Defending Anna Wintour

How her ruthlessness saved Vogue.

The Devil Wears Prada, an adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s roman à clef about her stint as Anna Wintour’s assistant, opens in theaters today. In 2005, Amanda Fortini defended the notoriously brutal editor in chief of Vogue, emphasizing the magazine’s remarkable success during Wintour’s tenure: “Most of us read Vogue not with the intention of buying the wildly expensive clothes, but because doing so educates our eye and hones our taste, similar to the way eating gourmet food refines the palate. This is a pleasure enabled by Wintour’s ruthless aesthetic, her refusal to participate in the democratizing tendency of most of her competitors.”