Style Observer

Fashion's Black List — The Black stars of this year's September issues

Sunday, August 12, 2018

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The September issues are here! Well, most of them anyway.

By now you've seen Beyoncé and Rihanna on the covers of Vogue and British Vogue, respectively. Both divas made fashion history — Queen Bey chose 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell as her photographer, making him the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue September issue cover in the magazine's 125-year history. And, RiRi is the first black woman to be featured on the September issue cover of British Vogue. It's 2018 and we are still having sentences beginning with “the first black…”

The pop megastars aren't the only black people to grace the covers of fashion magazines' September issues.


1 Lupita Nyong'o looks resplendent on the cover of Net-a-Porter's stylish magazine, Porter.


2 Tracee Ellis-Ross graces the cover of Elle Canada.


3 Insecure creator and star Issa Rae is stunning in Vera Wang on the cover of Ebony.


4 Comedienne Tiffany Haddish looks amazing in Glamour.


5 A pregnant Simone Thompson aka Slick Woods (Rihanna's “hand-picked” gap-toothed Fenty beauty muse) is on the cover of Elle UK. Bare belly and all. Sidebar: SO has to applaud the publication for breaking the mould of what 'works' for a September cover. We could always look to Franca Sozzani (the late editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia) for a “well, that happened” moment. Remember her now-infamous July 2005 'Makeover Madness' cover that interrogated the fashion industry's addiction to plastic surgery? Savage. But, it looks like the UK mags are doing just fine in this department.


6 Hollywood It girl Zendaya looks smouldering in Max Mara on the cover of Marie Claire.


7 Both Naomi Campbell and Adwoa Aboah team up to slay the cover of Love Magazine.


8 Dutch Moroccan & Egyptian model Imaan Hammam looks lithe and supple on the September 2018 cover of InStyle.

9 And, ex- Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld styled the problematic Kanye West and his adorable children North and Saint for the cover of American Harper's Bazaar.


10 Naomi Campbell again! This time on the cover of Essence magazine dripping in Gucci-Dapper Dan — a tribute to the esteemed Harlem designer.

These 11 September issue covers illustrate that fashion magazines are finally catching up with diversification. Let's not forget that between 2003 and 2015, not one black individual model was featured on the cover of British Vogue. That's 146 covers. SO is just glad that a travesty of this magnitude will never happen under the watchful eye of Edward Enninful.

As Beyoncé said in her Vogue September issue interview: “If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighbourhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose.”

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