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150 Years of Harper’s Bazaar

Hello Friends!

This will be a very short post, due to the craziness of holiday time, but I didn’t want December to go by without one more post for the year. As a magazine lover since puberty, I want to acknowledge the amazing 150 year anniversary of Harper’s Bazaar.

The magazine itself contains a wonderful article on this topic in the December/January issue. In a nutshell, Harper’s Bazar (with only one “a” initially) was founded by Harper & Brothers publishing. On the cover of its inaugural issure in November 1867, the magazine was described as “a repository of fashion, pleasure, and instruction.” Who wouldn’t want to own a magazine claiming such wonderful things? These early editions featured fashions from Germany and Paris, and were in a newspaper format. I still enjoy the variety of Harper’s Bazaar’s monthly features which, although much different from those earliest issues, still brings me the pleasure of fashion and “instruction.”

Harper's Bazaar magazine cover from 1868

Initially a weekly publication, Harper’s Bazar became a monthly magazine in 1901. The “a” in Harper’s Bazaar was added after 1929. So many famous names are associated with this magazine, including Mary Louise Booth, who was named the first editor in 1867. Many legendary names followed hers, including Carmel Snow, Diana Vreeland, photographer Richard Avedon, and Erte. The first cover that appeared in color was on the Thanksgiving edition of 1894. Erte, an illustrator, had his first cover on the January 1915 issue.

Harper's Bazaar magazine cover from February 1922

Today, America’s first fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar is a reflection of our times and is a tribute to 150 years of an evolving publication that has stood the test of time. I still prefer to read the hard copy of magazines, as I like to touch and smell the vivid pages, enjoying their glossiness. I sincerely hope that the publishers will continue to provide us with the option of purchasing this colorful magazine monthly without being forced to use a digital device. Happy Reading!

Harper's Bazaar front and back magazine cover from 1894