Anna Wintour, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine for twenty years, is the most powerful and polarizing figure in fashion. Hidden behind her trademark bob and sunglasses, she has never allowed anyone to scrutinize the inner workings of her magazine. Until now. With unprecedented access, filmmaker R.J. Cutler's new film The September Issue does for fashion what he did for politics in The War Room, taking the viewer inside a world they only think they know.
Every August a record-breaking number of people can't wait to get their hands on the September issue of Vogue. The 2007 issue was and remains the biggest ever, weighing over four pounds, selling thirteen million copies, and impacting the $300-billion global fashion industry more than any other single publication. An intimate, funny and surprising look at Anna Wintour and her team of larger-than-life editors as they create this must-have Bible of fashion, Cutler explores the untouchable glamour of Wintour's Vogue to reveal the extraordinarily passionate people at its heart. He takes us behind the scenes at Fashion Week, to Europe, on shoots and reshoots, and into closed-door staff meetings, bearing witness to an arduous, entertaining, and sometimes emotionally demanding process.
At the eye of this annual fashion hurricane is the two-decade relationship between Wintour and Grace Coddington, incomparable Creative Director and fashion genius. They are perfectly matched for the age-old conflict between creator and curator. Through them, we see close-up the delicate creative chemistry it takes to remain at the top of the ever-changing fashion field.
ANNA WINTOUR Editor in Chief
Anna Wintour has been Editor in Chief of Vogue since 1988.
Ms. Wintour joined Condé Nast in 1983 as Creative Director of Vogue and in 1986 she returned to her native England to become Editor in Chief of British Vogue. She was Editor in Chief of HG from September 1987 until July 1988, when she rejoined Vogue in her present position.
Ms. Wintour began her career in 1970 in the fashion department of Harpers & Queen magazine in London. In 1976 she moved to New York and joined Harper's Bazaar as a fashion editor. Next, she joined New York in 1981 as senior editor and in that capacity produced the magazine's fashion, style, and living coverage.
During her tenure at Vogue, Ms. Wintour has been actively involved in fund-raising, particularly for AIDS research and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1990, Ms. Wintour played a strategic role in developing the fashion industry's AIDS charity program, the CFDA/Vogue Initiative, through which she has helped raise more than $16 million, chiefly through the highly renowned 7th On Sale program.
From 1995 to the present, Ms. Wintour has co-chaired ten fund-raising galas for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, which together have raised more than $40 million. In recognition of her work on its behalf, the museum named Ms. Wintour honorary trustee in 1998.
In 2003, Ms. Wintour spearheaded the establishment of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an unprecedented initiative and award designed to aid emerging American fashion designers struggling to build successful businesses. The Fashion Fund Award has not only evolved to become a prestigious achievement in a young designer's career, it has also inspired European fashion industries to begin similar programs.
Ms. Wintour has been the recipient of many awards for her leadership and philanthropic efforts, most notably the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Lifetime Achievement Award and the Award of Courage for AIDS Research from the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR).
In addition to editing Vogue, Ms. Wintour executed the development and successful launches of Teen Vogue (2001) and Men's Vogue (2005). Ms. Wintour serves as Editorial Director for both titles.
GRACE CODDINGTON Creative Director
Grace Coddington is the Creative Director of American Vogue, a position she has held since 1995. She joined the magazine as Fashion Director in 1988, when Anna Wintour became Editor in Chief. In her time at Vogue, Coddington has worked with Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Steven Klein, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Craig McDean, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, David Sims, Mario Testino, Ellen Von Unwerth and Bruce Weber. In 2002, Coddington published a book of her work, Grace: 30 Years of Fashion at Vogue, and later a book of her cat drawings called Catwalk Cats in 2006. She also curated an exhibition of her sittings, Short Stories, in 1993 in New York and Los Angeles; this was the first time a show had been devoted to the work of a fashion editor. And despite her countless high profile collaborations with so many photographers, she has always deliberately eschewed the spotlight herself.
Coddington was born in Anglesey, North Wales, in 1941. She won the Young Section of British Vogue's Model competition in 1959, before going on to work as a model until 1968. That year, she joined British Vogue, under editor Beatrix Miller, as a fashion editor, and was later promoted to Fashion Director. In that time, she collaborated with Clive Arrowsmith, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Guy Bourdin, Terrance Donovan, Hans Feurer, Horst, Barry Lategan, Sarah Moon, Norman Parkinson, Paolo Roversi and Snowdon. She left in 1987 to come to New York to work for Calvin Klein as Design Director. Coddington currently divides her time between New York and the Hamptons.
R.J. CUTLER Director
R.J. Cutler is a producer and director of non-fiction films and television. He has won an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, a GLAAD Award and has been nominated for an Academy Award, two additional Emmys, a Producer's Guild Award, an NAACP Image Award, and an Independent Spirit Award, among others.
Cutler began his career producing The War Room, the Oscar-nominated documentary about Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign for the presidency, which was directed by documentary legends D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. The War Room was selected as the Outstanding Documentary of the Year by the National Board of Review and was nominated for an Academy Award.
Next, Cutler directed and produced the documentary A Perfect Candidate, which followed the infamous Virginia Senate campaign between Oliver North and Charles Robb. The Washington Post has called it, "One of a small handful of essential films about American politics," and the film was named one of the Best Documentaries of 1996 by The New York Times, and was nominated for both an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy Award.
In 2000, Cutler created, directed and executive produced American High, the groundbreaking documentary series about high school students in suburban Chicago, which aired on both FOX and PBS and received the very first Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program. It was nominated for the same award the following year.
Cutler's other film projects include producing the feature documentary Thin, which premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, and continues to air on HBO and throughout the world. He also executive produced the acclaimed program 30 Days, featuring Morgan Spurlock, which just finished its third season on FX, as well as the international hit Flip That House, currently in its fourth season on TLC. In 2006, he created and executive produced the provocative six-hour FX series Black.White, the premiere of which became the most-watched non-fiction program debut in U.S. cable television history.
Cutler has also executive produced Freshman Diaries (Showtime), The Residents (TLC), American Candidate (Showtime), Military Diaries (VH-1), and Bound for Glory (ESPN), among others. He produced the documentary Making Dazed (AMC) and directed and produced the animated documentary Shays' Rebellion: America's First Civil War, which was part of the History Channel's Emmy-winning series Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America.
This past year, Cutler and his colleagues from The War Room reunited to make Return of the War Room, a surprisingly intimate and candid look back at the 1992 presidential election fifteen years later.
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READ AN INTERVIEW WITH R.J. CUTLER
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