Considered one of the best fashion magazines in the world, Vogue Italia is the least commercial of the international editions, its often controversial and provocative content blurring the lines between fashion and art. Vogue Italia was established in 1962 when Condé Nast publisher Si Newhouse bought the Italian magazine Novità. The magazine continued under the name Novità until November 1965, when it was renamed Vogue & Novità. Consuelo Crespi was the editor-in-chief during this initial phase until 1966.
In 1966, Franco Sartori was appointed editor-in-chief, and under his leadership, the magazine changed its name to Vogue Italia, with the June 1966 issue being the first under the new title. Sartori remained editor-in-chief for twenty-two years, until 1988. He radically changed the look of the magazine, bringing in esteemed photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Norman Parkinson, Bert Stern, and Helmut Newton. The first Italian photographers to work for Vogue Italia were Gianpaolo Barbieri and Gianni Penati.
The early years of Vogue Italia were very challenging and involved considerable financial sacrifices. In the 1970s, circulation was only 40,000 copies a month. With the made-in-Italy boom in the late 1970s, Vogue Italia became the premier magazine to showcase the styles that would soon dominate international fashion.
In July 1988, shortly after Sartori's death, Franca Sozzani took over as editor-in-chief. As she evolved the magazine's distinctive artistic and provocative style, Vogue Italia's circulation gradually increased. Sozzani nurtured the careers of renowned photographers such as Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh, and Paolo Roversi, giving them complete freedom in their choice of models and subjects and encouraging them to experiment. She was known for tackling controversial topics such as drug abuse and domestic violence that other fashion magazines avoided. In July 2008, Sozzani published „A Black Issue“ that featured only black models. Franca Sozzani remained director until her death in December 2016.