If there is a silver lining to the termination of Details magazine, it’s that this latest bit of print bad news is inspiring people to want to acquaint themselves with the magazine’s founder, Annie Flanders.
Daily Front Row deputy editor Eddie Roche has done us all a huge favor today by republishing his September 2014 interview with Flanders, who relocated from New York to Los Angeles in the 1990s. The Q&A is a fantastic place to start the stroll down memory lane:
So, Details. How did you come up with the name?
We had a house in Woodstock, and my daughter started making a lot of friends there. One day, she came in after being at a friend’s house, and I was asking her a lot of questions about the family. She said, “I don’t know! I don’t know!” And I said, “Next time you go to somebody’s house, get all the details.” I jotted that down in a book, because I thought it would be a good name for a magazine.
You launched it in 1981. What was your original vision?
My vision was that it started at 48 pages and ended up at something like 300 pages! Almost everything that I did was about finding new designers — young people who needed a place where they did work or had pieces shown. Nobody wanted to hire people with no experience except for me. I was always finding new people who needed that first place to be.
In the interview, Flanders also dismisses a 2005 New York Times Magazine profile, suggesting the feature gave far too much weight to her brief stint as a realtor. She says she only fitfully pursued that line of work, primarily to keep her daughter company on the often lonely open house trail.
Once you’ve savored the Roche repost, venture over to a February 1985 New York Times piece on Flanders. The article is titled “Ann Flanders: New Fashion Voice” and includes this tidbit:
The first issue, published in June of 1982, cost $6,000 of Miss Flanders’ own money to produce. Ten thousand copies were printed, containing 17 ads, at $500 a page.
Not a single word was displayed on that first Details cover. There was only an artful, inset black and white image of a 1920s-style woman. On the inaugural masthead could be found an absolutely fabulous mission statement as well the promise of a Michael Musto critique of Jackie Collins’ autobiography, under the headline “Warren Piece.” Pictured above is the cover of the third issue (August 1982), featuring art by Bruce Weber.