It's an unwritten rule in fashion: never dare step to Anna Wintour. She's the reigning queen of fashion and, according to Forbes magazine, one of the most powerful women in the world. When you can get the First Lady to cut the ribbon at the opening of a wing named after you in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you know you've got some clout.
Though there are people who say she's not the ice queen some would make her out to be, Anna's definitely one of the most feared people in fashion. It's a rare thing to hear someone make a smart remark about the editrix or outright diss her, but it's happened. These next fashion industry players are the few souls brave enough to throw a little shade Anna Wintour's way.
Alaïa's been an outspoken critic of Wintour over the years, but really let the editrix have it in a 2011 interview with Virgine magazine. Let's just say… he threw less shade and shed more light on his true feelings about her. "When I see how she is dressed, I don’t believe in her tastes one second. I can say it loudly! She hasn’t photographed my work in years even if I am a best seller in the U.S. and I have 140 square meters at Barneys," he said. "American women love me; I don’t need her support at all. Anna Wintour doesn’t deal with pictures; she is just doing PR and business, and she scares everybody. But when she sees me, she is the scared one. [Laughs.] Other people think like me, but don’t say it because they are afraid that Vogue won’t photograph them. Anyway, who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one." Cold blooded!
Roberto Cavalli is not here for Anna's taste, as he made known to D. La Repubblica. "Just look at American fashion, which is almost fashion. It's terrible and you almost can't even look at it, but it has been driven by a great journalist, Anna Wintour, who wants all women to be like her and to dress the way she does." Well, at least he thinks she's a great journalist…
Ever since Tim Gunn wrote in his 2010 book about a time he saw Anna Wintour being carried down the stairs by her staff, he and the E.I.C. have not been on good terms. "I don't look her in the eyes, because I will be turned into stone," he told Page Six. He was a little more open about his feelings in a different interview with Hollywood Life. "We’re arch enemies. We’re sparring partners. We’re constantly spitting venom at each other,” he said. “I am a truth-teller and some other people don’t like to accept responsibly for their actions.”
Grace and Anna both have tremendous respect for each other, but that doesn't mean that they don't sometimes rub each other the wrong way. "I know when to stop pushing her, but she doesn't know when to stop pushing me," she said of her and Wintour's relationship in 2009's The September Issue.
After Anna missed his show during Milan Fashion Week last season to head to Paris, Giorgio Armani complained to WWD about her marked absence: "There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris," he said. "She took an airplane, dumped Mr. Armani and went to Paris." There are no hard feelings between the two, though. Anna's people quickly came out to say that she didn't intentionally skip the show (busy schedule), and that she "has the greatest respect for Giorgio Armani and everything he has done for Italy and fashion worldwide."