Landing a job in Vogue is a golden opportunity for anyone hoping to kickstart a career in the fashion industry.
However, for Black people who worked under editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, their jobs became a dream come true turned real-life nightmare.
On Saturday, several Vogue employees spoke to The New York Times about their experiences at Vogue and its publisher, Condé Nast – or nicknamed “Condé Nasty.”
They believe that Anna Wintour, who has been with Vogue since 1988 and is the current artistic director for Condé Nast since 2013, should give up completely her role as the editorial leader.
Though the fashion industry is already cutthroat as it is, one former Black employee revealed that the magazine enforced the theme while creating a racist environment.
They revealed, “It’s hard. This is the way it’s supposed to be. But at Vogue, when we’d evaluate a shoot or a look, we’d say, ‘That’s Vogue,’ or ‘That’s not Vogue,’ and what that meant was ‘thin, rich and white.'”
Former Black employees of Vogue divulged that the company usually hires employees that are white and thin, came from a wealthy family and were educated from elite schools.
Vogue employees criticized Anna Wintour for creating a racist work environment that sidelined and tokenized women of color, particularly Black women.
The New York Times noted that Vogue often used “fronting,” a corporate practice where junior employees would be called on to sit in on discussions with advertisers and participate in meetings.
In one instance, Anna Wintour, reportedly, used an offensive term when questioned about the cultural appropriateness that featured Black women wearing headscarves.
She, allegedly, responded to an employee’s email about it, saying, “Don’t mean to use an inappropriate word, but pica ninny came to mind.”
When Kendall Jenner wore fake gold teeth in 2017, Wintour, reportedly, endorsed and glorified cultural appropriation.
Wintour, reportedly, wrote, “Well, I honestly don’t think that’s a big deal.”
Anna Wintour apology
Anna Wintour owns up to her troubled past, copping to her wrongdoings in NYT’s exposé.
She explained, “I strongly believe that the most important thing any of us can do in our work is to provide opportunities for those who may not have had access to them.”
“Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy, and I am committed to doing the work.”
But for former Vogue employees who experienced these with Anna Wintour, they believe that the apology is too little too late.
Image courtesy of Vogue/YouTube/Screenshot | Cropped