When Diana Vreeland was born in September 29, 1903, a whole new fashion history was born with her. She was the daughter of American socialite Emily Key Hoffman and British stockbroker Frederick Dalziel.
Text: Myrto Xoudi
She grew up in Paris, but when the World War 1 broke out she emigrated to New York. Although Diana’s mother considered her to be ugly, in contrast to her sister, Diana didn’t seem to back down. As she did not have any interest in school, Diana had a huge crash on ballet, so she became the pupil of Michael Fokine. In March 1, 1924, she marries Thomas Reed Vreeland and together they have two sons, Tim and Frecky. It was love at first sight, as she has mentioned.
Diana with her father – Frederick – and her sister
Diana with her husband and her two sons
After their honeymoon with Reed, Diana and her family move to London where she becomes close friends with Coco Chanel. A few years later, after returning to New York, her publishing begins. When Harper’s bazaar editor sees Diana, she is immediately amazed by her extremely good taste and style, so she asks her to work for the magazine. Her first job in the fashion field, is writing Harper’s bazaar column called “why don’t you”.
She discovers the actress Lauren Bacall and puts her to the magazine cover for 1943.
During these years Diana mostly works with Louise Dahl-wolf, Richard Avedon, Nancy White and Alexey Brodovitch and becomes fashion editor for Harper’s bazaar.
“Everyone should have a shoemaker they go to as seriously as a doctor.”
Shoe illustration by Andy Warhol for Harper’s Bazaar, 195
In 1960 Diana advices first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in matters of style.
During this decade, Diana’s collaboration with Vogue begins, where she becomes editor in chief.
“I’ve known two great decades in my life, the twenties and the sixties, and I’m always comparing them because of the music. Music is everything, and in those two decades you got something so sharp, so new…”
“Vogue always did stand for people’s lives. I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life your living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.”
Diana Vreeland in Moscow
After leaving Vogue in 1971, Diana continued her remarkable career in the fashion world by working as a consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art organizing fashion exhibitions. She was definitely on of America’s leading arbitrators of style. In 1989 she writes her autobiography and in 1989 she dies of a heart attack leaving behind an empire of her huge contributions in fashion.
With Betty Ford at the metropolitan museum of art , March 1976
Kyoto, Japan, 1974