4 Reasons Anna Wintour Would Make a Good Pope

“If Wintour is the Pope . . . Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year.”—Time
Anna Wintour’s promotion to Creative Director of Condé Nast in addition to her existing titles of editor-in-chief of Vogue and editorial director of Teen Vogue, was announced yesterday. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new pope.

Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend said, “Anna has been a driving force behind the success of Condé Nast, so it is a great privilege to extend her influence beyond the Vogue brand to the rest of the organization.” We all know that Ms. Wintour’s influence extends far beyond the Vogue brand already. While a certain book and movie may equate her to the devil, here a few reasons Anna herself would make a great pope.

1. She doesn’t cower in the face of negative press. If approached differently, The Devil Wears Prada could have been disastrous for her reputation, but Anna supported the movie, telling Barbara Walters in 2006 that “Anything that makes fashion entertaining and glamorous and interesting is wonderful for our industry. So I was 100 percent behind it.” She attended the premiere wearing Prada.

2. She is a public, vocal defender of her beliefs.  In 2011, she recorded an endorsement for the Human Rights Campaign’s “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” initiative.

3. She utilizes her profile and contacts to drive fundraising. Beneficiaries of Ms. Wintour’s philanthropic efforts include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, AIDS charities, and the Obama campaign. She also founded the CFDA/Vogue fund.

4. She found news ways to spread fashion’s influence and engage its public. A survey from UC Berkley reveals that 1 in 5 Americans claim no religious preference. The church needs to reconnect and engage with its parishioners. Although Fashion’s Night Out is currently on hiatus, it was celebrated in cities around the world from 2009-2012. While it might not have been purely profitable, FNO resulted in a major increase in foot traffic to stores and engagement between shoppers, retailers and brands.

The church has several major obstacles to overcome at the moment. The countless sex scandals have meant an endless stream of horrible publicity. This coupled with growing support for same-sex marriage, which the church opposes, have cast a negative light on catholicism in the same way the financial crisis and recession cast a negative light on the fashion industry and excessive spending. Ms. Wintour’s leadership style is exactly what the church needs to regain its strength.

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