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Vogue’s Celebrity Editors

What Makes Vogue Great?


table of contents: 2. letter from the editor 5. What makes Vogue so great? A Review 7. the editors

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Magazines have littered my bedroom floor my entire life. My mother is an interior designer and whenever we went to the grocery store when I was younger she would pick up Elle Decor, Domino or Martha Stewart. When we got home she would flip through the magazines back to front (she’s left handed and insists her brain works that way) and tear out pictures of beautifully designed rooms or bold prints of fabrics. She would tack these pages onto her bulletin board in her office for inspiration for our home or her clients. As a young girl, I wanted to be a sophisticated woman. I looked up to my working mom and copied her pretending that I had “clients” too. I would sneak a copy of Seventeen, or Teen Vogue in the buggy at Winn Dixie, and when we got home I would scurry upstairs to my room and flip through the fashion editorials and tear out the pictures I liked. I would tape these images of models dressed in fairytale dresses frolocking in the grass or rebel chicks with thick black eye makeup and studded pants on my bedrooms walls.

My Role Model Mother, taken when she was featured in Cue magazine in New Orleans for her interior design work.

an editorial in Teen Vogue

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This routine brought my mother and I closer together, but also instilled in me the idea that magazines are not to be discarded but hung on the wall like pieces of art. Magazines allowed me to escape my dreary, non-glamourous childhood and enter the world of fashion. As I grew out of my 90’s bandana hairstyle, I also grew out of Seventeen and Teen Vogue. In my early teenage years, I read Nylon, a hip alternative fashion magazine. I was attracted to the magazines design, it’s crisp black and white pages with pen and ink realist illustrations and funky fonts. However as I got older I found the content to be dull. It was then that I graduated to Vogue, the mecca of the fashion world. I couldn’t start out reading Vogue, because to really read Vogue and understand it you have to be patient.Vogue is like The New Yorker of fashion magazines. It’s not an easy read like Lucky, Marie Claire, or Seventeen which simplify fashion to a formula. Vogue’s articles are long, and tedious. They’re for people who really care about the fashion lifestyle.

drawings in Nylon

cover of Vogue

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My passion for fashion magazines has not deteriorated as I’ve gotten older, it’s only gotten stronger. I still tear out pages of my favorites spreads and blow my money on not only American Vogue, but Parisian Vogue, and British Vogue (which is frustrating expensive). Now, I want to work in this fashion world. I want to create stories with my fashion photographs like the ones I hung on my bedroom walls. I want to write about the current trends and why it’s important that this fall we wear fur not on our backs, but on our shoes. I want to attend fashion week in New York, and I want to take Anna Wintour’s place as editor and chief. I know that all of these goals are one big unrealistic dream, but that’s exactly what Vogue has taught me to do- dream.

two of my fashion photos

Kathleen Allain 4


Why is it the best?

When it comes to fashion, Vogue is the world’s most influential magazine. Its audience is about the same size as the population of Cuba, and 3 films have been influenced by it (The September Issue,The Devil Wears Prada, and Funny Face). Ask any young girl in fashion where they want to work and they’ll say Vogue. If you read Vogue, there’s really no other magazine you need. Its fashion editorials are photographed by genius photographers around the world-Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton- and its content is always current and thought provoking. Vogue is a window that peeps into the attitudes of women. In ‘60’s it captured the mod’s, in the 70’s the career oriented woman, 80’s excess, and 90’s glamour. To know what’s going on in the fashion world, Vogue is the first place to go. Vogue has challenged its readers so much that it’s been controversial. For example, the April 2008 cover which featured Lebron James, at his peak, and Gisele Bundchen closely resembled a WWI propaganda poster featuring a german savage ape carrying the statue of liberty.

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Recently, another controversial spread was the February issue which paid tribute to the heroes or Hurricane Sandy. Critics were outraged that the spread features models in expensive gowns around the the devastated areas of New York where the storm hit (as a disclaimer, Vogue funded a hurricane relief program for Hurricane Sandy and raised over 1 million dollars).


But that these scandalous spreads push people, and that is what any good fashion magazine does. However, there’s more to Vogue than its pretty pictures. It exudes sophistication and chicness unlike any other magazine in its genre. Vogue doesn’t care if its readers can afford the 4,000 leather jacket it features, or the 11,000 diamond necklace that Kiera Knightley wears on the cover. And it doesn’t have to care. Vogue is not real life, it’s a fantasy and that is what makes it extraordinary. Guy Bourdin for Vogue

Helmut Newton for Vogue

Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

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The Editors To understand why Vogue is so successful we must look at the minds behind the magazine- the editors. Each editor has contributed something extroadinary during their time at Vogue to maintain its reputation.

Diana Vreeland once said “Most people haven’t got a point of view; they need to have it given to them,” and that’s exactly what she did. Vreeland coined the phrase “Why don’t you...” where she suggested fashion trends to Vogues readers. Vreeland is also known for having an incredible eye, and being the first editor to determine the sway of fashion, whether it was the color chartreuse gray, or the five point cut hairstyle in the ‘60’s.

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Grace Mirabella took over from Vreeland during the ‘70’s. Mirabella featured a new woman, one who didn’t care about the frills of fashion, but instead needed to move around, needed clothes to wear to work. While critics found Mirabella “boring and sensible” she fit in with the attitudes of the ‘70’s and then when the ‘80’s came, she was fired from Vogue.

Anna Wintour was the first editor in the magazine industry to recognize celebrities culture in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s and put celebrities on the cover of the magazine. This was a huge step for Vogue, boosting its sales dramatically, and many other magazines copied. Wintour also started Teen Vogue, a Vogue for a younger audience which also dramatically raised it’s revenue. In Times top 10 women in fashion she is described, “Runway shows don’t start until she arrives. Designers succeed because she anoints them. Trends are created

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Research Project 4  

final project for Research Writing

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