The History of Harper’s Bazaar

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Harper’s Bazaar is, today, one of the most recognized names in the world of fashion. The magazine has built itself up as a resource for women who seek out the best in high fashion and culture. It describes modern fashion trends in both casual and couture wear, and it’s become an icon in the fashion realm because of its timely reporting and all-star photography.

The magazine was first published in 1867, with editor Mary Louise booth curating the weekly fashion magazine to debut the latest in fashion trends from Paris and Germany. Back then, as now, fashion trends were headed by European designers well versed in the art of appearances.

Booth worked with other fashion editors Carmel Snow, Carrie Donovan, Diana Vreeland, Liz Tilberis, Alexey Brodovich and Brana Wolf to display the latest in fashion trends through stunning photography and vivid illustrations.

The Bazaar has always, since its inception, been aimed at women in the upper and middle classes of society. Its original publication was in newspaper format, which was printed on a weekly basis. That changed in 1901, when Harper’s became closer to the monthly fashion publication we know today.

Harper’s Bazaar is not a magazine aimed strictly at fashion, or at least it doesn’t limit itself to fashion alone. In fact, during the early 1900s, the magazine began highlighting jackets, tailored dresses and suits that better represented the growing feminist movement that helped pass the 19th amendment and gain women the right to vote.


Samuel Phineas Uphamis an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Samual Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

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