Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s longtime fashion doyenne, is famous for a singular style trademark — her sunglasses.
Indeed, Wintour didn’t take off her sunglasses the entire time she met with employees of Pitchfork this week to tell them they were losing their jobs after Condé Nast had decided to subsume the music criticism site into GQ, according to one now-former employee in attendance.
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“One absolutely bizarro detail from this week is that Anna Wintour — seated indoors at a conference table — did not remove her sunglasses while she was telling us that we were about to get canned,” Allison Hussey, a former Pitchfork staff writer, wrote on X. “The indecency we’ve seen from upper management this week is appalling.”
It’s unclear whether Wintour’s reported decision to not remove her eyewear during the meeting was a deliberate fashion choice or, rather, a way to avoid having to look Pitchfork’s employees in the eye. Reps for Condé Nast did not respond to a request for comment.
In a 2009 interview with “60 Minutes,” Wintour offered an explanation for the omnipresent sunglasses: “They are seriously useful. I can sit in a show and if I am bored out of my mind, nobody will notice… At this point, they have become, really, armor.”
Condé Nast on Wednesday told staffers that Pitchfork, the music news and criticism site the company bought in 2015, will merge with men’s magazine GQ. First launched in 1996, Pitchfork has become known for effusively praising favored artists while harshly dinging those that provoke its disapproval. The decision “was made after a careful evaluation of Pitchfork’s performance and what we believe is the best path forward for the brand so that our coverage of music can continue to thrive within the company,” Wintour, Condé Nast’s chief content officer and global editorial director of Vogue, wrote in a memo to staff.
Pitchfork staff members being let go include editor-in-chief Puja Patel and features editor Jill Mapes, who commented on X, “after nearly 8 yrs, mass layoffs got me. glad we could spend that time trying to make it a less dude-ish place just for GQ to end up at the helm.”
Upwards of half of Pitchfork’s staff are believed to have been laid off. Other staffers who posted on social media about being pink-slipped included senior staff writer Marc Hogan, associate editor Sam Sodomsky, associate news director Evan Minsker, and associate staff writers Hattie Lindert and Matthew Ismael Ruiz.
The company’s changes with Pitchfork come after Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch said last November that the company planned to lay off about 5% of total headcount, among other steps to cut costs.
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