of women in Iran are punished for violating this dress code."

In a brief but articulate interview about the Frankfurt show, museum diredctor Matthias Wagner K explains how political fashion can be.

I share the opinion of the exhibitionʹs initiator Max Hollein, who holds fashion to be the exalted expression of a cultural state. The show does not ignore the issue of women's rights. On the contrary, there are many photographs and contributions by women artists such as Shirin Neshat that explicitly address the oppression of women who, if they resist these dress codes, have to fear for their lives or for their well-being.

Not one exhibit included in the show references such dress codes. You wonʹt find a single burka. And any references to burkas are couched in critical, artistic contributions or street photography. On the contrary, the exhibition shows a lot of young women who dress very self-confidently and self-determinedly in modest fashion, with hijab or not. What we are presenting is a completely new image of Muslim woman which has nothing to do with the conventional stereotypes. “

Somewhat annoyed with all the protest and criticism from people who hadn’t even seen the show, Wagner K told artnet News “I understand if criticism comes from Iranian and Arabic women because of their personal experiences with restrictive dress codes. But this is not the case for all countries with Muslim populations and minorities. The exhibition explores the interpretations of fashion by Muslim women all over the world that may be rooted in religious traditions, but change constantly,”

Max Hollein , the show’s creator had extensive museum director’s experience in Germany before moving to the de Young position in San Francisco and now the Met. His goal was to upset the idea that “Muslim clothing was forced onto oppressed Muslim women. His goal was to highlight the diversity of these modest fashions, and if nothing else, the show at least kicked off another widespread debate. But it’s also done more than that, by offering an disruption of prejudices about Muslim lifestyles—and that accomplishment is desperately needed in times of rising Islamophobia”, writes artNet.

Katherine Lo's Eaton Workshop Hotel DC Workshop Hosts May 19 Black Moms' Toxic Birth Event

Founder of Eaton hotels, Katherine Lo. Photo by Eden Batki

Founder of Eaton hotels, Katherine Lo. Photo by Eden Batki

Washington DC hotelier Katherine Lo found her purpose, getting lost on a hike in the Himalayas. The 21-year-old Yale anthropology student spent nine hours searching for a path back to the Ladakh Oriental Guest House. Facing failure, her Canadian and Australian companions joined Lo in throwing together a makeshift camp inside a cave, deciding it was a great — and perhaps goddess sent — opportunity to talk about their goals for the rest of their lives. Conde Nast Traveler shares Lo’s story.

"I told them I wanted to be an activist, and work on campaigns that have social impact regarding the environment, and racial and gender equality," Lo says, reflecting on that unforgettable night, "though a part of all of us thought we'd die up there."

They didn’t die and Katherine Lo, the daughter of Langham hotel founder Lo Kah-shui, has opened her Washington DC Hotel Eaton Workshop. AOC profiled Lo in July 2018, sharing both her philosophy and plans for three more Eaton Hotels in Hong Kong, San Francisco and Seattle.

Lo has prioritized a series of talks and events that focus on the issues such as equal rights and gender equality as part of the brand's weekly operations. "I want to create a space where artists, journalists, politicians, and people of all ages and classes can come together, learn and grow," she says. 

Today’s entrepreneurs often throw around words like purpose and human values, but Katherine Lo is raising the bar. For example, on May 19, 2019 from 2-4pm, the Eaton Workshop DC is hosting ‘Avoiding Toxic Birth: Rethinking How Black Moms Give Birth’.

The statistics are staggering--Black women are three to four times more likely to die from childbirth than non-Hispanic white women, and socioeconomic status, education, and other factors do not protect against this disparity.  Tickets are $50.

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