With all the new media outlets out there, with all the noise, a voice of authority and calm like Vogue becomes more important than ever. The more eyes on fashion, the more opinions about fashion, the more exploration of fashion around the world, the better it is for Vogue. Vogue is like Nike or Coca-Cola""this huge global brand. I want to enhance it, I want to protect it, and I want it to be part of the conversation.
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I've been very lucky to put women that I sincerely admire on the cover of 'Vogue:' the then First Lady and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, more recently, First Lady Michelle Obama. Those were benchmarks for the magazine, and certainly covers that I've been very, very proud of.
We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest talents of his generation. He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen's influence was astonishing - from street style, to music culture and the world's museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss.
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I think what I often see is that people are frightened about fashion. Because it scares them or makes them feel insecure, so they just put it down. On the whole people that may say the mean things about our world I think that's usually because they feel, in some ways, excluded or, you know, not a part of 'the cool group' so as a result they just mock it.
Just be true to yourself, and listen as much as one is able to to other people whose opinions you respect and look up to but in the end it has to come from you. You can't really worry too much by looking to the left and the right about what the competition is doing or what other people in your field are doing. It has to be a true vision.
I saw young women in the street dressing in a way that I thought was influencing the designers. Fashion was being influenced by all sorts of different people, and culture and also across the street. So I saw more as a trickle up, than a trickle down influence. When I came to Vogue, that's what I wanted it to reflect.
Because of reality television and all these celebrities thinking they can be designers, everyone imagines that they can just become a designer, photographer, or model, but that's not the way things work. People have to go to school, learn their craft, and build a brand - that's the right, healthy way to do things.
Mental health is an area where people are embarrassed. They don't want to talk about it because somehow they feel they're a failure as a parent or, you know, they're embarrassed for their child or they want to protect their child, lots of very good reasons, but mental health, I feel, is something that you have to talk about.
I look for strong people. I don't like people who'll say yes to everything I might bring up. I want people who can argue and disagree and have a point of view that's reflected in the magazine. My dad believed in the cult of personality. He brought great writers and columnists to 'The Standard.'