Business, Politics & Society

Editorial Decision-Making

Anna Wintour

Lesson time 14:53 min

With her forward-thinking and sometimes surprising editorial choices, Anna has kept Vogue relevant for more than 30 years. She explores the process behind several of her controversial covers and features, and explains why making mistakes is vital.

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: It's very important to understand how your work fits into a much larger, cultural narrative. What is it that you are trying to say? What are you standing for? Your choices need to be a balance between how you stay true to the values and when it's important to become disruptive and confound expectations. In this chapter, I will be showing you how I've made some decisions and the mistakes and the lessons that I have learned over time. We have research, and facts, and data that supports who looks, who watches, who sees us. And they are educated, single, usually living in a city. But I don't have-- I don't think any of us have one image when we're talking to the "Vogue" reader, to the "Vogue" audience. We are just talking to them about what we care about, what we're passionate about, what we believe in, what we understand. And we believe that if we speak with that passion, and that voice, and that sense of authority, and all the amazing resources that we have, and the credible people that we're able to talk to that inform all the decisions that we make, that our passion, that our belief will reach that audience. I do not believe, I don't think any of us who work at Condé Nast, who work at "Vogue," is that you can find an audience or develop an audience through data, or research, or analytics. They can help you. They can inform you. They can make you focus on something. And they can tell you something you probably already guessed or thought. But at the end, the vision, the heart, the soul comes from the creative talent that's putting it out there every single day. And your audiences-- your audiences, your readers, your customers, whoever it may be, they will find you because of that passion. [MUSIC PLAYING] If we're thinking about how "Vogue" works and how we think today, I think a perfect example of the huge opportunity that we have to give something that we believe in a platform that is so remarkable, that the range is so remarkable, is our March 2019 issue. It was a moment when I think we were all thinking about what shows we were-- what designers, what talent we were truly responding to, what-- who had truth, who had meaning, who was actually really saying something. And I think it was the designers that gave us a sense of community and a sense of experience that stayed with us. And as we plotted out or started to first discuss the March issue, I think we wanted to do something that had weight, and that had meaning, and that could talk about the world in a very broad landscape. And we kept going back to the idea of California, and the changes that we saw happening in California, that it had become this center for so many different forces, whether it's technology, or whether it was the arts, whether it was fashion, whether it was design, whether it was a force for education, politically inspiring. I think it seemed to all of us that all worlds were colliding in Californ...

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.

I really appreciate Mrs. Wintour's time and participation on sharing her career experiences with the Master Class. I learned a lot and found this class very helpful in my own career.

Exceptional! Worth the price of the entire All-Access fee. Thank you!

I did not know Anna was British !... More seriously, it was very nice to hear her honest and personal speech about her accomplishment in the industry.

I have taken many Master Class courses and this is by far the most applicable to the real world. Anna offers a wide variety of tactics and strategy on how to accomplish your goals, removing the paralyzing fear of not knowing how to move forward successfully in such a competitive space. I will be binge watching again and again!



Her voice and how to builds sentences captivates and calms me. Maybe there are thing I needed for

Saurav N.

I think this is such a great education in becoming a filmmaker. With every issue of Vouge she is kind of making a film. She is leading the way by doing something personal like a filmmaker should.

Rubén S.

I work at the National Opera Company, in Mexico City. For years, opera has been my biggest passion. One day they came to me with the opportunity of create a new advertising campaign for the opera house. The results were stunning, lots of people who has never come to the opera opened to the possibility of assisting. This lesson cured a lot of thoughts about my mistakes at this creative process. At the end of the day, just as Anna said, I have to believe in my ideas and own my mistakes and just keep going.

Kelly S.

This lesson had particular impact and confirmation in my art career. Top tier galleries want and demand paintings that are from the core and have unique vision. However - there's a tension in the fine art world and leading professional organizations (Oil Painters of America for instance) that put huge pressure to paint a landscape a certain way with the basic formula of close up bushes, a path, mid trees, far trees, distant mountains and finally a sky in there somewhere. Galleries love a strong point of view - especially contemporary ones. Organizations however I feel like to keep all the artists looking the same - like a herd. Artists for sure are uncomfortable with me the more my vision stays strong and unique. This however makes it difficult to work with an organized group unless I play by the "rules". This has helped me now know the role that professional organizations have for development and camaraderie - but I need to keep blazing my own path and find galleries that want that expression. Thank you.

Jack S.

Very insightful lesson as it illustrates her principles in decision making. Anna repeats the need for Vogue to be in the conversation and being connected to the times. For a publication like Vogue, those are amongst the main priorities when making important decisions.. For other businesses, government offices, etc... there will be different priorities, but Anna's commitment and discipline in having principles guide her decisions is very valuable to keep in mind.


I started thinking - everyone needs to listen to this class - politicians, teachers, parents - the list goes on. She is offering good life lessons that can be put to good use by anyone doing anything.

Will H.

This class is really phenomenal, I'm learning so much & I appreciate Anna Wintour's existence which hitherto my discovering this class I didn't know even existed. As per this video, I don't understand the core of the controversy mentioned as per the heterosexual couple wearing clothing of each other's gender in light of the option to have the same kind of clothing but with a gender-fluid couple instead; can someone please elaborate on this? I don't see how this particular choice was a mistake.

Diane L.

I am binge watching this entire class. When I'm done, I'll binge watch it again!