Anna Wintour notoriously rules her ivory tower, One World Trade Center, with an iron-and-Chanel jewelry encrusted grip. After longstanding accusations of rampant racism and classist hierarchies at the publishing empire boiled over last week—resulting in the exit of various Condé Nast figureheads—many turned their gaze to the bobbed empress at its helm. If such evils were allowed to run unchecked at Condé Nast for decades, the logic went, then the woman instrumental in its success must be involved somehow, right? Well, Beverly Johnson’s former publicist seems to think so.
James Hester, once publicist to the pioneering Black supermodel, told Page Six that he had to fight to get his client in the doors at Vogue’s 100th anniversary party in 1992. As the first Black woman to ever appear on the cover of American Vogue (in August 1974), he believed she deserved her part in the celebration. Instead, he says he was given the runaround by Wintour’s people.
They kept saying, ‘We’ll get back to you’. So, I had to get creative. I was working with C&C Music Factory and they were huge at the time, producing for Mariah Carey. I made a deal that they would dj for free and [“Deeper Love”] singer Deborah Cooper would perform in exchange for coverage in the magazine. Anna Wintour gets the message, and I deliver them. I go back and I make another deal and said, Beverly Johnson would really love to be invited, and they finally agreed.”
At the event itself, Hester further alleges that Wintour all but ignored Johnson, and that in photos of the event published in Vogue, Johnson’s head was not included. “[Wintour] has been awful to the black community,” Hester told Page Six. When asked for comment, Johnson told the outlet that “Jimmy…. really does have a great memory… and that’s like a nice story.”
Now, a snub at a party in the ’90s probably isn’t enough to unravel Wintour’s grip on the fashion and arts industries, considering last week’s turmoil ended with Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch promising that the skeleton queen wasn’t going anywhere. Instead, stories like this—alongside André Leon Talley’s memoir and everything else that’s surfaced—bring to light the decades-long mistreatment of black women and models and staffers and assistants in the fashion industry, and allegedly under Wintour’s reign. But in response to this story, a rep for Wintour told Page Six:
“Anna has done much to champion diversity and inclusion throughout her tenure as editor-in-chief of Vogue, from putting Naomi Campbell on the cover of Anna’s first September issue in 1989 to supporting so many designers of color via the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund.”
Marlo Hampton wants the Real Housewives of Atlanta to change with the times. In an interview with Hollywood Life, the longtime “Friend of the Show” said it’s “gonna look a little different” because “this is a movement [...] we didn’t even see coming.”
“I’m positive things will change. I feel that with us addressing the issues to the executives, having that call, coming together with the changes that they’re already making. And they’re literally making changes, not just donations. [...] This is still The Real Housewives Of Atlanta and there’s definitely going to still be some drama! You know, unfortunately we’re still going to have some drama. But for the most part, I think that we’re definitely gonna pull it together and do what we have to do for the for the community.”
I’m trying to imagine a world in which the Housewives become vehicles for good instead of chaos. Currently, it’s breaking my brain, but I believe in these women’s capacity for change—probably more than those starring in any other franchise still airing. [Hollywood Life]
- Literally what the hell is Sia even talking about? [ET]
- Katy Perry wants to “rock the vote” with the Black Eyed Peas. [People]
- It seems Lady Colin Campbell has nothing nice to say about Meghan Markle. [Page Six]
- How interesting that both Hannah Brown and Brittany Cartwright opened up about intense family drama amid accusations of racism. (Also, who is going to give these reality stars the much-needed lesson that anonymous “sources” need to not sound like their publicist.) [Us Weekly]
- I can’t muster the energy to think about Kim Kardashian for any extended period of time. [Elle]
- Everyone rebounds with G-Eazy. [Us Weekly]
- Adele, along with many others, participated in “Remember Grenfell” over the weekend. [People]