In 1867 Fletcher Harper, the youngest brother of the sibling-run publishing firm Harper & Brothers, came up with the idea for a fashion magazine that catered to the new leisure class of American women that emerged out of the Industrial Revolution. Stumbling across Der Bazar, a Berlin-based publication, which featured colorful illustrations of the latest fashions in cities around Europe, inspired Harper. After successfully pitching the concept to his brothers, Harper recruited journalist Mary Louise Booth, a suffragist and one of the New York Times’ first female reporters, to be the magazine’s editor-in-chief. With Harper’s backing and Booth’s journalistic expertise, Harper’s Bazaar became America’s first fashion magazine.
Now, 150 years later, Harper’s Bazaar remains one of fashion’s most influential publications. Harper’s Bazaar: 150 Years: The Greatest Moments, from Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey, commemorates the magazine’s 150th anniversary with a look back at its humble beginnings, and most influential covers. The tome, available now from Abrams, features a window into Harper’s Bazaar’s first issues. It also includes familiar faces from top cover models of the past and present like Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen, to icons like Princess Diana and Beyoncé. Memorable editorials from some of fashion’s biggest photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, and Erik Madigan Heck made it in too.
Click ahead to see a shot from a Harper’s Bazaar’s March 1963 editorial in which model Simone D’Aillencourt is suspended above the Seine in a glass bubble, and more photographs from issues dating all the way back to 1939.
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