How Much Do Editors-in-Chief Get for Clothing Allowances?


The above image is a screencap of a random piece of over-the-top Anna Wintour gossip we spotted floating around Facebook. So let’s talk one of the chicest perks of the media economy: the editor-in-chief’s clothing allowance.

It’s no real surprise that Wintour finds she has more clothing than she knows what to do with — the Vogue editor-in-chief and newly minted creative director of Condé Nast has a reported $200,000 clothing allowance built into her contract. That’s far from an uncommon perk for editors-in-chief; Joanna Coles (currently of Cosmopolitan, previously of Marie Claire) has joked about her clothing allowance in the past. Editors have to represent their publications in the public eye, and that involves a certain level of pageantry — everything from dressing the part to no-showing when they’re assigned a “bad” seat at a fashion show. Clothing allowances are just one of the raft of perks Condé Nast and Hearst provide to retain talented staff, including home mortgages at advantageous rates, chauffeur services, and first-class travel.

And clothing allowances don’t even take into account the metric tons of free stuff that editors at top publications receive from brands seeking editorial coverage. The $200 face creams. The free tester of the new $3000 purse by Brand X. The fall season’s lookbook that just happens to arrive on an iPad instead of a flash drive. If Wintour does get rid of most of this stuff, then it’s probably because Wintour’s personal style is pretty settled. She’s not the type to just wear anything because it was given to her: she often repeats outfits, she nearly always wears the same cream leather Manolo Blahnik sandals, and she seems to like it that way. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But leaving her nanny (back when she had nannies; her daughter, Bee Shaeffer, is now well into her 20s) to root through the trash for her valuable cast-offs, rather than just giving them to her, is a little much.

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