The honor, formally written as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, was given to Anna for her services in fashion and journalism. She wore a Chanel Haute Couture double-breasted coat, fastened by a silver belt. She paired it with nude Manolo Blahnik shoes. Her famous dark sunglasses were with her during the ceremony at Buckingham Palace and she only took them off moments before standing in front of the Queen. The honor is the second time she has been recognized by the Palace officially. She was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008.
After the cermony, Anna talked to The Telegraph, quick to point out that the Queen was only but human. “She couldn’t find where to pin the brooch.” She also noted how she shared a few words with Her Majesty about the recent developments in the British monarchy, namely the retirement of Prince Philip, “I congratulated her on Prince Philip’s service because obviously that’s so remarkable and such an inspiration to us all.” All of which proves that even the British Empire isn’t spared from Anna’s critical evaluation.
Anna, now 67 years old, has served as editor-in-chief of Vogue for 29 years, overseeing much of the developments and controversies in the world of fashion. When she started, she ushered in bold changes immediately. Anna described how her first cover as editor which featured a model wearing just a shirt and jeans was a first for the magazine. “It was so unlike the studied and elegant close-ups that were typical of Vogue’s covers back then, with tons of makeup and major jewelry. This one broke all the rules,” she writes in a feature for the magazine’s 120th anniversary. She was also the first to recognize celebrities as fashion icons by putting them on the covers of succeeding issues, catapulting their popularity forward. There’s nothing quite like Anna’s seal of approval.
Quartz also writes how she became the unofficial style advisor of Hillary Clinton during her run for the presidency. These all seem like little details in Anna’s storied life which include being the artistic director at Condé Nast, and the advisor to luxury conglomerates like Kering, and overseeing the growth of the CFDA/Voge Fashion Fund to give monetary support to budding designers. Just this same week, Anna announced how she will be collaborating with actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow on a new magazine.
Anna currently figures as the cover star of the latest print issue of Business of Fashion, wherein she takes a very humble look at her role. When asked what she thinks about being deemed as the most powerful person in fashion, she told BoF, “It simply isn’t true. It simply isn’t true. I love my job, I love everything about it. I love the additional responsibility that I have as artistic director and I love journalism.. And honestly without sounding pretentious, I don’t think about power or what that brings me. What does that really bring? A good table at a restaurant? I just try to use my position to help Condé Nast and to help others.”