Last week WWD reported that magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Lucky and Allure experienced double-digit drops in newsstands sales during the first half of the year. As digital releases gain popularity and people become wary about their expenses, fashion magazines are having a hard time keeping readers interested. Anna Wintour, current Editor at US Vogue, was considered a revolutionary when she first came to the job, as she changed the look of the magazine and gained thousands of readers. Clearly, times have changed, where it takes more than a celebrity on the cover to sell a couple thousand copies and ad pages become more important than the actual content.
Diana Vreeland may have died in 1989, but her footprint on the fashion and publishing industry is still alive today. Throughout her career, Vreeland was an editor at Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Besides Wintour, Vreeland is probably one of the most legendary magazine editors to have ever existed. As an editor, Vreeland was known to incorporate collaborations with designers, photographers, actors, models and people in the industry.
Fashionista posted the trailer to Vreeland’s documentary film The Eye Has To Travel, which will be out later this year. After the news of depreciating magazine sales, a film about one of the greatest editors of all time could not be better timed. At a point where fashion editors have been playing games of musical chairs over the last three years and leaving publications for better paying retail jobs (Carine Roitfeld anyone?), a reminder of how to run a successful and groundbreaking publication is needed.
When it came to editorials, Vreeland was not afraid to push boundaries and always had a vision in mind. When she was editor at Vogue, the magazine was published twice a month, and every issue was groundbreaking in its style advice, fashion editorials and other content. Today, we as readers are lucky if we can sit through a whole issue. In her autobiography, D.V., Vreeland wrote that “Most people haven’t got a point of view; they need to have it given to them.” The inside of her magazines included the likes of Twiggy, Cher, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and launched the careers of Oscar De La Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg and Manolo Blahnik, making Vogue a well rounded publication.
Today, when details on magazine issues are released, online publications dissect: how many times a cover star was used, how many times a certain look was used on different covers, and how a photo appears “inspired” by another person’s work. But Diana Vreeland did not gain the title “High Priestess of Fashion” by taking inspiration from others; she was the one that usually offered it.
[photos via: dianavreeland.com]