An assistant job at Vogue, in the world of fashion publishing, is viewed as one of the best entry-level jobs you can get. A badge of honor. A stamp across your forehead that says “I’m good enough for Vogue and probably lots of other things, too.” (Not that this is always true, but this is how Vogue looks on a résumé to the outside world.) Despite the not-so-nice things critics say about the magazine, despite its out-of-touch–ness, despite whether you even like it, if Anna calls you in for an interview, you say, “YES. Would you like me make sure all the carpet fibers are properly aligned on my way out?” Because it’s Anna Wintour and she is an impeccably fabulous legend who has the power to make or break you. Yet when Teen Vogue asked Anna what she looks for in an entry-level hire, she reveals that people have the audacity to squander meetings with her thusly:
I look for someone who has actually read the magazine. People will say, “Oh, I love Vogue,” but when I ask them to tell me something specific they liked, or a photographer whose work they enjoy, they look at me as if I’m crazy.
Who are these people? Actually, maybe we’ll take them. We have some carpet fibers that look suspiciously tread upon. These people need to learn a lesson. And that comes from doing all the very, very important things they won’t get to do at Vogue for us, where we wear sneakers to work sometimes.
The Teen Vogue Handbook: Anna Wintour [Teen Vogue]