EMILY PRESCOTT: Vogue magazine chief Anna Wintour faces staff revolt over pay, contracts and union recognition
For Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, the money-spinning September issue of the magazine is the main event in the calendar.
Often running to hundreds of pages, it showcases autumn fashions and brings in tons of ad revenue. There was even a documentary about how the issue is put together.
But I’m told that this year its success is being threatened as Anna, who is also global chief content officer at Conde Nast, is facing a potential revolt over pay, contracts and union recognition.
Vogue’s sister magazine, Wired, nearly lost millions last month when workers threatened to shut down advertising links on the magazine’s website that generate income.
Anna Wintour (pictured), the editor-in-chief at Vogue magazine, is facing a potential revolt over pay, contracts and union recognition
More than 100 New Yorker and other Conde Nast employees protested outside Anna Wintour’s $12.5 Greenwich Village townhouse in April
‘We stand firm in the belief that all Conde Nast employees deserve the rights and protections of a union and a fair contract,’ they said.
Within hours, the bosses caved to their demands, awarding pay rises and contracts. Now Conde Nast insiders tell me the protest, which was dubbed ‘No contract, no clicks’, could reach Vogue next, just in time for the all-important issue.
‘Staff across the titles have learned how to hit Conde where it hurts,’ a source tells me. ‘There’s a lot more people displaying their “Conde Union” badges on their work emails and [workplace messaging service] Slack chat profiles now.’
This could be the first digital protest in Anna’s 34-year history of running the magazine, though she has weathered one real-life picket line.
In April the notoriously formidable 72-year-old fashion high-priestess endured chants from 400 protesters outside her New York townhouse holding placards which read ‘You can’t eat prestige’ and ‘The boss wears Prada, the workers get nada’.
Anna has tried hard to preserve her legacy in recent years by making Conde Nast more woke, and in one editorial meeting is rumoured to have asked: ‘Why are there so many white people in the room?’
But sources say any pay dispute will be difficult for her to avoid as ‘everyone answers to Anna’.
Damon’s very big house… for bats
‘He lives in a house, a very big house in the country,’ so the Blur No 1 goes.
And now frontman Damon Albarn’s very own country house in Devon is about to become even bigger.
The musician has been granted permission for a makeover of his rural retreat, which he bought in the mid-nineties when Blur were at the height of their fame.
Damon Albarn has been given permission to make changes to his country home, on the condition he builds a home for bats too
But, in return, he has been ordered to build a state-of-the-art ‘bat barn’, after the creatures were found to be roosting there.
Damon is believed to have come up with the plans after being holed up at the retreat during lockdown. Good thinking, bat man!