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Anna Wintour: 'I'm not intimidating'

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Her fictional alter ego ruled supreme in The Devil Wears Prada, but in real life Anna Wintour insists she is "not intimidating."

The formidable Vogue editor, who has just secured 69th position on Forbes' Most Powerful Women list, said her exacting reputation was "exaggerated."

"I don't think of myself as intimidating. And I assure you that all the people who work for me on a day-to-day basis don't think that either," Wintour told Forbes, in a video interview (below).

"I think that's just something that's been fabricated by certain elements of the media," she tells Forbes reporter Jenna Godreau, continuing, "Once something is out there, particularly in today's world, it just gets exaggerated. And, you know, I just keep my head down and do the job to the best of my ability."

Wintour is widely acknowledged as the most important power player in fashion, whose word can make or break the future of a particular collection or label.

Her demanding work ethic was satirised in 2003 best-seller The Devil Wears Prada, written by former Vogue assistant Lauren Weisberger. Her difficult to please reputation was fuelled further in 2009 documentary The September Issue, which took a behind-the-scenes look at life in Vogue.

However, friends say Wintour's apparent detachment is actually down to shyness. "Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, is, you imagine, the most secure person, but she is shy, too," photographer Mario Testino said in 2010. "Often people mistake her shyness for coldness."

See Wintour defend her "intimidating" reputation in the video, above.