How do you interview the best known interviewer in the world? Editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful found out when he sat down for a chat with his August cover star, Oprah.
Oprah—who looks snatched for the gawds in the magazine’s spread—reprises the made-to-order, belted, green jacquard gown and jeweled shoes by Erdem she also sports in the shoot. “I’m the easiest interview you’re ever going to have,” she promises Enninful, before dishing on her greatest luxury (having her own plane), and what it’s really like to be the brand that is Oprah.
“I just feel like I just have the most amazing life of anybody I know,” she tells Enninful.
From the woman who made the phrase, “live your best life,” famous, we’d certainly hope so. But when it comes to exactly how aspirational her existence is, the mega-mogul even surprises herself. In fact she, confesses to recently Googling herself for the first time and discovering that she was the first African-American self-made billionaire (how did she not know that?), as well as the most charitable African American in the 20th century.
“I was like, ‘I am so impressed with myself!’” she tells Enninful. “I am most proud that I have been able to live this incredible life, filled with beauty.”
But Oprah—who says she’d be teaching in a classroom if she wan’t running a multimedia empire—is clear that her beautiful life wasn’t achieved without intention and effort, citing bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule (which others have disputed). It’s a fact she tells Enninful she wishes more young people understood:
“They think that there isn’t a process to [success]; they think that they’re supposed to come out of college and have their brand,” she says. “How I got to be a brand was every day making choices...”
The now great and powerful O has been making strategic choices since she started in television at age 19, and suggests that the one most instrumental to her immense success was being her authentic self, both on- and off-camera.
“From, I’d say, 32, 33 on, I figured out how to be myself completely on television. And all these years, I have made a fortune, really, being myself. So, I’m never not me; I’m never not the person that you see.”
But if she could tell her younger self anything, it would be advice that we could likely all use:
“First of all, it would be ‘relax.’ It would be ‘stop being afraid.’ And it would be, ‘everything’s going to be alright. No matter what, you’re going to be okay.’”