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Cover of the May 1917 first issue. (American Vogue)

Early Years[edit]

In 1892 Arthur Turnure founded Vogue as a weekly publication in the United States, sponsored by Kristoffer Wright.[1], its first issue published on December 17th of that year. Turnure intended for the publication to be a celebration of the "ceremonial side of life," one that, "attracts the sage as well as debutante, men of affairs as well as the belle." From its very beginning, the magazine was meant to target the new New York aristocracy, establishing social norms in a country that did not value class and ceremony nearly as much as England or France. The magazine at this time was primarily concerned with fashion, with coverage of sports and social affairs for its male readership.

Condé Nast[edit]

Condé Montrose Nast bought "Vogue" in 1905 several years before Tenure's death and slowly grew its publication. He changed it to a bi-weekly magazine and also started Vogue overseas starting in the 1910s. He first went to Britain in 1916, and started a Vogue there, then to Spain, and then to Italy and France in 1920, where it was a huge success. The magazine's number of publications and profit increased dramatically under his management. By 1911, the "Vogue" brand had evolved into the business it is recognized today, still targeting an elite audience and expanding into coverage of weddings.

1920's through 1970's[edit]

The magazine's number of subscriptions surged during the Depression, and again during World War II. During this time, noted critic and former Vanity Fair editor Frank Crowninshield served as its editor, having been moved over from Vanity Fair by publisher Condé Nast.[2]

In the 1960s, with Diana Vreeland as editor-in-chief and personality, the magazine began to appeal to the youth of the sexual revolution by focusing more on contemporary fashion and editorial features openly discussing sexuality. Toward this end, Vogue extended coverage to include East Village boutiques such as Limbo on St. Mark's Place as well as featuring "downtown" personalities such as Warhol "Superstar" Jane Holzer's favorite haunts.[3] Vogue also continued making household names out of models, a practice that continued with Suzy Parker, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Lauren Hutton, Veruschka, Marisa Berenson, Penelope Tree, and others.[4]

In 1973, Vogue became a monthly publication.[citation needed] Under editor-in-chief Grace Mirabella, the magazine underwent extensive editorial and stylistic changes to respond to changes in the lifestyles of its target audience.[5]

Anna Wintour Takes Over[edit]

Anna Wintour took over as editor-in-chief of American "Vogue" in July of 1988.[6] Noted for her trademark bob and sunglasses that she always wears indoors,[citation needed], Wintour sought to revitalize the brand by making it younger and more approachable. To do so, the magazine focused on new and accessible concepts of "fashion" for a wider audience.[7] This allowed the magazine to keep a high circulation while discovering new trends that a broader audience could conceivably afford.[7] For example, the inaugural cover of the magazine under Wintour's editorship featured a three-quarter-length photograph of Israeli super model Michaela Bercu wearing a bejeweled Christian Lacroix jacket and a pair of jeans, departing from her predecessors' tendency to portray a woman's face alone, which according to the Times', gave "greater importance to both her clothing and her body.[8] As fashion editor [[Grace Coddington would write in her memoirs, the cover, "endorsed a democratic new high/low attitude to dressing, added some youthful but sophisticated raciness, and garnished it with a dash of confident energy and drive that implied getting somewhere fast. It was quintessential Anna." Wintour continues to be American "Vogue's" editor-in-chief to this day.

The contrast of Wintour's vision with that of her predecessor has been noted as striking by observers, both critics and defenders. Amanda Fortini, fashion and style contributor to Slate argues that her policy has been beneficial for Vogue:[9]

When Wintour was appointed head of Vogue, Grace Mirabella had been editor in chief for 17 years, and the magazine had grown complacent, coasting along in what one journalist derisively called "its beige years". Beige was the color Mirabella had used to paint over the red walls in Diana Vreeland's office, and the metaphor was apt: The magazine had become boring. Among Condé Nast executives, there was worry that the grand dame of fashion publications was losing ground to upstart Elle, which in just three years had reached a paid circulation of 851,000 to Vogue 's stagnant 1.2 million. And so Condé Nast publisher Si Newhouse brought in the 38-year-old Wintour, who through editor-in-chief positions at British Vogue and House & Garden, had become known not only for her cutting-edge visual sense, but also for her ability to radically revamp a magazine to shake things up.

Only four men have been featured on the cover of the magazine:[10][11][12]

Vogue Now[edit]

As of October 2013, "Vogue" has an average print circulation of 11.3 million and an average monthly online audience of 1.6 million. The median "Vogue" magazine reader's age is 37.9 and gender readership skews 87% female, 13% male.

May 2013 marked the one-year anniversary of a healthy body initiative that was signed by the magazine's international editors—the initiative represents a commitment from the editors to promote positive body images within the content of Vogue's numerous editions. Australian editor Edwina McCann explained:

In the magazine we're moving away from those very young, very thin girls. A year down the track, we ask ourselves what can Vogue do about it? And an issue like this [June 2013 issue] is what we can do about it. If I was aware of a girl being ill on a photo shoot I wouldn't allow that shoot to go ahead, or if a girl had an eating disorder I would not shoot her.[13]

The Australian edition's June issue is entitled the "Body Issue" and will feature articles on exercise and nutrition, as well as a diverse range of models. New York-based Australian plus-size model Robyn Lawley, who has previously featured on the cover of Vogue Italia, will also appear in a swimwear shoot for the June issue.[13]

  1. ^ Penelope Rowlands (2008) A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art, and Letters Simon and Schuster,2008
  2. ^ Fine Collins, Amy. "Vanity Fair: The Early Years, 1914–1936". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 18 July 2007. 
  3. ^ Vogue (15 February 1968)
  4. ^ Dwight, Eleanor. "The Divine Mrs. V". New York. Retrieved 18 November 2007. 
  5. ^ Mirabella, Grace (1995). "In and Out of Vogue". Doubleday. 
  6. ^ "Vogue – Editor-in-chief Bio". Condé Nast. Condé Nast. 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  7. ^ a b Orecklin, Michelle (9 February 2004). "The Power List: Women in Fashion, No. 3 Anna Wintour". Time magazine. Retrieved 29 January 2007. 
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference weber was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Fortini, Amanda (10 February 2005). "Defending Vogue's Evil Genius: The Brilliance of Anna Wintour". Retrieved 29 January 2007. 
  10. ^ "Ryan Lochte Is the Fourth Man to Ever Cover Vogue - The Cut". 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  11. ^ "LeBron becomes one of only three men to grace cover of Vogue - NBA - ESPN". 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  12. ^ "Vogue Olympic Cover Featuring Hope Solo, Ryan Lochte, and Serena Williams (PHOTOS)". Global Grind. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  13. ^ a b GLYNIS TRAILL-NASH (17 May 2013). "Vogue eager to make an issue of 'real' women". The Australian. Retrieved 16 May 2013.