The U.S. edition of Vogue has released a digital sticker pack to commemorate its 125th anniversary; Condé Nast big Anna Wintour stars
It’s a sticker that will make even the most hardened fashionista smile.
American Vogue has just released a digital sticker pack for use in Apple Messages to mark 125 years of publication. The 24-pack was illustrated and animated by French designer siblings Jean and Nicolas Jullien and includes cheeky designs like a fashionista running haplessly around a revolving door and a woman with piles of shopping bags on her arm sipping wine and savoring pizza.
But for Vogue staffers and fashion insiders, it’s the least obvious animation that packs the most powerful punch: a yellow Sticky note swaying with glee and marked with the abbreviation “AWOK.” For the uninitiated, AW refers to Dame Anna Wintour, the fashion bible’s long-serving editor-in-chief. The 67-year-old artistic director of Condé Nast, the storied publisher of Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker is sometimes called the most powerful woman in fashion and carries a reputation as a tough and chilly boss.
That’s famously inspired unflattering portrayals such as the one by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada,” based off a roman-à-clef written by former Wintour assistant Weisberger. An upcoming television series cataloging her 1980s rivalry with former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown likely won’t be easy viewing either.
The pack joins thousands of different ways to express your emotions with a digital image. Per Emojipedia, there was 2,666 emojis in the Unicode standard as of June 2017. That’s exactly why Wintour’s underlings find an “OK” note from the editrix to be so heartening—it means that they’re not at the end of what some call a “nuclear wintour.” Vogue’s digital fashion news director Chioma Nnadi explains as much in a story posted on the magazine’s website yesterday. “Whisper the phrase, “You’ve been AWOK’d,” into the ear of an unsuspecting Vogue staffer, and he or she is likely to breathe a heavy sigh of relief, or maybe even bust out a happy dance,” she wrote.
Nnadi goes on to describe the editing process at Vogue. After an assignment is completed, copies are sent for fact-checking, production and the boss’ sign-off. The assignment is usually returned several hours later with a note from Wintour. “AWOK” symbolizes approval, but that’s not always guaranteed. In the worst case scenario, it comes back with “boring” or “see me” scribbled on it.
Despite this, many still describe a stint under Wintour as formative. “She has always been a very encouraging person [who] understands that to keep creative people on your team, you need to give them freedom to create,” Vogue contributing editor Plum Sykes recently told Moneyish.
Now, you too can send the rarest of fashion sign-offs to friends after downloading it from Apple’s App Store. That said, approval from Wintour doesn’t necessarily means everything’s fine and dandy. After all, the magazine had to recently apologize for a heavily-criticized cover story tying supermodel Gigi Hadid and her musician boyfriend Zayn Malik to gender fluidity. Wintour also played a big role in the relaunch of Condé-owned Style.com into an e-commerce platform that promptly flopped. Presumably, those got an AWOK too.
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