She went to work at Vogue later when Alex Liberman, editorial director for Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, talked to Wintour about a position there in 1983.She eventually accepted after a bidding war that doubled her salary, becoming the magazine's first creative director, a position with vaguely defined responsibilities.
At her parents' behest, she also took fashion classes at a nearby school.
Vogue held its position as market leader against three contenders: Elle; Harper's Bazaar, which had lured away Liz Tilberis, Wintour's most prominent deputy, and Mirabella, a magazine Rupert Murdoch created for Wintour's fired predecessor.
Her most serious competitor was within the company: Tina Brown, editor of Vanity Fair and later The New Yorker.
At the end of the decade, another of Wintour's inner circle left to run Harper's Bazaar.
Kate Betts, seen as Wintour's likely successor, had broadened the magazine's reach by commissioning stories with a more hard-news edge, about women in politics, street culture, and the financial difficulties of some major designers.