Man at the top

This kind of thing is why the trans ideology is convincing to so many.

As a fashion-obsessed teenager, I dreamed of working for Vogue. What girl didn’t?

The girl who doesn’t give a shit about fashion and has other things to dream of, that’s what girl didn’t. My guess is there are more than two or three of them. Fashion really isn’t so enthralling that half the population dreams of spending her working life thinking about it.

This was in the 2000s, and smartphones weren’t everywhere yet, so we’d leaf through the latest copy hungrily at the back of the class. I loved the pictures, the clothes, even the adverts. But most of all I loved the masthead and the index. Who were these glamorous humans with lovely-sounding names and exotic job titles?

Definitely. I find mastheads so fascinating I just stop there.

Vogue went man-in-charge in the 1960s.

In a reshuffling of power, the art director, Alexander Liberman, was apparently offered the editorship of American Vogue. To this he replied: “I am a man. I have no intention of becoming that involved with fashion.” So instead they created the title of editorial director, which he took with gusto. It meant a woman got to be editor-in-chief but he controlled her.

During the 1980s, editor-in-chief Grace Mirabella was going bananas under this unusual arrangement. For one, Liberman was a fan of Penthouse and Playboy, and kept trying to insert overly sexual content into Vogue, much to Mirabella’s disgust. She also had no agency to choose her own staff, since Liberman decided who was hired or fired. This meant she could lose an invaluable ally at the drop of a hat, or be forced to work with someone who didn’t fit on her team.

She was never included in conversations on the direction of the magazine. When she wanted to run a story on breast cancer, Liberman said: “Vogue readers are more interested in fashion than breast cancer.” When she wanted to cover the pro-choice movement, Liberman said: “Nobody cares.” When she wanted to write about women entering the job market, he said: “Women are cheap labour and always will be.”

And nobody cares.

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