Vogue Paris’s editors feel Anna Wintour is imposing ‘wokeness’ on them

The Fashion Awards, Arrivals, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

For years, there have been rumors about Anna Wintour’s career decline, that she did not have the full support of Conde Nast, that she would retire at any moment. That whole time, Wintour has been gaining power within Conde Nast. In addition to her title as editor-in-chief of American Vogue, she was named Conde Nast’s artistic director in 2013, and Conde Nast’s global content adviser in 2019. Several months ago, Wintour was given a few more gaudy titles: worldwide chief content officer and global editorial director of Vogue. Meaning, she’s in charge of all of the regional Vogues and she’s got her hand in all of Conde Nast’s publications, and most importantly, she gets a say in the biggest editorial hires. Edward Enniful was also given a big new position at the same time – he’s not only editor-in-chief of British Vogue, but he’s now in charge of Vogue’s European operations. Well, now the Daily Mail claims that there’s trouble in the Vogue Paris offices because Wintour is imposing her woke American values on a beloved French magazine. Sure.

Vogue Paris is in danger of ‘losing its soul’ as Anna Wintour pushes ‘American woke values’ onto the publication to try and help its tumbling circulation numbers, insiders have claimed.

Dame Anna Wintour, 71, who is now based in New York, has been accused of ‘crushing the elitist Parisian spirit’ by streamlining global editions of the fashion bible, according to French newspaper Le Figaro. The French edition of Vogue is also in danger of having the ‘Paris’ title dropped from its cover for next month’s edition for the first time in 70 years.

In an editorial written this week, Le Figuro said Vogue has ‘wiped Paris off the map’ and accused Dame Wintour of curbing the fierce independence of the French edition of Vogue as part of a move to put magazine’s European titles under streamlined control. It added that Condé Nast is also adapting to the world of online influencers and age social media activism with the prominence of group like Black Lives Matter and campaigns like #MeToo.

Last month, Conde Nast named Eugénie Trochu as the new boss of their Paris edition taking over from Emmanuelle Alt, who had been at the helm for a decade. Eugénie reports to Dame Anna and British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, who is also European editorial director.

Le Figaro and other Paris media has also reported how cultural institutions are ‘resisting American wokeness’.

In September, Vogue Paris held an exhibition to mark the centenary of the magazine, with Wintour reportedly outraged by the lack of non-white women on the covers on display. Despite reported tensions with central operations, Enninful has supported the Paris edition, last month saying: ‘The French edition of Vogue is a source of inspiration around the world’.

[From The Daily Mail]

I hate to defend Nuclear Wintour but what in the world is this French melodrama? It sounds like Wintour came to Jesus and finally understands that ALL Vogue editions need to be more representative and inclusive, and they need to do more to feature models of color, designers of color, etc. Paris is the capital of fashion, right? Do Parisian fashionistas just want to stay in their all-white bubble, where there are few women of color walking runways at Paris Fashion Week and no women of color on the cover of Vogue Paris? I get that Vogue Paris’s editors and fashion writers want to retain their own (particularly French) sensibilities and vision, but… what Wintour and Enniful are suggesting is just good business and good sense. Why the hissy fit in Le Figaro?



Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, covers courtesy of Vogue Paris.

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30 Responses to “Vogue Paris’s editors feel Anna Wintour is imposing ‘wokeness’ on them”

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  1. Emily says:

    And of course the Daily Mail is super concerned about Wintour imposing her “woke American values” on the French. Salty Island Brexited, remember? Stay in your lane Daily Mail.

  2. LightPurple says:

    “Woke” used as a pejorative is the current way bigots identify one another and proudly proclaim their bigotry. Le Figaro seems to be proudly proclaiming its bigotry.

    • Traveler says:

      Perfect comment.
      So what they are actually saying in demeaning the term “woke” is that somehow promoting kindness, empathy and inclusiveness is what’s really wrong in the world.
      The state of too large a portion of humanity is revolting.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yep, and yep. Pretty much.

  3. Watcher says:

    I don’t read Paris Vogue so I can’t speak to what’s on their cover or in their pages, but Fashion Week just ended across Europe and there were TONS of people of color walking the runways (and people of different body types), so that’s no excuse.

    This all sounds to me like a more divisive way of saying “corporate America is taking over our pages.” If they said that, no one would care, but if they say “woke left” then there’s screaming.

    • Betsy says:

      I agree with your second paragraph. I have not liked the direction that Anna Wintour has taken Vogue over the years. There are fewer articles, they are dumber, she might finally be making the pages of American Vogue more diverse, but it’s not like she’s been doing that all along. If I were any other country, I would deeply resent Wintour changing my magazine’s editorial direction. If it were literally just diversity and inclusivity, I’d say they should suck it up because diversity is imperative, but I bet she’s “wintour-ovating” the whole thing as much as she can (aka blandifying it) and that’s bad.

    • Lou says:

      @Watcher — Yep.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    It sounds to me that real story is that French Vogue has been struggling for some time.

  5. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    Well, most of the wealth in Europe is in the hands of (often quite racist) white people, in France as well. The target audience for high (or at least higher) fashion are also therefore (often quite racist) white people, so the editors might feel they’re loosing money with not catering solely to (often quite racist) white people.

  6. MarcelMarcel says:

    Like I’m sure Anna Wintour cares about diversity and inclusivity on an intellectual level. BUT I’ve also read about Andre Leon Talley’s perspective on how she treated him.
    I think you’d have to be incredibly racist to get that offended by a profit driven capitalist.
    I know I sound cynical but there’s money to be paid in advertising towards marginalised communities and uplifting BIPoc creatives. The optimist in me hopes she’s had a come to Jesus and decided to help dismantle racism… but I’ll wait and see how she treats her employees going forward.

  7. GR says:

    The whiners in the french fashion establishment are just a bunch of racists who don’t want to admit that France isn’t, and never has been, all white and all christian.

    • Léna Fontenelle says:

      As a French person, this is 100% true

    • MipMip says:


      This. The French fashion elite are on par with the British aristocracy in terms of racist/classist gatekeeping. It also ties in to France’s national identity, which they are always trying to preserve and of which fashion is a big part. The French believe that “outsiders” (minorities, immigrants, etc) should conform/adapt to French ideals and not bring their own. You see this with their laws on religious freedom.

      • Kfg says:

        The French elite seem to be upset that they’re outnumbered, unattractive, and their cocaine skinny is boring. They like to look down on minorities while culturally appropriating those ethnic and racial groups to make their fashion impactful and interesting. They’re so basic and the wokeness is showing how most of those fashion houses are destroying the environment and hiding revenues.

      • Tessa says:

        The French have been dictating fashions for centuries and it wasn’t thanks to minorities. I also didn’t realize there was an objective measure for “unattractive” and “boring”.

      • Kfg says:

        Yes and stealing most of the ideas from people they deemed less than. Look at French fashion before the slave trade. Before trade with Asia. Not much to look at. The silhouettes changed dramatically once they came into contact with different groups and attempted to emulate them. They are not attractive and spend most of the time copying groups deemed undesirables features. Full lips, almond shapes eyes, tanning skin, use of wigs with cornrows. Using AA and Asian street fashions as the blueprint while giving none of the credit. So yes they’ve been culturally appropriating for 600 years and now they’re mad that people are not ok with it. Last vestiges of ytness being the standard and they are fighting tooth and nail.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      @Tessa if you research the art and cultural of France you’ll see it’s like any colonial power. They invaded, stole land, killed BIPoc people, stole their resources and made a lot of money from the theft of their culture.
      It’s more a recent example… But look at how Paul Gaughin was praised for ditching his family to run away and make art in the most unethical way possible. The way he treated Polynesian womxn and teen girls was straight up abhorrent. You can find older examples too.
      Islamphobia has been institutionalised as acceptable with laws around against wearing of hijab in spaces like schools. Meanwhile white ladies can wear all the crosses they want.

      • yep says:

        Don’t pull your punches. Paul Gauguin was a pedophile that singlehandedly started an STD epidemic. He was an abhorrent human being. You are right and you should say it loud and clear.

  8. B says:

    If Anna Wintour is too “woke” for you then yikes.

  9. lunchcoma says:

    The word “woke” has officially ceased to have meaning.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      It kind of has lost meaning. Not too long ago I saw some Matthew McConaughey-types bleating on about how Bible-thumping anti-vaxx shenanigans are the result of Them Wokes Going 2 Far. 🙄

  10. Miranda says:

    But I thought that “wiping Paris off the map” has been part of the British Dream for centuries!

  11. Emma says:

    Mmmm. Loulou de la Falaise called Andre Leon Talley the N word (reported in a 1994 article in New Yorker) and Clara Sant (head of publicity for YSL) called him a derogatory racist and homophobic name that got picked up and repeated across Paris. Those were the leaders of Paris fashion, and I kinda doubt the old guard is all gone yet and it’s magically suddenly become a pro-Black environment. I admire ALT for going as far as he did and I remember how Anna Wintour treated him so badly at the end.

    On a personal note: I also know there is an ENDURING history of colonialism and anti-Black racism in France — just look at Kanaky (New Caledonia). A lot of cruelty when you look past the surface.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      I totally agree. ALT and Grace Coddington were my favourite in the September Issue. ALT just has flawless personal style, a great eye, passion and radiates creativity. I look at photos of him when I need style inspiration.

      I really admire him for coming forward about the racism he experienced. I don’t think the public is entitled to that information and bravery comes in many forms. But he must have chosen honouring himself over accepting AW’s bullsh*t. Because publicly disclosing it all would have burnt some bridges for him.

      I really need to get a copy of The Chiffon Trenches.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      PS just wanted to say I went to Kanaky and I totally agree. I love France (going there as artistic kid was mind blowing art wise). But our view on it is totally whitewashed, sentimental and not historical accurate. I was really inspired by the footage of BLM rallies from France last year.

  12. Lemons says:

    The French have taken the word “woke” and use it as a derogatory term as we’ve done in the States. Living here hearing people misuse the term woke is so aggravating. What they really want to say is that they are perfectly fine with the status quo, they don’t feel the need for more diversity or cultural infusion. I could go on and on, but if you read French, you can go ahead and search “woke” on the r/france subreddit for a deep dive. Most of the comments are really Fox News-adjacent but they want to sound smart.

  13. D says:

    How did I miss that Emmanuelle Alt was fired as EIC?

  14. Jade says:

    Le Figaro is a conservative newspaper. The right wing has been obsessed with woke and cancel culture. The presidential elections is this spring and they’re exhausting. I’m french and I hate the french girl myth that is so many find iconic. It’s always a white, skinny wealthy Parisian woman.

  15. yep says:

    Europe loves claiming the US invented “woke” and “cancel culture” and everything of that sort because that way they can portray it as ugly and stupid like they think Americans are. It’s a shitty tactic and I hope Europeans don’t buy it.

    Loving the status quo and rallying against the “radical left” is the stupidest hill to die on.