While Diana Vreeland was Editor-in-Chief at Vogue, her “People are Talking About” section became the absolute authority on what — and who — was relevant. It was in these pages that she featured the first portrait of Mick Jagger ever published in the U.S.A.
Photographer David Bailey had shot the 19-year-old, then just an aspiring musician with a mop-top, big lips and a bit of a swagger, and offered the image to British Vogue. The magazine rejected it saying, “No, who is this guy? We don’t know who he is.” Though they were on the charts, The Rolling Stones had not yet made a name for themselves in England, and were even less known in New York.
Details like this mattered little to Mrs. Vreeland. When Bailey showed her the portrait, her immediate response was “I don’t care who he is, but he looks great and we’ll publish it.” The image appeared in the July 1964 issue of Vogue, on the eve of The Rolling Stones’ first U.S. tour. Sure enough, “people were talking about” Mick and the Stones shortly thereafter, including Mrs. Vreeland herself, who famously gushed, “Those lips!”
Over the years the editor and the rock star became friends. Mrs. Vreeland attended Rolling Stones’ concerts at Madison Square Garden and enjoyed intimate dinners at her apartment with Mick and Bianca Jagger, and later Mick and Jerry Hall.
Photograph by: David Bailey, July 1964