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Anna: The Biography

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Bloomberg ’s 10 Most Compelling Books to Put on Your Reading List This Spring This definitive biography of Anna Wintour follows the steep climb of an ambitious young woman who would—with singular and legendary focus—become one of the most powerful people in media. As a child, Anna Wintour was a tomboy with no apparent interest in clothin INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Bloomberg ’s 10 Most Compelling Books to Put on Your Reading List This Spring This definitive biography of Anna Wintour follows the steep climb of an ambitious young woman who would—with singular and legendary focus—become one of the most powerful people in media. As a child, Anna Wintour was a tomboy with no apparent interest in clothing but, seduced by the miniskirts and bob haircuts of swinging 1960s London, she grew into a fashion-obsessed teenager. Her father, an influential newspaper editor, loomed large in her life, and once he decided she should become editor-in-chief of Vogue, she never looked back. Impatient to start her career, she left high school and got a job at a trendy boutique in London—an experience that would be the first of many defeats. Undeterred, she found work in the competitive world of magazines, eventually embarking on a journey to New York and a battle to ascend, no matter who or what stood in her way. Once she was crowned editor-in-chief of Vogue—in one of the stormiest transitions in fashion magazine history—she continued the fight to retain her enviable position, ultimately rising to dominate all of Condé Nast. Based on extensive interviews with Anna Wintour’s closest friends and collaborators, including some of the biggest names in fashion, journalist Amy Odell has crafted the most revealing portrait of Wintour ever published. Weaving Anna’s personal story into a larger narrative about the hierarchical dynamics of the fashion industry and the complex world of Condé Nast, Anna charts the relentless ambition of the woman who would become an icon.


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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Bloomberg ’s 10 Most Compelling Books to Put on Your Reading List This Spring This definitive biography of Anna Wintour follows the steep climb of an ambitious young woman who would—with singular and legendary focus—become one of the most powerful people in media. As a child, Anna Wintour was a tomboy with no apparent interest in clothin INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Bloomberg ’s 10 Most Compelling Books to Put on Your Reading List This Spring This definitive biography of Anna Wintour follows the steep climb of an ambitious young woman who would—with singular and legendary focus—become one of the most powerful people in media. As a child, Anna Wintour was a tomboy with no apparent interest in clothing but, seduced by the miniskirts and bob haircuts of swinging 1960s London, she grew into a fashion-obsessed teenager. Her father, an influential newspaper editor, loomed large in her life, and once he decided she should become editor-in-chief of Vogue, she never looked back. Impatient to start her career, she left high school and got a job at a trendy boutique in London—an experience that would be the first of many defeats. Undeterred, she found work in the competitive world of magazines, eventually embarking on a journey to New York and a battle to ascend, no matter who or what stood in her way. Once she was crowned editor-in-chief of Vogue—in one of the stormiest transitions in fashion magazine history—she continued the fight to retain her enviable position, ultimately rising to dominate all of Condé Nast. Based on extensive interviews with Anna Wintour’s closest friends and collaborators, including some of the biggest names in fashion, journalist Amy Odell has crafted the most revealing portrait of Wintour ever published. Weaving Anna’s personal story into a larger narrative about the hierarchical dynamics of the fashion industry and the complex world of Condé Nast, Anna charts the relentless ambition of the woman who would become an icon.

30 review for Anna: The Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tyler McCall

    Anna Wintour isn't just the most powerful person in fashion today; she's one of the most powerful women in the world. And yet, we know so little about the woman behind the blunt bob and dark sunglasses — until now. When I saw that Amy Odell was working on a biography of Anna Wintour, I knew it was going to be good. Odell has a reputation in the fashion and media industries for having a sharp mind and tough questions, so this was never going to be a puff piece. Indeed, Odell put in the grunt work, Anna Wintour isn't just the most powerful person in fashion today; she's one of the most powerful women in the world. And yet, we know so little about the woman behind the blunt bob and dark sunglasses — until now. When I saw that Amy Odell was working on a biography of Anna Wintour, I knew it was going to be good. Odell has a reputation in the fashion and media industries for having a sharp mind and tough questions, so this was never going to be a puff piece. Indeed, Odell put in the grunt work, accumulating over 250 interviews and a thick index. While Wintour herself declined to be interviewed, Odell got unprecedented access to people around Wintour, from childhood family friends to current industry titans, and assembled it into one biography. What I was most impressed by was the way Odell manages to humanize Wintour, a figure who has carried the reputation of being an ice queen for over four decades and who is rather famously private. Especially since "The Devil Wears Prada," she's become a kind of pop culture icon about whom we know very little. Odell doesn't shy away from discussing Wintour's many missteps — whether cutting people out of her life with no notice or explanation, or creating racially or politically insensitive content for Vogue, it's all in here — but aims to add context to the system and circumstances surrounding Wintour which might lead to those decisions. That's an incredibly hard line to walk. If you're looking for something gossip-y (and early reviews seem to indicate this was the case for a lot of people), this probably isn't for you; Odell treats her subject quite seriously and only offers a few kernels of Daily Mail-worthy tidbits. (Though they're always fun to receive, obviously.) But if you're a serious fashion fan, this is a foundational text to understanding the industry's current landscape. And since Wintour never plans to write a memoir, it's guaranteed to become the definitive resource on Wintour's life. Disclosure: I was given an ARC by Gallery to cover "Anna: The Biography" for my job!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cazlam

    Loved.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Goldberg

    Fascinating subject and wonderfully written

  4. 5 out of 5

    cluedupreader

    This FABULOUS read endeared me to dog lover and voracious reader Wintour. Anyone with a background/interest in journalism, magazine publishing, fashion, and the industry players and Who's Who will love it! This FABULOUS read endeared me to dog lover and voracious reader Wintour. Anyone with a background/interest in journalism, magazine publishing, fashion, and the industry players and Who's Who will love it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mia Kagehiro

    There wasn’t much new to learn from from this book. Tina Browns autobiography is more interesting and inspiring.

  6. 5 out of 5

    katie

    Breezy and delightful read though stumbles a bit trying to deal fully with the failings of a woman the biographer clearly came to admire. Also I don’t know if it was a personal fascination or just required post Chiffon Trenches but the book goes out of its way to talk about ALT in a way it doesn’t with any other collaborator or friend. A++ for getting through childhood / early life quickly - that part is always dull for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shadira

    The longtime Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast global editorial director and global chief content officer seems to exist in her own eco-system ... How did that come to be? Well, if you want answers, you won’t find them in this book ... [Anna] is deadly serious in her ambitions, and her creation of her own mythology is fascinating. She deserves a more acute analysis of her life. But perhaps she didn’t want it ... To what degree she collaborated in the writing of this book is unclear ... While The longtime Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast global editorial director and global chief content officer seems to exist in her own eco-system ... How did that come to be? Well, if you want answers, you won’t find them in this book ... [Anna] is deadly serious in her ambitions, and her creation of her own mythology is fascinating. She deserves a more acute analysis of her life. But perhaps she didn’t want it ... To what degree she collaborated in the writing of this book is unclear ... While we get some delightful glimpses into her home life...there is little examination of her professional skills, or of her weaknesses, from people operating at a similar level ... I would have loved to hear what the big-name designers—Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Donatella Versace—could add to this portrait ... She survives not because she is an excellent magazine editor, which she is, but because she understands power and what other powerful people want and need. How frustrating it is then not to get a greater understanding of how this enigmatic woman operates ... What is her opinion of … well, actually, anything? For that we will, unfortunately, have to wait for another book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I was a Vogue subscriber for years and have always been fascinated by Anna Wintour. The moment I saw Amy Odell was writing Wintour's biography, I pre-ordered the Kindle edition. I plunged in on publication day. The early chapters about Anna, her family (particularly her journalist father) and her life before Vogue made for interesting reading. However, as I continued onward, I felt like I wasn't getting behind Wintour's ever-present sunglasses. In a number of instances, I could have sworn I had I was a Vogue subscriber for years and have always been fascinated by Anna Wintour. The moment I saw Amy Odell was writing Wintour's biography, I pre-ordered the Kindle edition. I plunged in on publication day. The early chapters about Anna, her family (particularly her journalist father) and her life before Vogue made for interesting reading. However, as I continued onward, I felt like I wasn't getting behind Wintour's ever-present sunglasses. In a number of instances, I could have sworn I had already read this story, only to realize the source material was Grace Coddington, Andre Leon Talley or Grace Mirabella and/or their memoirs. Wintour comes off as rather flat and two dimensional; however, there were aspects of magazine publishing, Met Gala planning and Conde Nast that redeemed the narrative. Worth a read if you have followed Wintour's career and enjoy/enjoyed reading Vogue.

  9. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    What I got from this book... Anna acts like she is the most powerful woman in the world ... in your dreams, honey. She is vapid, evil and a downright evil c-word. One cannot have any sympathy for her as she hates anyone who eats, is above a size 00 and acts like Vogue is a political force. Get real: it is full of clothing that no one ... well no normal person ... can afford or look good in. You are the perfect anorexic goal ... seriously ... your lack of food must have skewed your brain function. What I got from this book... Anna acts like she is the most powerful woman in the world ... in your dreams, honey. She is vapid, evil and a downright evil c-word. One cannot have any sympathy for her as she hates anyone who eats, is above a size 00 and acts like Vogue is a political force. Get real: it is full of clothing that no one ... well no normal person ... can afford or look good in. You are the perfect anorexic goal ... seriously ... your lack of food must have skewed your brain function. I did not think I could think less of her, but Amy Odell, who wrote one helluva book, but the subject soured me and my rating. (Please DO NOT PUT Me-Again Markle on the cover of any edition, ever ... she is the only other woman on the planet as ridiculous as Wintour is!! ...at least Miranda Priestly showed her human side in the end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Threadgold

    Absolutely loved this! Although, I did sort of think the author was trying a bit too hard to present Anna as warm. I couldn’t bear reading ‘in the rare instance that she cried’ about 50 times (obviously not that rare??) but other than that it was brilliant and a great introduction to a total icon. Would recommend!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Collieson

    NOT VERY Interesting,infact boring Nothing new that wasn't available all ready. I would think Anna wouldn't be much interested in this,the author just rehashed what was all ready out there. NOT VERY Interesting,infact boring Nothing new that wasn't available all ready. I would think Anna wouldn't be much interested in this,the author just rehashed what was all ready out there.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It was just okay. I didn't really learn anything earth-shattering and it seemed to hop around between years which I found confusing at times. Anna sounds like an interesting and very complex person. And a challenge to work for. It was just okay. I didn't really learn anything earth-shattering and it seemed to hop around between years which I found confusing at times. Anna sounds like an interesting and very complex person. And a challenge to work for.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    I really enjoyed this. I worked in the fashion industry for years and the stories about Anna are legendary. I suspect it will only be interesting for fashion insiders though - a lot of shop talk in this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JS

    Author organized it in a great way. Not sure how else to review a biography.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Sweeney

    🕶🕶🕶🕶🕶

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Smirnov

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Curley

  18. 5 out of 5

    jenny

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mia

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Bane

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rick

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  24. 5 out of 5

    Igor

  25. 4 out of 5

    Helen Barton

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adrianahdzp

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meesh

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katharine

  30. 5 out of 5

    John McCaffrey

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