The First Vogue

Have you ever wondered what the first issue of Vogue looked like?

Vogue cover, December 17, 1892, from The Vogue Archive (subscription required)

Here it is, published December 17, 1892 for ten cents. The cover featured an illustration of a debutante by A. B. Wenzel.

I love the ladies lounging in the masthead. One is reading, presumably a Vogue, and the other is primping in front of a hand-held mirror. I guess maybe both are indicators about what Vogue can help a lady with — give her something to read and advice on how to improve her looks.

Comments

  1. Emilia Jane says:

    Oh the masthead is amazing!!!

  2. amanda says:

    I love old magazines, so interesting.
    Those illustrations are amazing. I just got a compilation of Boyfriend magazine, a music/fashion/advice magazine for young women that ran from the late 50s through the 60s and was one of the first in the genre. There are photos of a young Sean Connery, Mick Jagger, The Beatles…. and some weird advice (though some of it still resonates) and some very pretty drawings, it was black and white, with almost no photos. I also like to see the advertisements of the time.

    • jacqueline says:

      I’ve never heard of Boyfriend. Is it a UK publication?

      • amanda says:

        Yeah, it’s from the UK, I found it by accident while wandering at a second/hand bookshop here in Holland. I found this info about it just by googling:

        “Boyfriend”, a new kind of girls’ paper, was launched in the spring of 1959. It was the first girls’ magazine to truly put music first. Each week there would be a new ‘Boyfriend’ – Russ Conway, Johnny Mathis, Lonnie Donegan – introducing his life story and, to prove that he had a softer side, his favourite romantic story.You could also meet ‘The Girl Behind the Boy’. Whether this was so you could emulate her to get your own pop-star boyfriend or a case of “know your enemy” so you could steal her boyfriend, I don’t know.Away from the music, Rachel Lindsay handed out fashion tips on everything from clothing to hairstyles and twins Johnny and Jeannie Talbot offered weekly advice on the “Boyfriend” problems page.”Boyfriend” really came into its own when the sixties began to swing. The magazine gave itself over to modern pop: as early as February 1963, before their first album was out, “Boyfriend” was describing The Beatles as “even more modern than modern.” Cliff Richard was a favourite of the magazine and was given his own column to introduce other stars of the pop scene…although it’s unlikely that Cliff ever got any closer to the column than cashing the pay cheque he earned from the magazine for using his name. Seven years after its birth, “Boyfriend” sank beneath a swelling tide of pop magazines and girls all over the country mourned its passing.”

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