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Vogue Celebrates Its 125th Anniversary

October 25, 2017

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Vogue Celebrates Its 125th Anniversary

I have always been intrigued by the appearance of Vogue magazine’s jaw-dropping September issue. A crane is needed to pick it up. Only then can one sit down and try to read. I say, “try” because this year it clocked in at slightly over 2 lbs. (I know because we had a weigh-in.) That’s a lot of heft to hold and turn.

This has to be some sort of record I thought to myself. Not on your life. It wasn’t even a contender. The September 2012 issue had an astounding 916 pages and weighed in at 4.5 lbs. It was the largest edition of Vogue – ever.

LET’S TAKE A PEEK INSIDE

The current issue celebrates Vogue’s 125th Anniversary (or birthday) so I decided to take a real close look at this 774-page behemoth. I like to read in-depth articles and discovered that the editorial doesn’t begin until page 629. Before this, there are umpteen pages of advertising and within this section are 140 pages of congratulatory messages from Dior, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain and many others. I found these pages really fun to read. Most were very creative and witty.

A 12-page section for melijoe.com on “non-glossy” stock, featuring back-to-school children’s clothes, caught my eye at once. Why? I’ve just been shopping for apparel birthday gifts for a four-year-old. I had one reaction: sticker shock! Does a child that age really need an $80 sweater?

LET’S HEAR IT FROM THE EDITOR

Since Vogue is so skewed to advertising the Editor’s Letter from Anna Wintour doesn’t appear until page 232. She is the wunderkind who became editor in 1988 at the ripe old age of 38 and is responsible for producing these very large editions.

The word “vogue” is “style” in French. This publication is generally described as a fashion and lifestyle magazine that began as a weekly newspaper in the United States in 1892 and cost 10 cents ($2.67 today). Now, it’s a monthly that is owned by Condé Nast and has a circulation of 1,231,931.

The British Vogue was the first international edition and was launched in 1916. As of today, there are 22 international editions with the launch of Vogue Polska in Polish scheduled for early 2018.

In October 2016, the magazine reported that, “Vogue endorses Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.” This was the first time in its entire history that Vogue supported a presidential candidate.

LET’S SEE WHAT WE HAVE IN EDITORIAL

I must confess I only skimmed the pieces on Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar-winning actress; Serena Williams, the world’s best female tennis player and Nicole Kidman, Australian actress, simply because I’ve already read a great deal about these three high-achieving individuals. I did, however, read every word on the piece that begins on page 666 about Oprah Winfrey. She’s a powerhouse that I met back in the day, and liked immediately, because she’s personable, focused and always looking ahead. She reports that she’s done “37,000 interviews over the years.” A terrific read.

There were shorter pieces on Iman, the lovely model and widow of David Bowie who is now 62 and doesn’t look a day over 35. And a second one on the striking Megyn Kelly, the newscaster, that featured an extremely unflattering photo – this was a mystery to me.

Overall, I’d say that this 125th Anniversary issue of Vogue was a roaring success – even though my right arm is killing me.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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