Anna Wintour has raised a significant amount of money for President Obama and now some real rumors are swirling that her reward may be a political appointment, potentially the US ambassadorship in London if the post becomes vacant later this year by Louis Sussman. This would be a major career coo for the iconic Vogue Editor in Chief. It would raise her profile on to a whole new eschalon.
According to The Observer, Wintour’s involvement in politics has increased a lot in the last two years. She has attended high-profile White House events, including two state dinners, one of them during David Cameron’s visit in April. She serves on the President’s committee on the arts and humanities and has held Democratic party fundraising events at her New York home. Last November it was revealed that she is one of the biggest fund-raisers for the Obama Administration and has collected more than $500,000. According to New York Magazine, those big spenders get to apply for a job with the current administration before anyone else. Anna has put together a group called Runway to Win to help President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. She has also recruited quite the team to help. Vogue has helped round up 22 designers — includingMarc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, and Rachel Roy — to design items to benefit the Obama Victory Fund (in the video below she wears a scarf from the collection.) Wintour will also host a Runway to Win fundraising event in February, which may coincide with Fashion Week. If that isn’t excellent cross promotion, I don’t know what is.
Wintour has also personally helped First Lady Michelle Obama become a style icon which helps boost the fashion industry (think of what Michelle Obama has done for J.Crew sales.) Michelle also put designer Jason Wu on the map when she wore his design to the inauguration. Moreover, Vogue has consistently supported the first lady’s effort in education and public health and was the first glossy magazine to land her for a cover.
It is all these things plus her role in promoting fashion and luxury goods manufacturing as an important US export business that are making people think she is campaigning for an ambassador spot. Wintour has not confirmed or commented on these rumors and a state department spokesman told The Observer: ”An ambassador serves at the pleasure of the president. It’s a designation of the most qualified person. But it would be erroneous to think of London as a nice, cushy, westernised post. This is a key strategic ally, so you’re going to want a very seasoned person, be it on the economic or diplomatic side of things.”
But while we wait to hear if the rumors are actually true, Anna will be plenty busy traveling to London with White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, known in Washington as “the fixer”, or “the most powerful person in Washington that you haven’t heard of” and later in the week she will be co-hosting a $40,000-plate fundraiser dinner for Obama with Sarah Jessica Parker at Parker’s home in Manhattan. She filmed a video for the campaign below.
The current White House doesn’t need much style help but Wintour has proved to be a great businesswoman so I believe she would be a great asset to Obama. When Wintour took over as editor-in-chief in 1988 she literally transformed the magazine and made it the force it is today. It not only showcases fashion and designers, but dictates trends within the industry. Vogue has shaped the way people consume and appreciate high fashion, so with that in mind, Wintour sort of has a right to be cocky about the empire she has created. She concludes, “we can access and authority and ability to connect with everybody within the industry. And, you know, whoever we call will pick up the phone.”