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Cannes Lions: Vogue’s Anna Wintour in conversation with Christopher Bailey, CEO of Burberry

By Dan Hodges

CANNES, France – Burberry CEO and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey yesterday at Cannes Lions gave a warm welcome to Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast.

Ms. Wintour has helped shape the fashion landscape as boss of American Vogue for more than 25 years, being a leading voice in the fashion industry since the 1990s.

“While many people have been resistant or fearful to change, Anna has been fearless,” Mr. Bailey said in his introduction. “She and her colleagues have driven Condé Nast into the digital age with clarity, authenticity and innovation.

“Moving organizations forward is a challenge to many companies including Burberry,” he said. “I hold Anna in high regard, not because of her influence but because of the brilliance behind that influence.”

Cannes Lions, the leading advertising festival worldwide, this year is expected to attract 15,000 delegates to Cannes in the South of France.

Mr. Bailey went on the say that “Anna was the first person outside of Apple that Jony Ive shared the Apple Watch.”

Four score
Ms. Wintour opened by saying, “ I want to share four lessons that have helped to guide us. Today, audiences are distracted with everything that is going on. I want to make the case for grand ideas.”

The ideas were clearly spelled:

1. Aim higher: Push the limits and keep very high standards
2. Dare to be different: Believe in your creative vision and ideas
3. Focus on all of your goals: Aim high and stay focused
4. Make interesting friend: Expose yourself broadly to a wide circle of people

“The market always wants a little more,” Ms. Wintour said. “Many of our titles have shot for the moon.”

The editor referred to the article in The New Yorker that focused on very popular religion of Scientology, which had a huge impact in the marketplace. It was one of the most intensely read articles in the magazine’s history.

The New Yorker article became a book and then an HBO movie. It all started with the quality of the journalism.

Ms. Wintour spoke of the great care taken to tell the story of Caitlyn Jenner, formerly the athlete Bruce Jenner. Her team took the job of telling Caitlyn’s story seriously, carefully selecting an award-winning journalist and photographer to provide the right sensibilities for the story.

Indeed, Ms. Wintour appreciates authenticity, hard work and original thinking both in fashion and journalism. She spoke of the play Hamilton as “single handedly revolutionized Broadway. Broadway is not only for old rich people, it is for young rich people as well.”

MS. WINTOUR’S long and productive career showed her love of comedians and humor. She showed her humorous side sharing a video taken with comedian Amy Schumer in which they switched roles. Ms. Wintour showed great humor and timing in the video as a stand-up comic.

Dan Hodges is managing director of Consumers in Motion Group, a New York-based strategic consultancy offering business, marketing, and technology services. He is also head of the New York chapter of the Location Based Marketing Association. Reach him at [email protected]