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
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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.

Leadership skills applicable to any field, the importance of staying true to yourself

Leadership implies a point of view and a high degree of fearlessness.

Loved it. I don't work in fashion at all, I work in publishing, film/TV but I found the lessons I learned from Ms. Wintour to be applicable in almost any industry.

The class improved my thinking about my business. How to think outside of the box, to believe in my work and my team.


Dario Hamlet L.

Good morning Ms. Wintours , Hope you are doing well. Let me introduce myself, I’m Dario Hamlet Luciano ; A US NAVY veteran of 14 years turned fashion designer. My bachelor degree in fine arts - fashion design. I seeking mentor ship/ employment opportunities in your company as a production assistant. I will be grateful if given the opportunity to work for you or have you a mentor. This is my email address: Respectfully, Dario Hamlet Luciano

Victoria M.

My key takeaway from this class was to make mistakes and that California is a creative resource. I live here, and sometimes forget that until someone reminds me from the outside.

A fellow student

As someone who overthinks almost every artistic choice, this was very helpful to hear how she became so headstrong and maintained the mindset

Richard H.

My biggest take-away was don't let data lead you, but guide your decisions. As an educator, administration ALWAYS believes data should lead your decisions. The piece they total miss is "data", especially when it is coming from multiple educators who want to keep their job, can be very often manipulated. It should only be a small piece of the whole picture.

Brett G.

I liked the end where she said what she does to stay immersed in what is going on in the world. Most of the things she mentioned are filled with creativity. I believe creativity is what inspires and brings out passion, no matter what you are doing. I keep challenging my accounting guy to show us his creativity. Guess what? He's a self taught guitar player and makes beer at home. Nobody knew that until we gave him the environment to share his creativity. Pretty powerful and spot on. Anna is on it!


My key takeaway from this class was to immerse yourself in the world around you. Be aware of what is going on in the world and use that to inform and inspire your work. I find visiting museums and art galleries to be really inspiring.

Lynnemarie S.

I think what I liked about this chapter is that Anna wants the readers to feel the magazine's passion.


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.