Harper’s Bazaar is celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2017.
Founded in 1867, Harper’s Bazar (spelled back then with one a) was the first American fashion magazine. It was inspired by Der Bazar from Berlin, a general magazine that also covered women’s fashions complete with elaborate woodcut illustrations. Harper & Brothers publishing house in New York picked up on the novel idea of a women’s publication and created their own version.
The magazine’s mission stated at the time was to become “… a vast repository for all the rare and costly things of earth – silks, velvets, cashmeres, spices, perfumes, and glittering gems; in a word, whatever can comfort the heart and delight the eye.”
In addition to fashions and the finer things of life, within the pages of HB could be found fictional stories, poetry, articles on family and work not to mention society and all things good mannered.
But off limits was politics, which must have been a challenge for the publication’s editor Mary Louise Booth, the first women reporter for the New York Times and a women’s rights activist. Still, in 1869 HB was among the few large publications to support the suffrage movement.
Harper’s Bazaar is my favorite fashion magazine. I appreciate its elegant yet modern sensibilities in style and content.
Congratulations Harper’s Bazaar! Here’s to many more years of fashion and all things that matter to women.