News & Runway

The Definitive Guide to Anna Wintour’s Assistants, Past and Present

Think you have the chops to be Anna Wintour’s little helper? There’s only one way to find out. Consult the ghosts of assistants past. 

Name: Lauren WeisbergerEducation: English degree from Cornell University. Life After Anna: Served as the assistant editor at Departures where she wrote 100-word reviews. Claim to Fame: Lauren is the infamous author behind The Devil Wears Prada, published in 2003. She’s since written four more novels titled American Girls About Town, Everyone Worth Knowing, Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel and Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns

Lauren Weisberger posing with her book

Lauren Weisberger; Image: Getty

Name: Sylvana Ward Durrett. Status: Hired as Anna’s assistant in 2003. Education: Princeton University, where she met her husband, investment banker Adam Ballard Durrett. Family Heritage: Her father, David S. Ward, is a screenwriter and director, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Sting. He was also one of the writers on Sleepless in SeattlePrior Work Experience: Worked at HL Group and interned in the fashion departments at both Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times Style Magazine. Condé Nast Career Path: Served as the accessories editor at Vogue before succeeding Stephanie Winston Wolkoff as the director of special events at the magazine, where she currently produces over 30 events per year, including the annual Met Gala. Instagram Handle: @sylvanitas

Name: Jessica Sailer Van Lith. Prior Work Experience: Ralph Lauren’s accessories and merchandising team. Condé Nast Career Path: After working as Anna’s assistant, Jessica assisted Virginia Smith. Later, she was promoted to associate fashion editor and then market editor at the magazine. Life After Anna: She’s currently the fashion market editor at Glamour.

Lauren Remington Platt, Jessica Sailer Van Lith, Claiborne Swanson Frank; Image: Getty

Lauren Remington Platt, Jessica Sailer Van Lith, Claiborne Swanson Frank; Image: Getty

Name: Lawren Howell. Education: Art history degree at Vassar College. Prior Work Experience: Worked in the creative departments at Kate Spade and Jack Spade in 2002. Condé Nast Career Path: Became Vogue‘s West Coast fashion editor in 2006. Wedding: Married Kris Moller in a custom Rodarte gown. Life After Anna: Contributing editor at Vogue and freelance stylist. Style Coup: Lawren inspired Jennifer Aniston’s “Rachel haircut.”

Lauren Howell; Image: Getty

Lawren Howell; Image: Getty