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Who Is Anna Wintour And How Did She Get So Much Power Over The Met Gala?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of North American Vogue, is the badass of the fashion world. She’s famous for being a difficult and authoritarian person. You’ve probably watched “The Devil Wears Prada”, a movie produced in 2006, starring Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, an editor-in-chief of a popular fashion magazine that everyone is super afraid of. People say that this character was based on Anna Wintour, to show the world the way she works and deals with people.

But Anna is also known for being the one that chooses who’s going to be (or not) at one of the most influential fashion events in the world: the Met Gala and that’s why everyone in Hollywood wants to be friends with her.  

The beginning

In the 70’s, Anna debuted in the journalism market as an editorial assistant at the old Harper’s & Queen (a British holding). Almost a decade later, in 1981, she became New York Magazine’s fashion editor, and that’s when her work started to gain visibility.

Anna Wintour approximately in the 90s decade posted by a fan account.

In 1983, Wintour joined American Vogue as creative director, a position that didn’t exist before her. Two years later, she became editor-in-chief of British Vogue. During that time, Elle Magazine was the main cause of fear in Vogue US.  They were terrified that they would lose their shine, and that’s when, in 1988, Anna finally became American Vogue’s chief editor. 

In her new position, she made radical changes to the magazine, including the first cover of a fashion magazine in which the model appeared in denim jeans, pretty innovative at that time. That’s also when Anna Wintour received her fame for being controlling. There are some stories that she requires photographers and stylists to send Polaroids of the location, scenery, and clothes before they start clicking. Her team also claims that she reads everything written for a publication before approving. People say that Wintour has two to three assistants at the same time, who help with different tasks in her personal and professional life.

Met Gala

The first Met Gala happened in 1948, organized by the public relations mind Eleanor Lambert, also responsible for creating NYFW (New York Fashion Week). Originally called “The Costume Institute Benefit”, it was created as a benefit event to help support the operations department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, which was unable to support it on its own. Lambert then used her entire list of valuable contacts to choose the names of those who would be present.

In 1995, Anna began to organize the Met Gala. Until 1999, the event used to happen in December and it was only with the death of the Costume Institute curator, Richard Martin, that the calendar changed. Nowadays, the event happens on the first monday of May.  

Anna Wintour on the red carpet of the Met Gala in 2022.

Anna is the one who calls famous people to join the red carpet and the one who says if you’re in or out. The expected guest list reflects fashion, entertainment, and political stars who add to the pages of Vogue. During the month, there are some speculations about who will be attending, but the guests are only revealed a few moments before the big night. For example, this year, with the theme “The Garden of Time”, the co-hosts are Bad Bunny, Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, and Zendaya. 

Wintour has raised more than $50 million for the museum. In 2014, the Costume Institute even named its galleries “The Anna Wintour Costume Center”, enshrining Wintour’s fundamental role in the evolution of the department. The editor-in-chief was already a regular participant in the Met Gala, but what’s impressive is the way that Anna raised the levels and transformed the event into a part of fashion’s history, joining the tradition of the party with the Vogue’s universe, bringing much more prestige and making people willing to participate in the mysterious dinner.

Besides the fame of being a tough woman, Anna Wintour is a revolution in fashion. Is pretty clear that she’s made important contributions to history and changed the way of fashion. At 74, Anna continues to be a symbol of intelligence and elegance.


The article below was edited by Manuela Miniguini.

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Luana Zanardi

Casper Libero '26

hi, im luana. i like to write, love musics, and of course, taylor swift. just living around :)