In 1933, Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow formerly of Vogue brought photojournalist Martin Munkacsito to a windswept beach to photograph her swimwear spread.
As the model ran toward the camera, Munkacsi took a picture of a woman that made fashion-magazine history like so many do giving Snow even greater credibility.
Until that moment, nearly all fashion was carefully staged on mannequin-like models in a studio something the Industry has not moved away from.
In life Mrs Snow possessed a buoyant spirit but she rarely slept or ate something not conducive to creative processes. However, it was Snow’s great sense of adventure that brought life to the pages of Bazaar.
Part of her genius came from cultivating the “best” of people” in an industry still struggling for respect between wars against powers whose definition of “the best of people” would have seen her and those she loved inside a concentration camp if given the chance.
Another big find of hers was art director Alexey Brodovitch who endured the humiliation of 14 canceled interviews before finally being hired. Snow must have been busy, but surely made it a point to interview and hire Brodovitch herself.
Snow also unleashed the force of nature known as Diana Vreeland who once said,
“Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.”
In 1936 Snow brought on future fashion icon a young Diana Vreeland as a fashion consultant. The collaboration proved successful.
Snow was born at Dalkey in Ireland and was the daughter of Peter White, the head of the Irish Wool Manufacturing and Export Company.
Her mother was the Annie Mayne.
Carmel had several siblings, including Victor White, a painter who decorated the Roof Ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel.
Her sister Christine (White) Holbrook became the boss at Better Homes and Gardens.
Snow’s three brothers were Thomas Justin White, Peter Desmond White and James Mayne White.
During the roaring 20’s Carmel married prominent society lawyer, George Palen Snow in 1926 and had three daughters—Carmel, Mary Palen, and Brigid.