Made in Italy. For decades, those four words have come to embody a multitude of admirable qualities: Artisanship. Creativity. Sophistication. Wit. For almost as long, those same words could have been used to describe the magazine Grazia, first launched in Italy on October 1, 1938.
Born out of the dynamism of the 1930s and on the eve of World War II, Grazia has always been necessarily of the moment. Not just a sophisticated fashion and beauty magazine, Grazia is a boldly empowered cultural touchstone, engaging in the most relevant conversations of the day while offering incisive critique, powerful inspiration, and unwavering support for women leading the way toward change.
For example, in 1968, Grazia made headlines—literally—with an interview with Italian author Camilla Cederna. Credited with introducing investigative journalism to the Italian news media, she was unsparing in her takedown of the scandal-ridden Italian government in her books and in the pages of Grazia.
Throughout the decades to follow, Grazia continued to lead the way in championing progressive causes—and especially those impacting the lives of women around the world. In the 1970s, the magazine gave its support to women’s abortion rights—a bold stance in the largely Catholic nation. Feminism was proudly celebrated in many issues, and regular political cartoons offered a witty take on the topics mattering most to readers. Grazia has always been a cultural leader, taking decisive steps toward evolution and transformation years before others would follow suit. In 1988, for example, the magazine made the surprising and agenda-setting move to go officially fur-free within its pages. Ten years later, in 1998, more than 250,000 Grazia readers endorsed the magazine’s
“A Flower for Kabul” campaign protesting against human rights violations against women in Afghanistan. The issue was brought to the U.N. in Geneva by Italian politician Emma Bonino and Grazia Editor Carla Vanni. (How heartbreaking that nearly 30 years later, yet another campaign could again be called for soon.)
While championing and protecting the rights and voices of women around the world, Grazia also has defined itself by celebrating the singularity, beauty, and style of individual women everywhere.
In 1966, for instance, the magazine celebrated 100,000 subscribers by delivering a bouquet of flowers to 1,000 women worldwide. Then, in 1989, Grazia honored Margaret Thatcher’s ten-year career with an exclusive portrait series of a woman at the peak of her power. International icons like Isabella Rossellini and Eva Herzigová gained worldwide acclaim through their features in Grazia.
The cultural influence of the magazine has always known no borders. Made in Italy but a global citizen, Grazia was launched internationally in 2005. Twenty-one international editions followed, including the U.K. (2005), the Balkans (2006), the Netherlands (2007), Russia (2007), India (2008), China (2009), France (2009), and, of course, our title here in the U.S. (2020).
Through it all, there has been a wealth of truly breathtaking fashion (and, naturally, some sartorial choices that now appear somewhat cringeworthy). Intimately linked to Italian designers—such as one-time Guest Editor Giorgio Armani and perennial favorite Versace—Grazia also has lent a share of the spotlight to emerging designers who would later become iconic. In the 1970s, for example, Courrèges jumpsuits brought mass appeal to the high-fashion market. In the 1980s, Krizia’s new and dynamic silhouettes were first highlighted and celebrated by Grazia. Even the return to minimalism in the ‘90s was predicted and impeccably chronicled by Grazia.Where to next? Here in the U.S. we’re proud to pick up the mantle that’s been so expertly woven by generations of Grazia teams before us, and look forward to adding our own threads to the tapestry that is the brand’s history. Effortlessly chic and boldly empowered, Grazia is a cultural touchstone that inspires, educates, and celebrates the individuality, beauty, and style of women everywhere. As a global brand and as a publication here in the U.S., we’re just getting started.