Michelle Obama (L) and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour attend the Anna Wintour Costume Center Grand Opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City.Photo: Michael Loccisano (Getty Images)
I take a couple of days away from The Glow Up, and look at what happens: Megan Thee Stallion attempts to brand “hot girl summer,” a white woman loses her edges by laying claim to the invention of the hair bonnet, and earlier this week, Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour blessed us all with a high fashion tutorial in political shade.
The woman who inspired The Devil Wears Prada’s epically savage (albeit fictional) Miranda Priestly has clearly not lost her edge, as evidenced during a recent interview on The Economist’s podcast. After Wintour mentioned that she really felt it important that Vogue “support women who are leading change in this country” the conversation turned decidedly political when interviewer Anne McElvoy brought up the Trumps’ fashion sense.
“[I]n looking, there is something so visual about the Trumps,” McElvoy ventured. “His sort of ill-fitting suits and the strange trousers and red baseball cap…almost deliberately off-trend…in a way that might echo with the base.”
“Melania, put together in a much more put-together way,” McElvoy continued, “I think [she] very consciously wanted to see herself as an ambassador…of transatlantic fashion. I mean, do you value that? Or would you rather just stay away from the Trumps?” she pointedly asked Wintour.
In an expertly styled deflection, Wintour cooly responded, “Well, I think first lady Michelle Obama was really so incredible in every decision she made about fashion. She supported young American designers; she supported designers, indeed, from all over the world. She was the best ambassador that this country could possibly have, in many ways, obviously way beyond fashion…”
“But she’s not the first lady now,” McElvoy interjected. “What about the one you have now?”
“…and for me, [Mrs. Obama] is the example I admire,” Wintour continued without missing a beat—or deigning to acknowledge Melania Trump by name, despite featuring Trump on Vogue’s cover in 2005, as she prepared to marry Donald Trump. For comparison’s sake, Michelle Obama has thus far scored three Vogue covers, all during her eight-year tenure as first lady (in 2009, 2013 and 2016). As a now-bestselling author, perhaps there are more to come?
But clearly, there is a reason we so often see Wintour wearing sunglasses (even indoors), because oh, the haute couture shade of it all. And while this doesn’t mean we’ll be mailing Wintour engraved invites to the cookout, I must admit to feeling no small amount of glee in learning that just like us, Wintour still considers Michelle Obama the only first lady who matters.