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Adrian Wooldridge

How to Manage Like Anna Wintour

The Queen of Fashion’s remarkable career suggests that much of what is said about management in the intangible economy is pure tosh.

Queens at work.

Queens at work.

Photographer: Yui Mok/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom has provided its former colony across the Atlantic with a regular supply of brilliant male journalists, from Alistair Cooke to Christopher Hitchens to Andrew Sullivan. But none has exercised the same degree of influence as a woman who left school at 16 and who has seldom said anything worth saying about any of the great political events of our time.

From her chair as editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988, Wintour has not only dominated the multibillion-dollar fashion industry. She has ruled the New York social scene, compelling billionaires and deca-billionaires to dance to her tune. More than anyone else she decides who is “in” and who is “out.” And she uses that unique power to raise remarkable sums of money for charity, including $250 million for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which now bears her name.