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Anna Wintour Remodels 'Vogue' As 'The National Inquirer' With Better Pictures.

Mar 24 2014


In her 2011 interview with CBS' Serena Altschul, Anna Wintour declares: "To be in 'Vogue' has to mean something. It's an endorsement. It's a validation." Well then, what are we to make of Vogue's April cover subject, Kim Kardashian*?

Even if one were to accept for the sake of argument that reality television personalities embody a cultural zeitgeist worthy of examination as Wintour alludes to in her Editor's Letter, Vogue can't even claim to be breaking new ground by featuring a reality television star on its cover. That dubious distinction goes to U.S. Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey who started casting various reality television personalities on her magazine's cover as early as June 2007 (Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie). Bailey has since gone on to feature Kardashian herself on the cover (March 2011) as well as an editorial with the cast of Jersey Shore (April 2010). Forgive me but the thought that Anna Wintour is now treading a path forged for her by Glenda Bailey is hard to wrap my mind around.

Lest we forget (don't we wish we could?), Kardashion first came to "prominence" thanks to the "leak" of a suspiciously well-lit sex tape with then boyfriend R Jay. She has since moved on to bigger and better things including a series of vapid reality television shows which have depicted various antics not least of which included submitting to an x-ray to disprove alleged claims that her buttocks had been surgically enhanced. She also went through with a sham marriage largely believed to have been staged for the sake of the show's ratings (it lasted a whopping 72 days from the date of the televised nuptials to the divorce decree). And, of course, to round out her list of accomplishments, she has a multitude of dodgy endorsement deals ranging from fake tanners and cheap lip gloss to a fashion line which she neither designs nor wears.

So, Ms. Wintour, forgive me for asking but, what is Vogue endorsing or validating exactly by putting Kardashian on its cover? The pursuit of celebrity by any means necessary? Fame for fame's sake, no discernible skill or talent required? A new role model for Vogue readers to aspire to? My inquiring mind really wants to know.


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*Technically, Kardashian shares the cover with fiancé Kanye West who stands behind her Svengali-like but to me, he looks more like a prop than a cover subject.


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Our "culture" is unfortunately melding into a hodge-podge of celebrity, trend, and bling. All delivered on multiple platforms at breakneck speed. Ms. Wintour is simply reflecting what is already occurring. That doesn't mean she SHOULD. But, alas, she is.

There seems to be very little room anymore for a traditional, thoughtful sort of quality in the world of fashion/style/luxe. As a niche designer, I've struggled with this for a long time. What's the answer? I really have no idea. I've decided to stick to my guns and do what I know how to do as best I can. Will it work? Qui sait. But I'll be damned if I'm going to emulate La Kardashian.

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The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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