The fashion industry is brutal. I think it’s like the music industry or the art industry, where you work really hard and spend a lot of time creating something great, only for it to be badly criticized later. And if you’re in fashion, you have to start from the bottom before moving up — in New York City, at that. That’s just the rule. Unless you’re from Europe, then you have to start in Paris. And if you don’t have style, forget about it.
If you don’t believe me, just watch The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Based on Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling book of the same title, The Devil Wears Prada is a semi-fictional account of today’s fashion publishing world. The book and, consequently, the movie are largely based on Weisberger’s own experience as Anna Wintour’s assistant at Vogue.
In the movie, Andy Sachs is hired on as Miranda Priestly’s assistant at Runway. Andy, as a lowly assistant, is treated as such — fetching coffee, running errands, working miracles, doing the impossible — all while receiving little to no recognition from her boss, Miranda.
In real life, Anna Wintour herself, wearing Prada (haha, good one, Anna), went to the premiere of TDWP, and it was reported that she scurried out of the theater as soon as the credits rolled. No pictures with Miranda Priestly. No after-movie cocktails with the cast. Nothing. Just up and left. That was back in 2006.
Fast forward some two years to 2008, when The September Issue premieres. I think the movie was a pseudo-here’s-how-the-industry-really-is from Wintour’s own camp. This movie is a documentary based on the reality of the fashion industry and the importance of Vogue’s September issue. From what I gather, the reality of the fashion industry isn’t that far of a stretch from the semi-fictional portrayal of it in TDWP — feelings get hurt; Wintour has no mercy. But, in the end, Vogue’s September issue is a success.
So yes, like Miranda, Wintour’s a tough boss, but, hey, look at what’s been accomplished with her direction.
If you had to pick, who would you prefer as a boss? Miranda Priestly or Anna Wintour? That’s a tough call, but I think I’d go with Anna Wintour because I like her haircut.