Anna Wintour is so iconic in her role as Vogue's unflinching editor in chief, that it's hard to see her as anything even remotely human these days. Perhaps that's why it's all the more amusing, astounding, and kind of crazy to learn that the unflappable Ms. Wintour was actually fired from her first American-landed job at Harper's Bazaar in the mid-70's...shortly followed by a two-year stint working under the payroll of Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, who passed away last week.
Following Guccione's death, a NY Post article recounts Wintour's tenure working at Viva magazine, located just on the other side of a divider from Penthouse's editorial offices. Sometimes it takes the death of a major publishing figure for the truth of another to finally surface. Here's what we gleaned from the story:
1. Anna Wintour was a junior editor at Harper's Bazaar for a hot nine months, before being fired for a lingerie spread that was deemed a tad too risque for the magazine's taste. (Note: We are currently searching for this infamous pictorial.)
2. As one door slams, other swings open. Guccione and his former exotic-dancer wife, Kathy Keeton, hired Wintour to helm the fashion side of Viva, a magazine that Keeton founded and subsidized with funds from Penthouse. So, Wintour was on Penthouse's payroll (what we'd give for a copy of one of those pay stubs!)
3. Regarding her embarrasing professional situation, one which involved walking past galleries of x-rated images on a daily basis, the Vogue chief actually said to a close friend at the time, "Well, one needs a job. Work is work."
4. Despite her embarrasing professional situation, even then the Vogue chief was already making assistants cry.
5. Wintour has tear ducts (t'is true!). Upon Viva's folding in 1978, Wintour, now arguably one of the world's most powerful women, cried after finding herself once again jobless.
6. Not surprisingly, Wintour's tenure at Viva (slash Penthouse) didn't make it onto her resume. In a London newspaper profile, she recalled only doing some freelancing work during that time before getting picked up by New York magazine. To any aspiring Vogue staffers: we don't suggest lying about your previous job history, but if there's something you're embarrassed about, it's probably ok to cover up the naked truth.