Business, Politics & Society

Case Studies: Lessons From Creative Leaders

Anna Wintour

Lesson time 9:59 min

Telling the stories of Christopher Bailey, Miuccia Prada, and Michael Kors, Anna highlights what has made these creative leaders successful.

Anna Wintour
Teaches Creativity and Leadership
Anna Wintour gives unprecedented access to her world, teaching you how to lead with vision and creativity—and without apology.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] ANNA WINTOUR: I'm going to share with you things that I have learned from some of my very favorite designers. Even though they are designers specifically, each has a lesson that is relevant for you to know and understand as a creative leader no matter the type of work that you are engaged in. [MUSIC PLAYING] There are so many designers whose paths I admire and respect and have followed over many years. But if I was to think who would be the most helpful possibly to all of you, I think I would start by talking a little bit about Christopher Bailey at Burberry who left college and went to work for a number of famous designers like Donna Karan in the United States and then Tom Ford at Gucci before he was brought in by Rose Marie Bravo to become creative director at Burberry. And because Christopher had, I think, a good 10 years experience working for some of the biggest and most brilliant names in the business, I think that he not only had a very sure sense of who he was and what he wanted to do with Burberry, he had real experience. And I think it's very, very important to remember that the designers that leave college and go straight into creating their own businesses and succeed are actually few and far between. And my advice to all of you is to really think very carefully about working for a designer whose work that you admire before you start your own business. So Christopher went to Burberry. And because traditionally Burberry had always shown in Milan because at that time, people didn't think that London was the creative hub that it is today and that it was so-- it seemed a bit provincial. It seemed a bit quiet. And a big house like Burberry didn't think that there would be enough sparks flying or enough news being made if Christopher showed in London. So we had many dinners over the years where we talked about how unhappy he was with the idea of showing in Milan and how he didn't think that it really fit with his sensibility or his point of view, but the powers that be felt very strongly he should stay there. And he did perfectly lovely collections, created the plaid bikini on Kate Moss, really took Burberry into the mainstream, made it something that women and men everywhere wanted. But it wasn't talked about maybe the way that he might have wanted. And Christopher is a wonderful man, very humble, very polite, very low key, never puts himself forward. But finally, he had his way. And they took Burberry back to London. And it was the most important move that Christopher made during his years there at Burberry because somehow he was able to channel what was best about Burberry. He found its core. He channeled the cool, young kids in London. He channeled music. He had the shows in beautiful tents in the middle of Hyde Park. He just made it an event. And because he brought Burberry back to London, he made London exciting again, and everybody started to go. It became a absolutely you have to go on your way...

How to be a boss

A fashion and media icon, Anna Wintour has been driving our cultural conversation for more than 30 years. The Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Artistic Director of Condé Nast takes off her signature sunglasses and gives you unprecedented access to her world. See how Anna nurtures talent, makes bold decisions, and evolves a brand. Learn how to lead with impact from a visionary creative leader.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Excellent! I am fascinated with Anna's leadership and she proves to be an excellent teacher.

Anna somehow combines practical advice with inspiration. I believe the best teachers need both. Very versatile and current / forward-thinking advice.

That successful management/leadership is about having a clear point of view which you deploy effectively through a creative, effective, pragmatic, and decisive process of decision making.

SOOOO GOOD! She is wise and generous with her wisdom. Priceless.