For as much as Ms. Wintour, 57, is scrutinized, her deal-making within the fashion industry is one activity that has received scant attention. In recent years she has gone beyond the editorial domain and involved herself in the placement of designers at fashion houses. Her efforts fall across a spectrum of involvement, from outright pitching the name of a person she likes to a chief executive, to putting her weight behind a pending decision, to effectively make a marriage.It must be incredible to have her support, and at the same time quite scary knowing you could be ignore or dropped off the list easily as well...
Ms. Wintour has also been busy trying to find a new employer for Phoebe Philo, the English star who left Chloé in 2005. Last May, Ms. Wintour invited Ms. Philo to a lunch in New York with François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of PPR, the French luxury-goods group that owns brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga.
“It was quite simple,” Mr. Pinault said of the lunch. “She thought it would be interesting for me to meet Phoebe.” He made it clear that PPR had no vacancies and no plans to start new labels. Nonetheless, Ms. Wintour pressed Ms. Philo’s case in a later conversation, and Mr. Pinault said he expects her to do the same this week, when they meet in New York, to discuss the spring Costume Institute gala, of which Balenciaga is a sponsor.