Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s signoff might not sound like high praise, but consider the alternatives of ‘Keep trying’, ‘Boring’ and ‘See me’
Age: About 30.
Status: The absolute highest.
I think you’ll find it’s spelled “Ewok”. No, although this is about a fur-draped figure of mystery and ridicule, so good guess.
Go on then, what’s an Awok? It stands for “Anna Wintour OK”.
That sounds like a weirdly pretentious piece of 1980s graffiti. It’s Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s final copy signoff for every article the magazine publishes; a handwritten “AWOK” on a Post-it stuck to the bottom of a printout.
Right. It’s thought to be how Wintour signifies approval. Vogue writer Chioma Nnadi says: “Whisper the phrase, ‘You’ve been Awok’d’ into the ear of an unsuspecting Vogue staffer, and he or she is likely to breathe a heavy sigh of relief, or maybe even bust out a happy dance, with hands raised in the air.”
So it’s the highest form of compliment that Wintour is capable of giving? Sounds like it, even though it basically amounts to “This will do”. God forbid she’d ever say “Well done” or anything.
Oh, come on. You know what it’s like to be a journalist. Your bosses never praise you for anything. This is true. And, to Wintour’s credit, she’s even somehow managed to turn something as mundane as a signoff into an iconic statement. That’s harder than it looks.
But surely she doesn’t just write Awok at the end of everything she receives. No. Apparently she’s also fond of “Keep trying”, “No”, “Boring” and “See me”, which makes her sound less like the high priestess of fashion and more like a personal trainer, a toddler, a bratty teenager and a haughty primary school teacher respectively.
So why are we talking about this now? Because “Awok” just appeared as a digital sticker, available to subscribers of the Vogue iPhone app.A digital sticker? Yes, they’re little animated cartoons that you can send to your friends on iMessage. The Awok one is a dancing Post-it note, but there’s also a person walking around a revolving door and a cup of coffee with the word “Bonjour” floating above it. They were designed by French graphic designer and illustrator Jean Jullien.
So a little like Clipart, then. Yes, but Awok’d Clipart. That’s the difference.
Do say: “Anna Wintour OK.”
Don’t say: “Aloof woman oozes kondescension.”