Alexey Brodovitch (1898 - 1971) was born in Russia, fighting in the Czarist army against the Austro-Hungarians and then against the Bolsheviks. In 1920, he and his family fled to Paris, prospering and winning awards for fabric, jewelry and display design at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in 1925 (considered to be the landmark Art Deco exposition). Brodovitch became famous and demand grew for him to design décor and advertisements.
In 1930, Brodovitch came to the USA, starting an advertising department, later known as the Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts. He taught fundamentals of European design while also working as a freelance illustrator. In 1934, Carmel Snow of Harper's Bazaar hired Brodovitch to be the art director, which led to Bazaar surpassing Vogue. In addition to Bazaar, he also published three issues of Portfolio, which was a short-lived magazine.
Throughout his career, Brodovitch always taught. His "Design Laboratory" focused on graphic design, photography, and illustration. Known to be unrelenting, a student might be told their work was, at best "interesting." However, despite his many successes, Brodovitch's personal life was marred with loss. House fires in the 1950s destroyed his works and his country retreat, and the last three years of his life Brodovitch spent in a village in southern France.