Tuesday, September 26, 2006


How do I adequately explain the significance of Rags magazine? Rags was a cultural icon of the early 1970s. It was a fashion magazine that featured the fashion on the streets, not the clothes in the store windows -- a revolutionary concept at the time. Rags also documented the counterculture movement in San Francisco and the United States through articles, profiles, photographs and ads.

Rags only lasted for thirteen monthly issues, from June 1970 through June 1971, but it had a huge impact on my life.

I don't know much about the team of people who produced Rags. I only know that the magazine touched me deeply, so much so that I saved every issue I owned. This coming from someone who doesn't save anything! Perhaps others can fill in the gaps about the production side of Rags.

You can occasionally find vintage Rags magazines for sale on eBay, and the prices are many times the original cover price of 40 or 50 cents.

Maybe the best way for you to get to know the magazine is to experience it yourself. To that end, I present pages from Rags.

Baron Wolman, renowned photographer and publisher of Rags, has kindly given me permission to post pages from the magazines here. Page images are presented in Adobe PDF file format, so you can enlarge the pages to read the text.

These pages of Rags are copyrighted by Baron Wolman and the authors, and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Enjoy a trip back to the 1970s and the phenomenon that was Rags!


betty said...

Hey...just to let you know....my friend Mike Malone was a buddy of the editors back in the day...and the article about going to barbering school, signed "RAy Swallow", was his...
Mike is now a pretty famous tattooer and didn't even remember writing the article till I reminded him last year.
Ray Swallow was a Bay Area tattooer in the 40s and 50s, and Mike can't remember for the life of him why he chose that alias, now.

Adam said...

Thank you so much for making this available on the web! Although I just missed getting to really experience the 60's era (was too young at the time), I've always admired the spirit of rampant individuality that the fashions represented - there was a "comfort-in-your-own-skin" ease that hasn't been seen since. Having access to this vintage material, particularly through the eyes of a street-oriented fashion magazine, is priceless perspective on an important era in American fashion!

Cassandra said...

Thanks for the info, Betty, and thank you for your comment, Adam. I'm glad you're enjoying this blog. I'm having a lot of fun re-reading the magazines and putting up posts twice a week.

Victoria said...

just wanted to thank you for this blog. awhile back, I found a bunch of RAGS magazines that my mom had saved and was amazed by the articles, the messages, everything. but, I couldn't find a mention of this magazine anywhere...until now.

I've since given away most issues to those who appreciate fashion as a reflection of an independent spirit. I only saved two for myself, so your blog now gives me access to even more of RAGS great content.

Thanks again!