In rare public interview, head of American Vogue tells the Guardians editor-in-chief that Clinton is the best choice and not unviable Trump

Anna Wintour has said she is confident that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States, branding Donald Trump as unviable.

The editor-in-chief of American Vogue, who has hosted several high-profile fundraisers for the former US secretary of state who announced her candidacy in April, said she felt Clintons campaign was strong enough to secure her a place in the White House.

Speaking in a rare public interview with the Guardians editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, Wintour said her support for Clinton was not just because she is a woman … its because shes the best choice.

Referring to next months Iowa caucus, she said during the interview at the University of York: We are all looking forward to the result in Iowa. I think Hillary is running a very strong campaign; she feels very confident.

Of course it would be wonderful for Hillary Clinton to be the first female president, but I think she would be the first to say that she wouldnt want people to vote for her just because shes a woman. I think thats a rather old fashioned way of thinking; people should vote for her because shes the best choice. And if you look at whos shes running against, theres no question that is the truth.

Wintour, who backed Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, admitted she had initially underestimated the public appeal of Donald Trump. She condemned the Republican nominee as really not a viable candidate … he has no substance to anything that he says, he just goes with the soundbite. Im not sure he even knows where Syria is.

Wintour has held her post since 1988. Asked if she had any political aspirations herself, Wintour said it was not on my to-do list.

She also warned students not to allow social media to become a substitute for living. Describing social media as an incredible tool she added: You dont want to spend your entire life clicking and liking. Im struck these days by how often people come up to me and ask to take a photograph, instead of shaking hands, meeting ones eyes and having an actual conversation.

She also told the students they should not seek fame. To be famous these days with no grounding and no substance is not especially difficult, she said. I urge you instead to seek to be relevant, to be agile and educated.

Wintours uncle was the first vice-chancellor at the university which her niece attends. The editor-in-chief said she occasionally lamented her own decision to shun the intellectual route taken by most of her family and go straight into work at 17.

I was the one who went to work aged 17. Its a path I sometimes regret when I see how my own children have made friends for life and how important the years they spent there were just to figure things out, she said.

However, Wintour used the opportunity to appeal to the younger generation to not become too specialised and instead be intellectually free. She hailed tech startups as hives of creativity and innovation, and admitted even companies such as Condé Nast, where she has been artistic director since 2013, had been slow to catch up.

Ill be the first to admit that we at Condé Nast have been guilty of arrogance we are Condé Nast; weve always done it this way, she said. We are so busy working at being the best, being perfect, we havent always be open to disruption, to new ways of thinking and thats not good. But its very much changing, Im happy to say.

The young people we hire today at Condé Nast are fearless polymaths.

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