#1403 Fun Fashion Quarterly facts on its 30th birthday

Here in New Zealand we don’t have a Vogue magazine, we have our own version – Fashion Quarterly – and it has just turned 30 years old. To celebrate, the latest issue looks back at the local industry over the past 30 years, from our best dressed/most influential ladies (Judith Baragwanath, Ngila Dickson, Paula Ryan and Ilona Rogers in the 80s, Danielle McCormack, Rosanna Raymond, Christina O and Bic Runga in the 90s and Charlotte Rust, Karen Inderbitzen Waller, Robyn Malcolm and Peta Mathias in the 2000s); to stories from the former editors (who knew that FQ used to syndicate W‘s stories? Gangsta!). But the best bit is a double page spread montage of the magazine’s 120 covers. Amazing.

Here are some interesting facts I’ve put together from studying the covers:

Fashion Quarterly has never been a magazine to shy away from ethnically diverse cover stars. In fact, the first ever issue features an Asian model on the cover. Three issues later, it was a Pacific Island model, and it has continued that way ever since.

Blondes make up 50 of the covers, versus 70 of the darker-haired variety. Only three gingers have starred.

The magazine underwent several name changes in its early years – starting out as Fashion, issue two tried out Fashion and restaurant guide for size, before going back to Fashion for the next three issues, then Fashion In New Zealand for five, then the more streamlined Fashion New Zealand for two, before settling on the title as we know it today, Fashion Quarterly, in 1986. (It would seem the magazine wasn’t a quarterly up until this point.) The famous FASHIQN q that confused me so much as a child didn’t show up until nine issues later in 1988.

Rachel Hunter covered the magazine for the first time in 1988, and went on to star another three times as far as I can see. Penny Pickard also has four FQ covers to her name. Sara Standring, Charlotte Dawson and Katie Braatvedt each have two covers.

Men have appeared on only four of 120 covers, each time accompanied by a female. Twice in the 90s, then in 2001, and again in 2002.

Local photographer Olivia Hemus graced the cover of the Spring 2000 issue, looking very young and innocent. She was followed by Petra Bagust in Summer 2001.

While the covers work as a brilliant snapshot of each decade’s fashions and, in some cases, follies, the most startling change in direction is the age of the models. For 20-something years the covers starred women – most of whom don’t look a day younger than 30. Then all of a sudden there seems to have been a movement towards the teenager and early 20s girl. It would be fascinating to know if or how that has affected sales.

Happy Birthday Fashion Quarterly.


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  1. says

    I (geekily) went through the covers with a marker, ticking each issue I had. Mindless vandalism that has meant I’ve now got to purchase a second issue to ‘keepsies’….

    I think we need a ginger, 25+ male on the next cover…

  2. Anonymous says

    NZ vogue was the first ‘colonial’ vogue, it predated australian vogue before getting swallowed up by it in the late 1960s.

  3. revoguy says

    Rachel Hunter only did 3 FQ covers in total …. but between 1988 & her FQ cover (shot by Derek Henderson) & her 1991 cover (shot by Desmond Williams) she had covered Vogue Australia twice (Graham Shearer) & Italia (Meisel for September issue), US & several French Elle (Gilles Bensimon), Madamoiselle (Avedon), Cosmo (Scuvallo), Woman (Demarchelier), Italian Bazaar & eds in all the Vogues – US (Demarchelier twice), UK (Authur Elgort) Paris (Meisel & Elgort) & Deutsch (Elgort & Albert Watson) & of course Sports Illustrated & ads for Revlon, Covergirl, Les Copains and not to mention every Australian mag out there & many others.

    I’m one of her biggest fans (created a Facebook page dedicated to her fashion work in the 80’s) but her 1988 FQ cover with Henderson is def 1 of her best covers alongside her Meisel cover & French Elle covers.

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