Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief” as Want to Read:
Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  642 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
She's ambitious, driven, insecure, needy, a perfectionist—and she's considered the most powerful force in the more than $100 billion fashion industry. She's Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, the world's fashion bible. With her signature Louise Brooks bob, trademark sunglasses, and glamorous furs, she's a sexy international diva, gossiped about the world over. As fame ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published November 30th 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Front Row, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Front Row

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,516)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Front Row taught me several important things about life:

1. Biographers don't have to be skilled in the fine craft of prose whatsoever.

2. Likewise, obscure distant friends and relatives pay no mind to the poor grammar they use when describing someone they have harbored a grudge against for several years.

3. The nitty-gritty details of even the most fascinating person's life are rarely interesting enough even for bathroom reading.

4. I need to get famous enough to have a biography written about me.

Harry McKinley
Sep 09, 2012 Harry McKinley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My own version of this book was picked up in New York and, whereas the cover shown here might lead you to believe it could pass for a sophisticated read, mine is something resembling a National Enquirer cover so I went into the whole shebang knowing it was going to be a trashy ride.

An 'unauthorised' biography, it's quite a salacious tale charting Anna's childhood and career and featuring interviews with embittered former friends and colleagues. Needless to say some of it is vague and wooly, wit
Apr 23, 2007 Candice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not many
Shelves: fashion
Ugh. I was so excited to see a biography on Anna Wintour, I ordered it immediately. But I had no idea it was written by Jerry Oppenheimer, the king of unauthorized biographies like "Martha Stewart: Just Desserts" and "State of a Union: the Complex Marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton". Double Ugh.

So it was with a huge grain of salt that I began reading this "bio". I had to start skimming it after all the ridiculous speculation and over-reaching presumptions. If this book was read in court, the "
Feb 19, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirsbios
I tend to like to hear about the rich and horrible, most likely just to feel better about myself as a person. I think my interest in AW comes from Gawker's frequent mentions, and so I wanted to get some more background. This book is wonderfully trashy and tawdry and inspires me to both read his other book on Martha Stewart and to anxiously await the DVD release of the September Issue, a documentary about putting together Vogue's September issue.
A book that is very challenging to read what with all the names that are mentioned, however, if you liked the story behind The Devil Wears Prada, then this book will intrigue. I read it first, and it's amazing what similarities you will find in addition to the sheer madness of this fashion icon.
Lexine U.
Jun 24, 2015 Lexine U. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved, informative
I have no idea why there are so many negative comments about this unauthorized biography. Aside from the interesting details of the subject's, Anna Wintour, personal and public life, I found the whole affair to be quite well-researched in that he was able to procure such depths without his subject's cooperation. While many people criticize this work as lacking in the prose department, my opinion of these criticisms is that they must have never read biographies before and have had ridiculously hi ...more
Heather Mckay
May 14, 2015 Heather Mckay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a guilty pleasure, like a calorie laden dessert. I went in knowing next to nothing about Wintour, other than the fact she was painfully slom, had a great haircut and always wore Wayfarers. I learned there is much more , and also much less about her than what you imagine an influential magazine editor to be( high school dropout, a lost week with Bob Marley, etc).

The book is well researched, although most of his details come from people who no longer have relationships with Wintour, s
Oct 05, 2007 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
This is possibly the worse written book. I'm so glad I didn't buy it and waste my money on it, instead I borrowed it from the library. It was interesting to learn more about her life though.
Aug 19, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A-Dubs is fascinating even if the writing is meh.
Nov 21, 2014 Sonaksha rated it liked it
Before I got my hands on the book, preliminary research told me it was unauthorized, just like Oppenheimer’s other biographies. But I had to read it because it was about Anna Wintour, whose power in the industry undoubtedly amuses me.

While most of the book did sound like something out of a gossip column and at times even vague, I do realize that it can’t be that far away from reality, at least not all of it. Didn’t particularly enjoy the name-dropping style of writing and got bored with the sen
Sep 02, 2012 Sherri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Her majesty Anna Wintour truly deserves to be revered, respected and perhaps worshipped. As the current Editor in Chief of Vogue (the holy grail/bible of fashion world). Although I could never fit anything from its pages I appreciate fashion and the work that goes into bringing to the world. This book gives us insight into her world, her upbringing and how get got to where she is today.
That being said I did not really like how this was written the author wrote it from others point of view and d
Madigan McGillicuddy
Meticulously researched, this unauthorized biography plods through Wintour's life in a repetitive and somewhat boring fashion. I lost count of the many times the author referenced "nuclear Wintour" and "the Wintour of our discontent." What I got out of it, is that I'm certain that Anna Wintour is someone who I would absolutely loathe. She's bitchy and rude to all females, but simpers helplessly for men, like a little lost puppy. Apparently she's quite the seductress, having had plenty of affairs ...more
Jan 22, 2011 TBML rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joyfully vicious biography of a New York fashion icon. Five decades of ruthlessness leading to huge professional success and crashing personal failures. Oppenheimer starts with Wintour's family. Wintour's adolescent rebellion, her parents' divorce, her many boyfriends, and her failure ever to graduate from college. At early jobs, she was miles ahead of the other girls in terms of ambition and style, as well as of cruelty; more than one coworker also recalls that she couldn't write copy for her f ...more
While Anna Wintour is a very interesting subject (I first became fascinated with her after seeing the documentary "The September Issue"), I thought that this biography was deeply lacking Anna's own voice. The author explains in the introduction that Anna refused to let him interview her or to be part of the biography in any way, which left his "hundreds of hours of interviews" to be from those who did not get Anna's sanctioned approval, i.e., those who had limited interaction with Anna, or had a ...more
Mark Farley
A great gossipy read is this biography of the now legendary Vogue editor and stalwart of modern day fashion. It certainly had me immersed, if the the 'he said, she said' prose is a little tiring at times. This is a great light hearted read and source for anyone interested in not just the culture, but whole philosophical side of personality and the idea of celebrity. I suppose I fall into the category the book mentions of where women are normally at loggerheads with her, men fawned over her. I di ...more
The author's goal for this book must have been: take a subject that seems very interesting, that people are fascinated with, that has inspired a famous chick lit novel and movie, that was the central subject of a famous documentary, and then make that subject as boring as possible. So much so that even I, as an insomniac, fell asleep while reading. I would give this book one star, but I generally try not to give one star to anyone. Also, it could be that Anna Wintour is simply boring herself...I ...more
 Shari's Perusings & Musings
The writing was dull and boring. As wonderfully weird and superficial the fashion industry is, this tale makes it dreary.
Feb 03, 2009 Beth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason this got 1 stars was because of the pictures. I was incredibly curious about Anna Wintour's life (especially after seeing and reading The Devil Wears Prada), but the author, Jerry Oppenheimer, may have written the worst biography I have ever read. He attempted to use every single quote he ever heard about Anna Wintour and you can tell. The entire book is interspersed with quotes and information about her that are either completely out of place or completely irrelevant. It's reall ...more
Григорий Успенский
Incredible from the point of doing business and managing people
Jana (The Book Goddess)
Argh. No respect for Wintour. What a bully and a cow.
Dec 07, 2007 Thirstyicon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in fashion.
Well, What I've learned is that bumper sticker is still true: Well behaved women rarely make history. This book will not surprise anyone. Anna is both and icy bitch, but also has been in love and shown kindness (to a select few). Basically, it gives examples of how she earned her reputation, of course many of the sources did not want to be named; so I take it with a grain of salt.

Of course, having read The Devil Wears Prada (which was more entertaining), and having seen Kathy Griffin's Allegedly
Shelley Lanki
Mar 07, 2014 Shelley Lanki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it - bitchy escapism
May 28, 2012 Henri rated it it was amazing
I have to say that this book is very inspiring for ppl who have a desire to accomplish something in life and ppl around them are telling them that it seems unlikely. Never giving up and working extremely hard pays off in the end. I'm sure certain things that were described in the book she probably wouldn't have wanted anyone to know but we all have flaws and will or may so things that others may deem unseemly. She's a great role model to me and I'd love to delve into her brain even more.
Feb 17, 2014 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author was not a big fan of Anna's, but I admire her work ethic.
Christi Exman
Jan 12, 2016 Christi Exman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. The fact that this book was published with the poor writing within is a miracle. Lacking in facts. Have I said terrible yet? Don't waste your time.
Emma  Kaufmann
Mar 03, 2008 Emma Kaufmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about uberbitch Anna Wintour. She had an icy cold childhood and not enough attention from daddy, thus attached herself to numerous daddy figures who opened many doors for her in the fashion biz. She seems to have had almost an obsessive compulsion for fashion and little/no regard for people's feelings. Still, a fascinating psychological profile.
Lisa Mackay
Not great at all. She is such a fascinating woman however this book didn’t do her life justice. I suppose it’s because the author didn’t speak to her directly as she refused, so it’s all come from other people
Jun 07, 2012 Tiffany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Anna Wintour is one of the most fascinating people ever. However, this book was not well-written. The author really should have made more effort to make his collection of anecdotes more lively and engaging. I appreciated the linear structure, and I did learn a lot about this ice queen, but this book was pretty dry stylistically.
Apr 18, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an Anna fan, it was fun to get the dirt on my favorite editrix in this (unofficial?) biography. I loved reading about Anna's younger, party girl days and get a better idea of her roots (fabulous) and where her perceived cold demeanor stems from in life. Recommended read for all publishing and New York media fanatics!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 50 51 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
  • In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine
  • The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
  • Unseen Vogue
  • D.V.
  • The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever
  • The Power of Style
  • Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashion, and Fame
  • Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love, and Fashion
  • I Love Your Style: How to Define and Refine Your Personal Style
  • Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion
  • In Fashion: From Runway to Retail, Everything You Need to Know to Break Into the Fashion Industry
  • Fashion Babylon
  • The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957
  • The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour
  • Chanel: A Woman of Her Own
  • Influence
  • Vogue: The Editor's Eye
Jerry Oppenheimer is an author who has written several unauthorized biographies of public figures including Hillary and Bill Clinton, Anna Wintour, Rock Hudson, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, Ethel Kennedy, Jerry Seinfeld and the Hilton family.

Toy Monster: The Big Bad World of Mattel was published on Feb 3 2009 and his latest book (as of Aug 2, 2009), will be about Bernie Madoff, titled Madoff w
More about Jerry Oppenheimer...

Share This Book