The Evolution of Portfolio's Covers

The Evolution of Portfolio's Covers

Portfolio magazine's highly conceptual covers were commercially foolish, but rather brave. The cityscapes and factory floors of the Conde Nast title's first four issues paid homage to an earlier, more confident era of magazine publishing, in which editors could survive a bad month on the newsstand. And then, spooked by low sell-through numbers, Joanne Lipman panicked. January's Spy vs Spy cover could have been borrowed from the defunct Business 2.0; February's How Fat Won, illustrated by an overloaded burger, is a bogus trend story more often found in Newsweek. The latest shows a man's black shoe treading on a woman's red stiletto reminiscent of nothing more than a classy fetish magazine. Provocative? Pathetic? Discuss.