I’ve got endless adoration for Anna Dello Russo, The Editor At Large (isn’t that a fabulous term?) and Creative Consultant for Vogue Japan. Anna Dello Russo’s genius lies not just in her infamous sense of aesthetic but in her longevity.
After spending an idyllic childhood in the Southern Italian City of Bari, young Anna went to (where else?) Milan, where she studied Design at the Elite Domus Academy and set herself apart as a distinct hybrid of creative and intellectual gifts.
Not content with studying only one subject, Anna returned to Bari and enrolled in a Masters program, eventually earning an M.A. in Italian Literature and Art History and sealed her fate of becoming a dazzling conversationalist.
There’s a wry old Hollywood saying that I’ve found pretty damn accurate.
The 3 Rules Of Making It
1. Have Talent
2. Know the right people
3. Be fun to be with.
Anna had those rules down pat. She used them to rule Condé Nast Italia for 18 years with an impeccably manicured fist, first as fashion editor of Vogue Italia and as editor of L’Uomo Vogue. Today I’m totally channeling Anna Dello Russo (Italy’s answer to Anna Wintour) and keeping my focus as sharp as my wits.
Anna’s move from Italian Vogue to Japanese Vogue was a bold and somewhat controversial choice. ‘Editor at Large’ is a position that can be interpreted one of two ways.
The 2 Unspoken But Widely Accepted Definitions Of Editor At Large
1. Famous and respected tastemaker who can’t be bothered with the nitty-gritty of running a magazine, instead focusing on being photographed looking fabulous, dolling out memorable quotes to fawning reporters, and enjoying the glam life.
2. Politely put to pasture.
I think it’s obvious which kind of Editor At Large Anna Dello Russo has turned out to be. When Anna made the move to Japanese Vogue, she used the freedom and lack of obligation that comes with being an Editor At Large to stealthily and stylishly infiltrate the buzzing Wasp next that is online media.
If Anna Wintour is the icon you want to worship from a distance, Anna Dello Russo is the legend you want as a mentor and cocktail hour companion. Anna Wintour can keep her gravitas; Anna Dello Russo has got charisma. Which she used to charm the pants off new media’s haute high priests, becoming a favorite subject of the street style photography megastars such as The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil. Anna used her strengths to straddle two very difficult and very different fashion stratospheres: New Media & Print Empire.
The 3 Rules Of Making And Lasting It
1. Catch & Keep The Spotlight
Anna Dello Russo is notorious for cutting edge to the point of crazy outfits. Lady Gaga is basically a tacky Anna Dello Russo impersonator sans Anna’s taste and sense of humor.
2. Never Offend The People Who Pay You
Conde Nast MADE Anna Dello Russo, and Anna Dello Russo has never strayed. If you find a good boss who supports, respects, and pays you right, show loyalty and watch the world open up for both of you.
3. Use Change To Your Advantage
Play up your strengths!
Anna Dello Russo has been in the game for a long, long time. So long that I will not say out of politeness. Yet she still manages to be the coolest fashion chick in any town.
By building upon the strengths she’d been developing for years. Instead of ignoring, then clumsily copying, the Street Style Epidemic, Anna recognized its potential. Everyone whose anyone had been gossiping about Anna’s ensembles for as long as she could remember, and she played into their fascination by dressing to shock and awe. Why not let the world have a look?