Condé Nast executives, editors, designers and writers look back on the 1983 relaunch of Vanity Fair, which originally stopped publishing in 1936 and had been folded into Vogue:
As word leaked out that the company was pumping more than $10 million into the magazine, the sniping began. An enterprising Chicago Tribune reporter tracked down Clare Boothe Luce, who had been a V.F. managing editor in the 30s, and asked her what she made of the relaunch. “I do wish the new magazine could be as wonderful as the old,” she said, “but I don’t see how it can.” New York magazine also weighed in, long before the debut, with a skeptical piece reporting that Locke’s job was in jeopardy. Newsweek joined the fun, too, calling the prototype “aggressively ugly” and averring that there was an “uncertainty about Vanity Fair’s editorial focus.”
Sparks flew in Greenwich Village, 1969, when Loudon Wainwright III, the sardonic bard of Westchester County, met Kate McGarrigle, a sublime singer-songwriter from Quebec.
America has been flooded by a tsunami of cute–we’re drowning in puppies and kittens and bunnies and cupcakes–that is transforming marketing (the Geico Gecko), automobiles (the Smart car), and movies (Up). But is the world bound to sour on all this sweetness?