THE GRAND BAZAAR
An Insider’s Look at the Incomparable GLENDA BAILEY and Her New Book HARPER’S BAZAAR: GREATEST HITS
By Anita Marie Antonini
Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits highlights the career of editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey, who for the past decade has brought her vision to life for the magazine. This gorgeous, coffee table art book (Abrams) features some of the most memorable fashion shoots from the top photographers of the present day including Peter Lindbergh, Terry Richardson, Mark Seliger, Karl Lagerfeld, among many others.
Glenda Bailey was named Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar in May of 2001. Her approach is always original, aspirational and accessible. In keeping with Bazaar’s great tradition of high fashion and innovative art direction, she has received significant critical recognition and has contributed to what the Independent has referred to as “the Bailey legend.”
There is also another Glenda Bailey, a down to earth soul who remembers your birthday and hosts a dinner for you when you have your own reason for celebration. I will never forget when Glenda sent Patrick a handwritten note with a copy of his birthday (August 31: “The Day of The Public Appearance”) from the pages of The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers. (By the way, this book has become my bible.) Nor will I forget the dinner party that she put together for us upon the publication of Patrick’s title, InTents.
In conjunction with the publication of the book is an exhibition at the International Center of Photography entitled, “Harper’s Bazaar: A Decade of Style,” September 9, 2011 through January 8. 2012. Don’t miss the opportunity to feast your eyes on both the book and the show. But first, enjoy my interview with the living legend…
Anita Maria Antonini: Can you even believe the body of work that you have edited over the past decade? I know that you work closely and endlessly with your entire team and your genius Creative Director, Stephen Gan, but whose idea was it to publish a book and how was the process for you?
GB: My brilliant team inspires me every day. It was my idea to do the book, and I approached Abrams. Abrams was a pleasure, very straightforward. Editing the book was easy because it was just choosing highlights from the last 10 years. Producing the stories and coming up with original ideas is much harder.
AMA: Greatest Hits are just that, but the decision making process of editing a book (which you do every day with a magazine) can be a different story entirely. We all know that a deadline is an incredible thing to get the job done, but was it just so hard to decide what to include? I realize that all the shoots are your favorites or they would not have made it into the pages of the magazine in the first place, but any Sophie’s Choice moments that you can share with us?
GB: While I was pulling together the book last summer, I was struck by how many remarkable images I had to choose from. I have so many favorites, but in particular: Jean Paul Goude’s fantastical portraits of Naomi Campbell (especially running with a cheetah), William Klein’s portfolio of designers and their teams (Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz brought a bus-full of people), Peter Lindbergh’s cover of Kate Winslet hovering over the Manhattan skyline, Terry Richardson’s homage to Michael Jackson starring Agyness Deyn, Marc Jacobs and Winona Ryder recreating Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and sending the Simpsons to Paris (Marc Jacobs even got a tattoo of his Simpsonized self on his arm).
AMA: You are quoted as saying that you think of your job as hosting a party where everyone’s invited, and we share that mind set at PMc. Our motto at PMc is that we go out so you don’t have to. Can you please describe your role over the years as being this hostess, in addition to being an arbiter of fashion, style, pop culture and our society in general? It does border on anthropology, the study of human beings and their cultural habits. Can you please comment and elaborate on that as a concept?
GB: Bazaar is like a party in that we create something that you want to engage in every month–something exciting and involving. At Bazaar, designers are our celebrities, and fashion is fun. Fashion, like a great party, should make people feel good, and that’s what we hope to do.
AMA: I have a list of my own Top Ten McMullan Moments (just like a greatest hits) after working with Patrick for over 15 years. It would be hard for me to choose just one moment as my favorite, but do have a single most favorite or defining moment during you career at Harper’s Bazaar that you consider to be your personal greatest hit and why?
GB: There have been so many defining moments. Whenever a great story comes in–The Simpsons, Goude’s Naomi and cheetah–they are moments to treasure, and they remind you what you work so hard for, to produce something valuable.
AMA: Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits is an incredible luscious book. A huge achievement and it will be a big hit indeed for those of us who have a love for fashion, photography, image-making and our recent past. Now for coffee tables everywhere. One last question, besides Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits, what else is on your coffee table these days?
GB: Ha!–not just my coffee table, my whole apartment is wallpapered with books of all sorts. It’s a perk of the job.
Glenda Bailey is Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar.
Glenda Bailey interviewed by Anita Marie Antonini
Written by Anita Marie Antonini
Photography by Ryan McCune for Patrick McMullan.com; Additional Book Photography by Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh, & Sølve Sundsbø / As Published in Harper’s Bazaar / Courtesy of Jennifer Brunn (Director of Publicity, Abrams Books)
Design by Marie Havens
Special Thanks to Glenda Bailey, Stephen Gan (Creative Director), & the Harper’s Bazaar Team: Alexandra Carlin (Executive Director of Public Relations, Harper’s Bazaar & Hearst Magazines), Adriana Stan (Public Relations, Harper’s Bazaar & Hearst Magazines), Jane Rotherham Loddo (Executive Events Director, Harper’s Bazaar & Hearst Magazines), Kristina O’Neill (Harper’s Bazaar & Hearst Magazines), & Jane Loddo (Harper’s Bazaar & Hearst Magazines).
Cover / Page 1:
Glenda Bailey, PROENZA SCHOULER Fall 2011 Fashion Show, 330 West St., NYC, February 16, 2011, Photography by Ryan McCune for Patrick McMullan.com
Harper’s Bazaar: Greatest Hits Book Cover, 2011, Courtesy of Jennifer Brunn (Director of Publicity, Abrams Books)
Quote by Glenda Bailey, 2011