There are some bits of news that hit the fashion headlines and make the frow's (aka fashion show front row aka the fashion industry VIP section) jaws drop and I have to explain to the non-fashion pros in my life why it's SO IMPORTANT! OMG OMG OMG! Like when the Queen threw serious shade at Trump in the form of Brooch Warfare. That happened again yesterday when we found out that Beyonce is rumoured to have creative control over her own September cover of American Vogue and that Tyler Mitchel is/has shot it. HOLY F*CK!
Not a clue what I'm talking about?
I'll Break it Down
The September issue of Vogue is THE ONE. The single most important
issue of the year. September is ingrained in us to be the month of reinvention and focus. The idleness of summer is over, it is back to school and work revamps again. The business of magazines is also tracked in September when advert revenue is measured by trade publications so inside the magazines the editors have been working on pushing up their ad numbers to this climax for months. The PR boost from R.J. Cutler's 2009 documentary The September Issue has grown the power of the issue to where it sits today.
Anna Wintour (Editor in Chief) Controls It All
Beyonce has been US Vogue's cover star 3 times already;
And like all cover stars, Beyonce has had no creative control beyond having an opinion on what outfit on the rail she likes best. She wears what she's told, she stands where she's told, she is photographed by the photographer provided by Anna and the way the cover turns out, is Anna's decision. Cover stars would rarely be paid as they are usually promoting their new projects so the benefit of the exposure is joint. Six to nine months of work goes into the September issue and its entire contents, theme and especially cover. The choice of cover star is very important of course, as is the type of image used eg. studio or location, cropped or drawn back, headlines, features and fonts but the Vogue brand is the biggest star of all. Anna and her editorial team meticulously plan the most 'Vogue-y' issue to cement the bible's status and enchant their readers into brand loyalty. Bearing in mind Anna has been Editor in Chief of American Vogue for 30 years, it is unsurprising that she is Vogue, and she makes the decisions.
Tyler Mitchell - Photographer, so?
Well because Tyler would be the first black photographer to shoot an American Vogue cover in its 126 year history. The fact that 2018 sees 'the first black' anything is astonishing and you have to ask what took so long? At 23, he could potentially also be the youngest. Also his style is 'raw' which is not very Vogue, hence making his appointment surprising.
Politically charged Tyler has photographed poster girl for gun reform, student Emma Gonzalez, covers of Spike Lee and campaigns for fashion's rebel Marc Jacobs. He graduated from New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, where fellow alumni include Lady Gaga. Tyler's appointment is a deliberate and thorough one intended to be controversial.
My Conspiracy Theory
It is spreading that Beyonce is using her 'power' to implement her creative choices for September but I am dubious. I think that as we saw with Queen Elizabeth's political fashion choices and as I outlined in my post Fashion For Feminists, the fashion industry is being used as a portal for social change, and Beyonce is the ideal Vogue covergirl for this change. With the massive race tensions in the US, American Vogue absolutely has to use its white privilege to stand up for marginalised people. Beyonce is focused on expressing black culture in her music, fashion, shows and creative choices (side thought - I would love to see a Beyonce x Childish Gambino political black power collaboration) hence she has the star power, influence and personal associations to announce a new generation of Vogue in its September reinvention issue.
She is the perfect celebrity choice for the cover of the most important magazine in the fashion industry's most important issue. The choice (and rumours) project a pro-black, inclusive move for the magazine in a way that maximises its exposure in a newsworthy way....I mean I'm writing about it! Huffington Post is writing about it. So are MTV, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail and everyone else who's noticed the relevance. Anna hasn't suddenly let Beyonce take the reigns on her 4th American Vogue cover because B is too powerful to regulate. It is a brilliantly conscious PR move, which I totally support, as the greater good is the multi-coloured, cultured, progressive result. Remember my post about the impressive effect Rihanna's Fenty Beauty had on the rest of the beauty industry? I hope we see this effect across the fashion industry and further afield so that my friends can see themselves represented in beauty adverts, fashion campaigns, in movies and in the government in a way that I always have.
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Love Roxy xXx
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