Vogue magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, headlined the sixteenth annual president’s lecture series at the Pratt Institute on Monday, April 19, 2010. President Thomas F. Schutte described the event as “a rare opportunity to see and hear from one of the industry’s most influential and renowned figures.”
Wintour presented a lecture on the contributions the late Irving Penn’s photographs gave to the legendary iconic fashion magazine over the last few decades. Wintour advised students to not disregard arts’ importance and influence on their articles. She noted that photographs can transform a simple media piece into a canvas of a much more influential presentation.
Fashion, journalism and design students gawked in awe as one of the most influential media and fashion iconic legends passed along her personal antecdotes of her experience of working with Penn and her advice on how to establish a balance of professionalism and creativity.
Following Wintour’s presentation, Vogue European editor-at-large, Hamish Bowles, held a question and answer session from students. Questions ranged from advice on how to acquire internships to Wintour’s opinion of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) efforts on education and professional development.
The CFDA, according to Wintour, is devoted to supporting and cultivating emerging talent, and she noted that their educational initiatives were created to aid aspiring designers in the high school, collegiate, post-graduate, and early stages of their careers. The CFDA also offers five scholarships and has 13 schools that participate in their scholastic programs.
The lecture was free and open to the public with limited seating and by reservation only. More than two thousand people emailed letters to the Pratt Institute requesting tickets, but only 500 were accommodated. Originally the press was invited, but an e-mail was sent this past Friday informing members of the media that the event was no longer able to accommodate any press seating.
Pratt’s student board also organized a private screening of R.J. Cutler’s “The September Issue” on April 15, 2010. The documentary film, released in 2009, gives viewers a rare glimpse of the production process of the renowned magazine.