The internet is buzzing with the news that art director Raul Martinez, is returning to Vogue : while Martinez’s post has yet to be explicitly defined, the change represents a potential shift in the overall appearance of  Vogue : good art direction is difficult to define, yet we know it when we see it. As important as photography, model selection and writing are, the impact of art direction is always felt. The moment I heard news of Martinez’ appointment I thought back to his (and Kate Betts’) brief tenure at Harper’s Bazaar and the bold creative direction they brought to the magazine.

Though Martinez was only Bazaar’s art director from 2000-2001, during Betts’ reign as editor in chief, the duo still managed to create a magazine that looks and feels fresh today. Last month’s issue of Bazaar already feels stale, but pick up a copy from 2000 and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how relevant it looks/ feels. Work by Inez & Vinoodh, Patrick Demarchelier, Craig McDean and Mikael Jansson, combined with Martinez’ signature, crisp and clean design style, combines to form something that just feels right. Instead of borderline-redundant stories about “The New Shapes” or  “The Best from Insert Fashion Week City here”, detail was placed into everything from the copy to the placement of text and font.

Almost a decade has passed, since Betts & Martinez’s redesign but there is still an excitement to what they created. Looking at an overview of work produced during their time at Bazaar, shows you exactly how different what they did was and still is.

Bazaar 2000 – 2001 | Editor in Cheif: Kate Betts | Art Direction: Raul Martinez