Friday Tea Break: A Fashion World War Is Brewing Against Anna Wintour



No name in fashion sends chills down one's spine quite like Anna Wintour's. {When I worked at Vogue we called her "Nuclear Wintour."} And we're not just talking about the summer interns who happen to pass her by in the corridors of Condé Nast. Everyone from fellow high-up editors to designers to, of course, her executive assistants (we've all seen The Devil Wears Prada) are well aware of her icy reputation, along with her ability to make or break careers - and friendships. Now, after some not-so-nice secrets from her former Vogue wingman have gone public, the fashion world flood gates have officially opened. How's this for a juicy distraction?


André Leon Talley


Le drama began last week when passages from André Leon Talley's upcoming memoir, The Chiffon Trenches, were obtained by the Daily Mail. The longtime Vogue editor credited Wintour as being a "powerful ally" when he launched his career at the glossy, back in the '80s. When he first ran into her at the office, she smiled at him, and when he got home, she had sent a note saying, "Welcome to Vogue. I look forward to working with you."


They worked together for years, developing a personal and professional relationship. When Wintour became the EIC of Vogue in 1988, she hired Talley as Creative Director, giving him an unprecedented ranking as a black man in fashion journalism. Together they made history, so what went wrong?


After their decades-long friendship, Talley says that he has "huge emotional and psychological scars." In his memoir, he claims the bobbed icon is "not capable of human kindness," pointing to her silent treatments, calculated relationships ("she has mercilessly made her best friends people who are the highest in their chosen fields"), and stone-cold business decisions (which include removing him from his role interviewing celebs on the Met Gala red carpet, without addressing it directly).


In recent years, he claims he "had suddenly become too old, too overweight, too uncool" for her. "She simply put me out of her existence. Now she treats me as a former employee, brief greetings, never anything more than perfunctory salutations."


Graydon Carter



And Talley didn't just spill his own tea about dealing with Wintour. Graydon Carter, the legendary former editor of Vanity Fair, reportedly confessed to Talley, "One day she treats me like a good friend and a colleague, and the next day, she treats me as if she had just handed over her keys to an unknown parking valet." Ouch! 


Ralph Rucci



And it seems like this is just the beginning of the upcoming Wintour war. This week, American luxury designer Ralph Rucci has stepped forward not only in support of Talley, but to hint at his own grievances with the fashion queen. 

"My dear friend and man of such vision, intelligence, and hurt has spoken forth regarding the British woman who works at Vogue," he wrote in an Instagram post. "I am proud of him for taking this step because there has been so much personal evil and destruction, and now perhaps others will feel safe to speak."


In perhaps a slightly more threatening tone, Rucci also said "that a door, locked for years, out of fear of retribution for truth, has been OPENED WIDE."


"I have been working on all of the evil memories, and we have emailed and photographed proof along with many, many people who came forth and spoken..... and I will write about what I had to contend with concerning this very, very meaningless person who deeply knew that she had no substance to exist in the realms of Snow, Vreeland, Mirabella, Orton, Weir, and thus she had to iceberg her self to float through the sea and destroy not help our metier. It’s finished!"


Stay tuned...

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