Fleur Cowles artist, editor, author and co-founder of Flair magazine died this week at the age of 101.
Renowned for founding the avant-garde magazine Flair in 1949 Cowles pioneered new approaches to magazine design. With cut out front covers and on one occasion a scented issue, the magazine was a unique blend of art, literature, fashion, and design encapsulated in the innovative and expensively produced package.
Cowles was able to use her New York society connections to get the most interesting and diverse contributors including; Saul Steinberg, Salvador Dalí, W. H. Auden, Cocteau, Lucian Freud, Tennessee Williams, Angus Wilson and the Duchess of Windsor.
The magazine, for financial reasons only lasted 12 issues closing in 1950, still remains highly influential over fifty years later. Now with only limited copies available the magazine has become a highly coveted collector’s item. The magazine even had a rose named after it- the “Flair Rose”.
Cowles worked in many areas, serving on various US government committees, she even represented US president Dwight D. Eisenhower at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. She had 51 one-man shows as an artist, wrote six books and co-authored many others.
The Best of Flair, available from www.amazon.com