After a year of plunging ad sales numbers and a very controversial cover, the rumor is afloat: Anna Wintour might retire. "Her contract is up soon," an insider whispers to Page Six. "She's thinking of retiring. She feels she's done it all and had enough." A rep calls the report "completely unfounded," but let's get real here: Some fresh blood could be a good thing.I've said it before and I'll say it again: Vogue is stale. The covers are static and lack energy; the photo shoots are repetitive. Even though the December issue, with Jennifer Aniston, has attracted a lot of attention for the "What Angelina Did Was Very Uncool" cover line, doesn't that kind of thing seem beneath Vogue? It is so very Star. Photo-spread wise, the December issue tries to branch out with a "Romeo & Juliet" shoot — costarring, uh, John Lithgow. But the following spread is six pages of a blonde model posing and jumping on a grayish-beige background. Which was done in the November issue. And the July issue. And the September 2007 issue. French Vogue shakes things up with edgy concepts, like devil worship, breathtaking colors and crossdressers; when there is a photo shoot set in a studio, it still manages to be interesting, with black and white photography, animated models or baby animals. As for Italian Vogue, the magazine's experimental photo shoots are often bizarre, but never boring. And the July edition, dubbed the "All Black" issue, was such a success that it sold out in many cities. There's no doubt that Condé Nast would never allow American Vogue to be as edgy or fashion-forward as its international editions; it's a mainstream fashion and lifestyle magazine. But other American magazines manage to make fashion seem fun and fresh: Marie Claire had a goofy gameshow shoot, in addition to visiting Vietnam and finding romance in Rome. Of all of the women's magazines out there, Vogue disappoints more than any other. Possibly because it has the most legendary reputation to live up to. But. Month after month, it ignores models of color, celebrates the untouchable lifestyle of the rich and manufactures ridiculous insecurities (like when Vera Wang called armpits "nasty". I guess we should just amputate our limbs?). Vogue needs to ditch the overly Photoshopped covers, discover diversity, quit featuring the same old people (Kate Bosworth may be thin and blonde, but she is not interesting) and take some risks. And I don't mean putting LeBron James on the cover. And maybe in order to get a fresh new look, you've got to clean out the closet. And if that means trying someone new, so be it. No one doubts that Anna Wintour is an icon, an editor who would leave behind a legacy. But she's been edior-in-chief since 1988, and we've seen what she can do. Let someone else give it a shot. Maybe when we get a new President, we should get a new Vogue as well? Restelss Anna [Page Six] Earlier: Royals, The Rich & Marc Jacobs: No Wonder Vogue's Numbers Are Down
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Aliona Doletskaya, the editor of Russian Vogue, is meant to be her successor.