Media legends have legendary beginnings. Ruth Ansel made a dramatic debut as a designer in 1962, when Harper's Bazaar art director Marvin Israel fell in love with a photo for a cover that looked suspiciously like the great Diana Vreeland. The editor-in-chief loathed it. To make matters worse she thought it was a man in drag. She wanted to kill it immediately, Israel went ballistic, the editor fired him — and, unexpectedly, Bea Feitler and Ruth Ansel became co-art directors of Harper's Bazaar. Ever since Ansel became one of the youngest art directors in the history of magazines, she has pushed the boundaries of magazine design. In a career spanning nearly five decades, she has been responsible for era-defining magazine pages and covers for Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair. Along the way, she has collaborated with Richard Avedon (who pronounced her “genius”), Diane Arbus, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Lee Friedlander, Hiro, Andy Warhol, Peter Beard, Bruce Weber and Annie Leibovitz. Hall of Femmes: Ruth Ansel, the first in a series created by the Swedish studio Hjarta Smarta, explores the work of leading female designers whose art direction helped define their times. Click on the arrows at the bottom of this screen to scroll through the book.