Harper’s Bazaar is like a Vogue magazine reference in fashion, although the two magazines treat the subject a little differently. Vogue will be more in the concept, while Harper’s Bazaar will be a little more concrete and perhaps easier to access. In any case, Harper’s Bazaar has contributed to hatch a new fashion consumption mode, and we owe him many mini revolutions that have made women’s magazines it is today. With over 142 years of the meter, it is interesting to dive into the epic Harper’s Bazaar…
It all started in 1867 when two American brothers, the Harper Brothers, decided to create a fashion magazine. This will be the first of the United States. Their concept is to provide a practical tool for women who want to keep abreast of what’s happening in fashion. At that time, a must in terms of elegance is what is done in Europe, which is why the Harper will draw heavily from an existing German magazine ( “Der Bazar”), and that magazine illustrations will be conducted in Paris and sent to America.
Most of the weekly pages are devoted to reproductions of couture dresses which are detailed very precisely with explanatory texts. Harper’s Bazaar is a magazine while the average circulation following his path quietly, smoothly, nor glory. It was not until 1913 that a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, takes orders and begins the ascent of Harper’s Bazaar.
It aims to compete, Vogue and attellera it with all his might. It introduces the photograph in its pages, manages to infuse its modes it takes fine and good taste aristocrat playfulness, by involving Lady Randolph Churchill, Countess of Warwick and the seamstress and writer Lady Duff Gordon officiating as Lucille pseudonym.
It should nevertheless find a trademark for Harper’s. In 1915, Hearst solve the problem by hiring a former collaborator Poiret, Erte, whose frail racy sketches will now be associated with the magazine. A 10-year interval, Hearts debauchery suddenly outlandish contracts of two key characters in Vogue in 1922, the photographer De Meyer joined the teams of Harper’s Bazaar and in 1933 it was the turn of Carmel Snow change sides.
it is with the arrival of this woman to the post of editor that everything will change, and the magazine will become a legend, or even contribute to create. After spending 11 years at Vogue, she has a clear vision of what she wants to do with Harper’s Bazaar: something related concept of “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. It develops the idea of a magazine for “well-dressed women with well-dressed minds.”
She takes her monthly beyond fashion, and will enter American homes a rich universe of art, reports enlightened, pointed to new and avant-garde photographs. Carmel Snow was known to feel the talent in people, which allowed him to gather around it a true creative pool, visionary and ready to change things.
She’ll find in the person of Alexey Brodovitch that will allow it to revolutionize the approach to fashion and design magazine. The latter is a Russian photographer in the modern spirit, passionate expressionism. When Carmel Snow discovered his work in a New York exhibition, she immediately feels that this is the man who takes it. There will be over 20 years – from 1934 to 1958 -. Artistic Director
It is he who will live together text and photos, something never before seen. It scrambles the code juxtaposes, cutting, using different typefaces, plays blank spaces, aerates the texts. It completely turns the pages of the magazine by placing in an apparent disorder of photographs of young women transgressing conventional poses. They jump, run, whirl, all giving a banal article on sport an innovative and positive momentum.
He chose photographers who are at the bow of the vanguard: Man Ray, Martin Munkácsi but Avedon and Henri Cartier Bresson. The Erte illustrations give way to a series of portraits that become a feature of the magazine. The apparent spontaneity of working Brodovitch is the result of extreme care, he worships the accuracy, only means in his power to express a mood, an idea, a feeling, something volatile … For this result, he spends hours and hours to move and replace the items.
Diana Vreeland is another crucial character of the advent of Harper’s Bazaar: especially that she wrote that the bikini is the most important thing since the discovery the atomic bomb. These words illustrate perfectly the caustic and free spirit which today remains the most talented fashion editors. Carmel Snow Vreeland discovered in the heart of New York high society, that it had integrated smoothly thanks to his talents as “socialite.”
Snow was struck by the sense of chic and elegance of Diana Vreeland and offered to write an entry in her diary. Vreeland knew immediately find suitable tone and adapt to the wishes and desires of readers, in this time of economic crisis. It was pointless and irrelevant to them extol the virtues of a particular toilet overpriced, so she began to teach them how to recycle certain parts of their closets, as well as some easy rules to apply to be always elegant. She encouraged the Americans to be inventive.
His column “Why do not you…” with its original format, its pragmatic and enlightened vision of fashion and its free and removed comments, was the media buzz that Harper’s Bazaar was desperate to to take off. The women began to buy in bulk the magazine just to read the chronicle of Diana Vreeland. Six months after his arrival in the newspaper, Vreeland was promoted to editor of the fashion section.
In this position, she was able to easily print their ideas and direct his readers where she wanted to. She made them discover Elsa Schiaparelli and encouraged them to follow what she was proposing. Despite being perceived as someone eccentric and volcanic character, she was respected the environment and managed to accept his way of seeing things advertisers and other decision makers. She was always on the lookout for novelty, encouraging young designers and plebiscite new techniques.
She has really boosted the creation and allowed the US to attend the change of fashion. It has endeavored to make laptops the whims of designers, she wanted the style down the street and for that she was giving the user guide its readers. It has also become a true fashion icon for all women on the planet. In 1963, after revolutionizing the tone and image of Harper’s Bazaar, Diana Vreeland went to the other side and integrated the pages of Vogue.
Brodovitch, Vreeland and Carmel Snow are three of them managed to Harper’s Bazaar a sharp magazine while being accessed, and managed to be the link between artists, designers, photographers, writers and the public. Carmel Snow in its pages highlighted Warhol, Avedon, Cocteau, Balenciaga and many more … So many artists who vowed it genuine admiration and respect for his unfailing sense of judgment and aesthetics.
In 1958 at 70, she gave way to her niece, Nancy White, who after following her aunt for many years had built the procedure, which she did with assiduity. In 1970, the young Anna Wintour integrates columns of the magazine, but she has other ambitions and dream of running Vogue. That is why when in 1975 when the editor of Harper’s Bazaar Job file under her nose, she slams the door and leaves to try his luck elsewhere with the result that we know. The magazine in struggling to regain the aura generated by the winning trio of the 60s … the talented fashion editors will follow, but for various reasons do not stay. This is the case of Liz Tilberis, who between 1992 to the editor of Harper’s and breathes dynamism and relevance that it had lost. However, fate is going after the magazine, and Liz Tiberlis succumbed to cancer in 1999.
Since then, the magazine has trouble competing Vogue. While Italian and English editions are innovative and are constantly looking for the best aesthetic iconography, Harper’s Bazaar US still seeks his Diana Vreeland…