Yesterday, the New York Times published an article by media critic David Carr which snippily challenges the notion that Anna Wintour's success at Vogue will help boost faltering Condé Nast publications, now that she's been appointed the media company's artistic director. Carr makes the case that Wintour's influence at Conde is unprecedented: Although a couple executives have held similar roles, none simultaneously directed their own publication.
Wintour's most famous move since taking her new position at the top of the Conde food chain was replacing former Lucky editor, Brandon Holley, with former Teen Vogue beauty director Eva Chen. Chen was a popular hire among bloggers and other youngish, Internet-savvy fashion folk, but Carr casts her as Wintour's puppet:
Since Ms. Wintour has become de facto editor of Lucky, the magazine has become Vogue-ified. Women not shaped like supermodels, once a staple of Lucky’s pages, are now banished. The cover of the October issue, shot by the Vogue stalwart Patrick Demarchelier, features Eva Mendes, a remarkable-looking person who has very little in common with the girl next door.
Carr goes on to detail Wintour's involvement with Glamour (which is down 28% in newsstand sales) and Condé Nast Traveler, where she oversaw recent masthead changes, documenting the Vogue editor's growing command over the entire Condé Nast empire.
"Five high-ranking newsroom employees told me that the new order is both not up for discussion — no one at the company wants to risk offending Ms. Wintour — and all anyone is talking about," he writes.
[On a related note, both Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit (also a Condé publication) announced today (via trade outlets WWD and AdvertisingAge, respectively), that they were each taking their editorial in a new, sexy direction.]
Anyway, there was supposed to be a point to all this and here it is:
— Belieber™ (@BieberGomrz) September 22, 2013
Wintour met with Selena Gomez for lunch this weekend in Milan and now many outlets are speculating that the pop star is being considered for a Vogue cover. Of course, anything's possible. But considering the full range of Wintour's responsibilities at Condé Nast, it seems equally likely that a photo of Gomez will soon appear underneath the Lucky logo.
Or, as Carr put it in the concluding sentence of his piece on Wintour's growing sphere of influence: "When you have a bejeweled hammer that has worked very well for 25 years, everything around you looks like a nail."