The word Vogue – “style” – manifests in the magazine of the same name. There is not a person alive who does not know it. Teenagers, women, even men. It has been the bible of fashion, design, and lifestyle enthusiasts for almost 130 years.
Even though its focus is fashion, Vogue brings fresh takes on interesting topics such as design, architecture, celebrities, arts and culture, travel, fun, and a regular dose of horoscopes. In its early days, it set its sights on New York's elite. Vogue would publish articles about their habits, leisure activities, social gatherings, favorite spots, and the clothing they would wear.
All the way to supermodels
Since 1988, it has without a doubt been the best fashion magazine available on the international market. It runs podcasts, as well as a fashion encyclopedia called Voguepedia, with a bountiful archive of previous issues. Last but not least, it was the inspiration for a best-selling book and its subsequent movie adaptation, The Devil Wears Prada, which received several Oscar nominations. Who does not know this now fifteen-years-old movie with the excellent performances by Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway? Until the 60s, Vogue would display opulence and extravagance through elegant, smiling women. After Twiggy burst on the scene, the magazine's pages were adorned with skinny, rather skimpily dressed models or actresses. Later still came the 90s, the golden years of fashion marked by freedom and liberty. This decade was represented by ten supermodels – Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatiana Patitz, Christy Turlington, Helena Christensen, Victoria's Secret Angel, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer, British Kate Moss, and Cindy Crawford. The styles and trends of the 90s were dictated by these beautiful women. The Czech top model, Eva Herzigová, who was also the face of Vogue, could be included among them as well. She is now an editor-at-large of the Czechoslovak edition of the Vogue. What are they up to now?
The most wanted out of the famous five
The most famous black model, Naomi Elaine Campbell (51), was very open and vocal about racism in the fashion industry. She was the first black woman to appear on the front page of the British Vogue since 1966. She was also the first on the front page of the French edition. This was in part thanks to the fashion designer, Yves St. Laurent, who threatened to pull his advertisements from the magazine if Vogue continued to refuse to put black models on its front pages. A year later, Campbell appeared on the front page of the September issue of the American Vogue, widely considered the most influential edition. At the time, she was already considered one of the supermodel elite alongside Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, and Cynthia Crawford. She continued to appear in Vogue and works in modelling to this day.
She left due to extra weight
Linda Evangelista (56), became famous thanks to her legendary statement, “We don't wake up for less than 10 thousand dollars a day.” It appeared in 1990, in a Vogue interview. She also caused a lot of commotion in the late 1980s by cutting her hair short. The previously ubiquitous supermodel now appears in public sparsely. And why is that? She started gaining weight, and tried many things to counteract it, including a failed cosmetic surgery, to which she admitted in September 2021.
Sexy animal rights activist
Christy Nicole Turlington Burns (52) together with Cindy Crawford, supported the PETA campaign “I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” in 1993 with their nude photos. In 1996, alongside other supermodels (Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, and Claudia Schiffer), she fronted the opening of the Fashion Café in New York, which is no longer open today. As of October 2014, Christy Turlington is the Apple Watch brand ambassador.
The muse of Karl Lagerfeld now helps out children
Claudia Maria Schiffer (51), was a regular on fashion magazine front pages, including Vogue. She was first featured on the front page in 1989, in the British edition. In the coming years, she would go on to appear on over 1000 front pages of fashion magazines all across the world. She left the fashion industry in 2002. Today, she works with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), where she is a goodwill ambassador.
Supermodel turned designer
Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Crawford (55) is the fifth on our list of the supermodel top five. She was featured on the front pages of fashion magazines, including Vogue, more than 500 times. Crawford took part in advertising campaigns of brands such as Gianni Versace, Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, or Calvin Klein. After leaving the catwalk in 2000, she started a perfume line under her own name. Three years later, alongside French cosmetics expert, Jean Louis Sebagh, she continued with a cosmetics line labelled “Meaningful Beauty.” In 2009, she introduced her own line of shoes in cooperation with the German shoe manufacturer, Deichmann, under the brand Cindy Crawford Collection by 5th Avenue. She was again featured on the front page of the Mexican Vogue in May 2011. In September 2017, together with Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, and Carla Bruni, she appeared at a fashion show dedicated to the memory of the late designer, Gianni Versace.
The fashion bible continues
The life of this fashion bible continues on. Today's Vogue magazine touches on a wide spectrum of social life issues, thanks in part to the wide reach of social media. There are even editions for the young. Vogue talks about international issues, sponsors promising projects, takes part in charity, and does not shy away even from the occasional support of political campaigns.
Czechoslovak edition for four years and counting
How did this fashion bible, read by millions every month, come to be where it is now? The magazine was established in 1892 by Arthur Baldwin as a weekly. When it was acquired by the American publishing house, Condé Nast, the periodicity changed to bi-weekly. Later, it found a reader base in Spain, Great Britain, and France. Its worldwide fame was first attained by the Italian edition, Vogue Italia. Nowadays, the monthly periodical has 26 international editions – including the Czechoslovak one. Its editor-in-chief is Andrea Běhounková. The first Czech issue was published on August 17, 2018, with key topics being love and freedom, talking also about the inception of Czechoslovakia. The front page features a photo of Katarína Kurková, her back to the camera. Her ash-colored hair and the letter V are an homage to the first lady, Olga Havlová.
Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington at the Versace Fall-Winter fashion show in Milan, 1991.
Front page of the very first issue from 1892. All previous issues can be found in the Voguepedia fashion encyclopedia.