ANNA HARVEY: TEN INFLUENTIALS
FROM THE VOLT (WINTER 2010)
ANNA HARVEY: VICE PRESIDENT AND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, CONDÉ NAST NEW MARKETS (2008-PRESENT)
She’ll throw one at you and you come over all warm inside. There’s a special place in our hearts reserved especially for Ms Anna Harvey.
She started at Condé Nast 30 years ago. First there was British Vogue, where she worked as fashion editor with everyone from Patrick Demarchelier to Arthur Elgort and Steven Meisel (on his very first story for the magazine). She rose through the ranks to the position of deputy editor under Liz Tilberis, before her appetite was whetted by the expansion of Vogue on a worldwide scale, seeing her step down to help launch Vogue Russia and Vogue India, serving as editorial director for both magazines. Both were – and are still –unmitigated successes.
“No one who picks up the magazine will know, nor should they, how difficult getting things done still is in Russia, with all the bureaucracy and red tape, “ she says. “Spending six hours trying to persuade a Russian official why two suitcases of commercial samples are not a threat to his country. But I know how difficult it was. For us at Russian Vogue, the sense of achievement is enormous. Absolutely enormous.”
We’re gonna assume that setting up in India was hardly a bed of roses either, but you’ll never know, because, in Harvey’s hand, everything appears effortless. She’s not one to break a sweat.
Her renown, however, is the result of being the woman who turned Princess Diana from a Laura Ashley-sheathed Sloaney frump into an international style icon. The signature crisp white shirt and chic Catherine Walker ensembles? That was Harvey. The princess rifling through the rails in the fashion cupboard at Vogue was a regular occurrence. The only time she ever spoke of their relationship was at Princess Diana’s memorial. “It is said she was more beautiful in the flesh. Once, on a visit to Vogue, the art department, who’d been quite cynical about her, were agog. She had sparkle. It was simply magnetic and, in the end, it transcended her clothes.”
That’s kinda the way we feel about Ms Harvey, too.
by Natalie Dembinska
Photograph by Maria Ziegelboek – www.mariaziegelboek.com