Although Diana Vreeland was born in Paris, France and spent much of her adult life in England, she would eventually find herself in New York City. There, she would become one of the most influential magazine editors in the world of fashion, working for both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue before the time of her death.
Vreeland took fashion extremely seriously, once remarking that the bikini was the most important thing to happen since the atom bomb.
She was hired by Harper’s somewhat on accident. She had moved to New York with her husband, and the two were finding the city extremely expensive. Carmel Snow, Harper’s editor at the time, noticed her taste in fashion around the city and asked her to come join the magazine. She began her work with a column she called “Why Don’t You?”, which contained various pieces of fashion advice that people ought to do.
Vreeland was so poignant with her advice that she consulted several times for Jackie Kennedy, even giving her advice on what to wear for inauguration day.
Rumors abound that she was passed over for promotion at Harper’s so she found herself working at Vogue beginning in 1962. Until 1971, she served as the magazine’s editor-in-chief. Her philosophy was that magazines ought to give people a point of view, because they don’t really have one. Vreeland was eventually fired from Vogue, but she quickly became a consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Vreeland died of a heart attack in 1989, at the age of 86.
About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.