Vanity Fair celebrates 100 years with collector's book


(CBS News) Vanity Fair is celebrating its centennial this year. To mark that milestone, the magazine is out with a rather hefty volume, "Vanity Fair 100 years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age" which weighs in at eight pounds.

The magazine itself was born 100 years ago, but back then it was called Dress and Vanity Fair. However, the roaring twenties and a name change gave birth to a magazine remarkably similar to the one that features Jay-Z on its cover this month.

When the depression hit, the magazine stopped production until a 1983 re-birth. After a brief, but rocky start, 30-year-old editor Tina Brown took over the publication.

"At first, it was thought that she couldn't turn it around," said Ken Auletta who writes about media for The New Yorker. "And in fact, then she wound up doing these creative things; Demi Moore with the pregnant cover shot."

Vanity Fair was back. In 1992 when Brown moved on to The New Yorker, Graydon Carter took over the publication.

"People said 'My god, he's not going to be able to step into Tina Brown's shoes,'" said Auletta.

Carter did not only succeed, but he formed an even closer connection to Tinseltown and created the notorious Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

From the magazine's conception it has placed much importance on the cover. Carter told the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts that they often have movie stars on the cover to act as "glamorous wrapping for the gritty stuff inside."

"The cover, basically, sort of identifies that issue because you remember that issue by the cover rather than by the contents," said Carter. "The cover also gets it out of the newsstand and into somebody's home and better looking people are more attractive sitting on a coffee table than unattractive people."

Happy 100th birthday, Vanity Fair!

Electronic media is the latest challenge for paper and ink, but if anyone can beat the odds Vanity Fair would be a pretty good bet.

"It's very much a vital part of the culture," said Carter. "Despite the fact it's a monthly magazine in an Internet age, but it constantly evolves every month and we don't go through major shifts, but every month, it looks a little different than it did before and it just evolves as the culture does."