The Devil Wears Prada portrayed women fashion magazine editors as very strange people. So seeing one come across as human can be a tad surprising. Alexandra Shulman – the UK peer of US Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, on whom The Devil was supposed to be based – reveals a quandry at the heart of her life in an Independent interview:
‘I think we have a very unhealthy relationship with how people really look and I have to marry my personal feelings about it, which is that people should relax a bit and concentrate a bit more on other aspects of themselves, with the fact that I edit Vogue, which is a magazine which is all about creating that idealised image for people.’
And perhaps she does stay up at night worrying about skinny models and black models.
Last year, Naomi Campbell hit out at British Vogue for not putting her on the cover. In fact, Campbell has appeared on the front of Vogue at least six times. Shulman dismisses the comments as ‘a PR thing’ – ‘she was just trying to get publicity for the event she was doing’.
But she adds: ‘What I think is an absolutely valid criticism is there aren’t enough black people in all areas of successful life.’
‘I have to be realistic about these things. If you look at the black population in this country and you look at the amount of black women featured in the magazine throughout, we’re absolutely on a par with the whole population, but what we’re not doing is overcompensating.
‘I happen to think she [Naomi] really likes being one of the few really successful black models, because it gives her a huge advantage and she’s had an incredibly long career.’
‘Still in Vogue after all these years‘ by Ciar Byrne in the Independent.