Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief
  • Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief
  • Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief

Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief

4.1 9
by Jerry Oppenheimer
     
 

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She's ambitious, driven, insecure, needy, a perfectionist--and she's considered the most powerful force in the more than $100 billion fashion industry. She's Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, the world's fashion bible. With her signature Louise Brooks bob, trademark sunglasses, and glamorous furs, she's a sexy international diva, gossiped about the

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Overview

She's ambitious, driven, insecure, needy, a perfectionist--and she's considered the most powerful force in the more than $100 billion fashion industry. She's Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, the world's fashion bible. With her signature Louise Brooks bob, trademark sunglasses, and glamorous furs, she's a sexy international diva, gossiped about the world over. As famed designed Oscar de la Renta declares, "She's a star."

How did Wintour, who quit school over the length of her hemline, and who had no real writing or communication skills, rise to the pinnacle of the fashion magazine world? Based on scores of interviews with present and former friends and colleagues, Front Row is the scrupulously researched, often shocking life story of this enigmatic icon--a candid portrait of a fashion-obsessed teenager in Swinging Sixties London who claws her way up the ivory tower in New York. It is also an intimate examination of Wintour's personal passions and needs, her loves lost and won, and her feuds and achievements. Anna Wintour's story is an inside look at one of the world's most influential women as well as the catty, competitive bitch-eat-bitch world of fashion. Meow!

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Editorial Reviews

New York Observer
A fast-paced biographical romp... Mr. Oppenheimer uses Front Row to ladle out dish—just as he did in Just Desserts, his 1997 biography of Martha Stewart. What he serves up is pretty juicy.
New York Post
Better than fiction.
Complete Woman
The revealing unauthorized biography unveils the Anna Wintour even those closest to her don't know….If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, get your gossip fill with Front Row…we couldn't put it down.
Houston Chronicle
For inquiring minds, it's a juicy, tabloidesque read.
Booklist
Filled with gossip and scandals and peppered with celebrity names and tales…[A] fascinating read about one of the great queen-bee bosses and her mission to determine and define fashion.
Los Angeles Times
Schadenfreude enthusiasts will enjoy Oppenheimer's latest, Front Row, which offers Anna Wintour in extreme close-up.
Publishers Weekly
Already skewered in the 2003 novel The Devil Wears Prada, Wintour now gets a marginally more factual treatment in this latest unauthorized bio from celebrity trasher Oppenheimer (who's profiled Martha Stewart, the Clintons, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbara Walters and others). As in his previous works, Oppenheimer combs his subject's past, interviewing old school pals, ex-boyfriends, distant relatives, professional enemies, former colleagues and anyone else in possession of an ounce of dirt. Wintour has a reputation for being one of the nastiest women in both the fashion world and the realm of magazine publishing, a standing Oppenheimer bends over backward to bolster, dotting his pages with catty stories about her "calculated," "offensive" maliciousness (she'd buy clothes that were too small for her high school girlfriend, just so the girl would feel fat; later, at New York magazine in the early 1980s, she stole story ideas from colleagues). Although Oppenheimer clearly feels Wintour's notoriety is deserved, he does recognize her achievements: putting a model in jeans on the cover of Vogue, for example, when no one had dreamed of mixing denim with couture. If readers can ignore Oppenheimer's often over-the-top style ("The Wintour of British Vogue's discontent was about to begin"), they'll find some fun dish here. Photos. Agents, Dan Strone and Robert Gottlieb. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A biographer to the stars (e.g., Barbara Walters, Martha Stewart, the Clintons) takes on "Nuclear Wintour." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Gleefully vicious biography of a New York fashion icon. She edits the fashion world's bible but couldn't stay faithful to her husband. That's Oppenheimer's take on Wintour's life: five decades of ruthlessness leading inexorably to huge professional success and crashing personal failures. Oppenheimer (The Other Mrs. Kennedy, 1994, etc.) starts with Wintour's family, Wintour's adolescent rebellion, her parents' divorce, her many boyfriends, and her failure ever to graduate from college. At early jobs, she was miles ahead of the other girls in terms of ambition and style, as well as of cruelty (she was dubbed "bacon slicer" for her sharp tongue); more than one coworker also recalls that she couldn't write copy for her fashion spreads, a handicap she apparently never overcame. Oppenheimer gives equal time to her jobs and her men, here chronicling affairs and there pointing out, delightedly, that Anna spent two years at Bob Guccione's Viva magazine in the '70s. The story winds up in the present, presenting Anna at American Vogue (she'd been at British Vogue earlier), twisting S.I. Newhouse around her little finger. Her innovative styling is well documented, as is her slash-and-burn technique of assimilating magazine staff (her once-trusted, recently sabotaged personal assistant was happy to discuss specifics with the author). In fact, the number of sources willing to be interviewed and quoted by name is the best indication of Wintour's ability to command loyalty. There are details and revelations galore; unfortunately, the author's completist tendencies-recounting the number of buttons on Anna's high-school gym uniform, for example-bloat what could be a much more streamlined hatchet job. Allthe minutiae can't hide the fact that since Wintour herself declined to participate, her interior life remains unknown. Those looking for fashion-world dish won't quibble, since Oppenheimer otherwise offers such an in-depth look at Anna's "bitch-eat-bitch world."Agent: Dan Strone/Trident Media Group

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312323110
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/07/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
236,456
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.81(d)

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