Written and photographed by Walter Grio.
I still remember the first time I saw Anna Wintour. It was at Carolina Herrera’s show on February 14, 2011 and it was actually during my first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I walked in the press pit and picked my spot and started chatting with the video guy next to me. It turned out he was covering for CNN, which is always a good sign. He then pointed out that Anna Wintour was at the show and that she would be sitting in the front row.
As he pointed in her direction, I saw her. I couldn’t believe it. Not only did I see her, but my DREAM shot of her watching the show while models walked by was there for the taking. I was so excited that I must have missed the first 10 dresses because I was focused on getting that shot.
That said, you can only imagine what it was like to actually meet her in person. I had the opportunity to do that in Chicago when she hosted a Runway to Win event during the Obama 2012 campaign. When I walked up to her, she reached out her hand and said with a slight British accent, “Hi, I’m Anna.” There was nothing pretentious about it. She smiled, cracked a couple of jokes, and was very charming and pleasant. Even if you didn’t know that she’s one of the most powerful and influential people (not just in the fashion industry, but in the world in general), you would still walk away with an impression that deep down you knew that she was somebody.