Travel & Living

Fall Into Wanderlust with the New 'Holiday' Book

Pamela Fiori, whose new release documents the pioneering American travel magazine, talked with us about her memories at the publication that defined the jet-set age.
Reading time 4 minutes
Photos courtesy of Rizzoli

Pamela Fiori has had a long and high-profile career in luxury lifestyle, and it all started at a travel magazine. It was called Holiday, and the periodical gem was able to perfectly capture the romance and inspiration of mid-20th-century travel like no other publication. At a time when consumerism and globalization were both on the rise, the aspirational lifestyle image the magazine captured couldn't have resonated better, and the pages, full of prolific yet relatable text about destinations near and far, mixed with images that were good enough to rip out of the tome and hang on your wall. The magazine has now entered a new era, having come back with more of a fashion vibe after a decades-long hiatus, making now the perfect time to look back at its jet-set original run. Fiori shared her thoughts about Holiday's origins, her experience working at the publication, and her thoughts on the revival.

Why did now seem like the right time to tell the history of the origins of Holiday? 

Actually, the story of Holiday is long overdue. It is the first travel magazine in America, launched in 1946, right after World War II. It signaled a time of optimism and opportunity--two concepts that we could use a great deal more of.

 

The press notes indicate that Holiday depicted the romance of travel like no other periodical. How do you think Instagram has either helped or diminished this idea? 

When the images are beautiful and thoughtful, it probably helps to keep the romance alive. Anything that does that is positive because there is precious little romance these days.

 

You started at the magazine in 1968. How long were you there? Looking back, what was the experience like?

I worked at Holiday from 1968 to 1971. For me. it was an ideal place to learn about fine writing, high standards, and quality journalism. Had I not had the experience, I doubt I would have become the editor I was.

 

I’d love to know how you even started putting this book together? Was it daunting? Exciting? 

It was a thrill from start to finish. I began by purchasing every back issue I could, mostly from eBay, because there are no archives. Then I immersed myself in the issues and, with my editor at Rizzoli and our photo editor, we began to select images that Franck Durand, who designed the book, could choose from. I was charged with writing the magazine's history, choosing the excerpts and writing the bios of the contributors. It was an incomparable experience.

 

After a 30 year hiatus, the magazine is back. When you heard that it would be resurrected, what were your initial thoughts?

I was happy about it. Holiday did not deserve to die.

 

Are you involved in the new iteration of the publication?

Not at all. The magazine is produced by Franck Durand and his team in Paris. I salute them and wish them nothing but success. 

 

I was surprised to learn that some of the most influential writers of our time had their work appear in Holiday for the first time. Can you tell me who some of these people were?

Many of the contributors had written for other magazines or in books. For instance, E.B. White's iconic essay, "Here is New York," appeared in the late 1940s. It was his first time writing for Holiday, but he was more closely associated with The New Yorker.

 

What do you want people to take away from reading the book? What do you want them to experience?

I want them to be transported to another time and place--to get lost within its pages. 

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