“When we are young we dream of moving upwards, but as I’ve got older my joy has come from moving forward,” says Anna Wintour. Since becoming editor of Vogue in 1988, Wintour has seen her industry transform, and Conde Nast has been at the forefront of each new medium. In a packed keynote session at Cannes Lions, Wintour talks fashion, film and friendship with Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey, as well as giving her four rules for creativity.
1. Ever More Ambitious. “It would be ridiculous to ignore the speed and possibilities of the digital age,” says Wintour. But at the same time, she believes that truly great ideas aren’t necessarily limited to the newest media. She cites the film ‘Boyhood’ as one example, as well as Paul Haggis’s expose of Scientology for The New Yorker. “There was nothing ‘digital age’ about that piece,” she says, “but it was the most read online, and the most intensely read.”
2. Dare To Be Different. “Stepping out of the mainstream requires great coverage and confidence,” says Wintour — but she insists that the risk can be worth it.
3. Use All Your Gold. The theory that showcasing your best content online damages print sales is a fallacy, says Wintour. She recalls the security breach which saw a photoshoot leaked online; instead of simply running the magazine as usual, Vogue published the entire shoot online — and it now ranks among the site’s most viewed content.
4. Make Interesting Friends. Diversity of perspective is as important in Wintour’s world as it is in every other industry. And contrary to popular belief, she doesn’t always mind when people disagree with her. “Be as inclusive as you can,” says Wintour. “The landscape is so atomised that people are looking at supportive relationships.”