The new issue of Vintage Magazine, with linoleum-inspired covers by Chip Kidd. Below, editor-in-chief Ivy Baer Sherman in a photo by Victoria Jackson.
Technically, Vintage Magazine is—you guessed it—a magazine, but the term fails to convey the visual and tactile pleasures contained within its covers, which for the fourth (“Quatrième”) issue are a multi-flap affair designed to evoke the look and feel of vintage linoleum. Inside is a cabinet of curiosities worth of architecture- and design-focused features that range from musings on the enduring legacy of Elsie de Wolfe to a glimpse inside the New York townhouse of Robert and Cortney Novogratz—in the form of a DIY pop-up created by paper engineer Shawn Sheehy. The woman behind this biannual celebration of design, culture, and the creative possibilities of print is Vintage‘s founding editor-in-chief and publisher Ivy Baer Sherman and as we pored over the new issue, she told us about the origins of Vintage, the challenges of producing each issue, and the importance of living with flair (and Flair).
What led you to create Vintage Magazine?
Several years ago I was introduced to Fleur Cowles’ Flair at a 2003 retrospective of the magazine, “Fleur on Flair,” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. I was struck, at first glance, by Flair’s beauty…and promptly judged the magazine, as we are taught to never ever do, by its exquisite cover. The distinguishing feature of a Flair cover was a die cut—which offered an artful glimpse onto the world within. Turning the cover revealed further delights—foldouts and fabulous illustrations—by Saul Steinberg, by fashion designer Rene Gruau; riveting writing—Salvador Dali on his search for a gypsy angel, Tallulah Bankhead on Louis Armstrong; short stories by Tennessee Williams. I left the show acutely attuned to the extraordinary physical draw of a magazine: the lure of stunning design, the striking sensation of ink on paper, the ravishing commingling of keenly-wrought words and fine art and editorial flair, the tactile quality of the read. I knew then and there that I wanted to create a magazine in the spirit of Flair for today’s audience. Voilà, Vintage Magazine.
How do you describe the editorial mission/philosophy?
Vintage Magazine aims to bring aspects of the past to the fore through a celebration of design and the creative possibilities of print—writers and artists are invited to survey the historical impact of art, music, fashion, food, and travel on today’s culture. With naysayers focusing on the demise of print these days, what better time to take the art of the magazine to new heights; to create a truly vintage publication, if you will—one that informs, inspires, surprises and delights.
Tell us about the amazing cover of the Quatrième issue and how it came to be.
What an honor to work with Chip Kidd—legendary graphic artist/cover designer. I wanted to do a Vintage version of an architecture and design issue. I talked this over with Chip at our first meeting, my only stipulation being that his cover design allow for the magazine’s signature open spine. Chip said that that he’d wanted to try something multi-layered and suggested the resulting homage to vintage linoleum.
Each layer of the cover reveals another pattern of linoleum—the construction is reminiscent of those sample rings of clacking linoleum chips that one finds in flooring showrooms; the paper stock has been selected to evoke a linoleum feel. The printer and binder worked to ensure that the integrity of the cover design would be maintained without compromising the magazine’s structural stability.