August 21, 1887
|Died||May 7, 1961 73) (aged|
|Employer||Vogue, Harper's Bazaar|
Carmel Snow, born Carmel White (21 August 1887 – 7 May 1961), was the editor-in-chief of the American edition of Harper's Bazaar from 1934 to 1958; she also served as the chair of that magazine's editorial board. She was famously quoted as saying, "Elegance is good taste, plus a dash of daring".
She was born in St Justin's, Dalkey, Dublin, to Peter White, a merchant tailor, and Annie Meyne.
After her father's death from pneumonia on April 7, 1893,she and her mother Annie moved to America. Her mother eventually became a noted dressmaker for rich New York socialites.
In 1903 Carmel attended school at a convent in Brussels; the Soeurs de Sainte-Marie is where she mastered her understanding of French.
In 1921 she was introduced to Vogue editor Edna Woolman Chase by Anne Rittenhouse, for whom she had done a favor;Condé Nast subsequently offered her the job of assistant fashion editor.
In 1926 she was appointed as fashion editor at Vogue.In 1926, she also married George Palen Snow; wearing a gown of cream white satin trimmed with seed pearls and old Burano lace that had been in her family for many years. She later had three daughters; it was rumored that one of them suffered from schizophrenia, but this diagnosis has not been confirmed.
In 1929 her brother Tom White became general manager of the Hearst publishing organization.Though Carmel had promised Condé Nast she would not take a job there, she did take a job at Harper's Bazaar . She famously described her goal at Harper's Bazaar as creating a magazine for "well-dressed women with well-dressed minds".
She discovered Martin Munkacsi, and in 1933 and persuaded him to photograph the Harper’s Bazaar December edition’s ‘Palm Beach’ bathing suit editorial.For this editorial, he had the model Lucille Brokaw run toward the camera while he photographed, which was the first instance of a fashion model being photographed in motion.
She became editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar in 1934.
She hired her art director Alexey Brodovitch on the basis of a 1934 exhibition of his work in graphic design at the Art Directors Club of New York.She described his exhibit as a revelation, mentioning "pages that bled beautifully, cropped photographs, typography and design that were bold and interesting". She found her fashion editor, Diana Vreeland, after noticing her dancing across a crowded room.
In 1947 she exclaimed, "It's such a new look!", thus coining that phrase in regard to Christian Dior's 1947 collection.
Snow died in 1961, while she was working with her long-time collaborator Mary Louis Aswell on her memoir, The World of Carmel Snow.The book was published posthumously.
As to why Carmel's reputation faded, while Vreeland's did not, photographer Richard Avedon (quoted in a 2005 biographyof Carmel by Penelope Rowlands) said: "She was older, right? and she died before stardom was the thing."
In 2020, Snow was one of a number of famous Irish people featured on stamps by An Post.
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