magazine covers are the mask of fashion. they represent a small component, yet a large factor of influence. magazine covers set the headlines, break the barriers and provide a greater dialogue through visual interpretation of how we fuck with aspects of life, love and ultimately happiness. yes, there is always a beauty factor- but magazines and all their glossed glory provide a larger insight into the human race than most would think. this site has housed much of my fascination with editorial, and through that analysis, i’ve developed a stronger stylistic perspective of the world. understanding the cross referencing of culture, design and style all in one shape shifted moment that acts as a freeze frame of time.
20. CHANCE THE RAPPER FOR DAZED & CONFUSED, cracking this years countdown is rap new comer, chance the rapper. from the city of chicago, chance has been hailed as a rapper to watch out for in the music game. following the release of two mixtapes, he developed a cult following. with a stronger presence through media, chance was even featured on pop commander justin beiber’s “confident”. the cover, which is a great photograph represents the potential of what is to come for chance in the new year. accented with the headline, ’93 till infinity’, the august cover also brings to focus the style reinvention of the 90’s. in the same lane of indie-major artists like jhene aiko and childish gambino, chance is a successfully poised singer-songwriter and rapper. the cover is more about potential rather than PR prowess. there is a youthful relevance that is represented through style- the baseball cap, and what appears to be a chicken suit. it’s all very young, and awkward in a way that is both familiar to us as adults and poignant for that just-about-to-graduate-high-school demographic. dazed is the type of publication that covers what bubbles under the surface of mainstream, which i love. as chance puts the final touches on his album, this cover will prove to either be a foretelling or a missed mark in the coming year. for the younger audiences, this represents images of the now generation.
19. MALGOSIA BELA FOR MUSE as one of the most striking female models working in fashion, since the 90’s malgosia bela’s muse cover was one of five covers in a series. muse is one of those publications that showcases models in the light that they should be seen. it’s always about profound talent, they represent diversity, and you always see a range of females with singular skills. shot by david bellemere and styled by melanie huynh, the cover is visually impactful, in that, it spares the expectation that covers should be direct, sharp and clean. malgosia is triplicated for the cover, through use of dual mirrors and the image itself is slightly blurred. the masthead sits perfectly accentuating the image in a way that is supportive while not distracting. malgosia has one of those faces that is instantly recognizable. her piercing eyes have long been a subject i’ve written about for the entire duration of my work, in this space. represented by next models in new york and milan, and elite in paris; malgosia represents the international model statistic in this years countdown as we look back at the year, as a whole. there is something very luxe about malgosia, she feels expensive. she has this timeless appeal that seems to get better with age, not in the way that age is defied either, in a way that showcases the aging process as something much more human. and there’s nothing more beautiful in the world than being human.
18. HELENA BONHAM CARTER FOR BRITISH VOGUE, JULY shot by mert alas and marcus piggott, helena bonam carter is a transformative actress that can take on many shades and attitudes while informing many walks of life. as a style icon, she is an acquired taste. to put is simple, she doesn’t really give a fuck. style is what she wants it to be- it’s about a thrashed idea of glamour or a tousled dress, she is about interesting choices. she’s about celebrating freedom, and in that, her choices of non-style, create a new kind of style. when this cover dropped this past summer, i was completely stunned. while helena is quite the transformer- as is vogue. i love the idea of a vogue image, the idea of branding that is represented through cover models, and all around production. when helena appeared in all her vogue glossed glory, i said aloud, “this. is. a cover!“. the choice to cast her for the cover was one thing, but the execution was on another level. there is this fantasy element that vogue editors have, to give someone this vogue look. and this cover was proof that helena bonham carter can achieve that look, but she makes the conscious decision not to do so. regardless of helena’s style choices when not on covers, she remains a different kind of icon, in that she represents rebellion from typical beauty standards that have long been pinned to silver screen actresses. covers represent a higher caliber of style, and this was by far, the best actress transformation that reached as closely as one can get to supermodel beauty.
17. SASKIA DE BRAU FOR FRENCH VOGUE, SEPTEMBER continuing the dialogue of fashion publication, and how certain aspects have progressed and how others have transgressed, i loved the september cover of french vogue. in years past, i would have an onslaught of french vogue covers or have difficulty narrowing down my selections. but this year, only one stood out for me. i wanted to pick at least one of the french vogue covers from the past year to discuss the ways that the paris based fashion publication has taken a bit of a back seat. following the departure of past editor-in-cheif, carine roitfeld; french vogue began making more commercial choices. since then, the covers have been experiencing a lull of sorts. the cover models that are cast aren’t the problem, i would say, it’s more the direction. it’s too expected, and even this cover- in all it’s new-age grunge minimalist beauty; it’s still only mildly striking in comparison to not only others on this list, but others from the french vogue cover archives. holding it’s rank on this years list for it’s use of almost 90’s re-invention of grunge, i thought that the covers would ramp up after this, but the publication seems to be at a stand still. there is no showcasing or making of new trends, artistically, french vogue covers appear to be a shell of what they used to be. commercial in it’s clean approach, french vogue is now void of that risk factor. there’s no challenge of perception in their covers as there were under the direction of carine roitfeld. as true as that may be, i do like this cover’s clean and direct visual of an old style movement, and it’s translation in a new capacity. saskia murdered this cover though- love.
16. THE PRADA GIRLS FOR VOGUE ITALIA, DECEMBER anna ewers, cindy bruna, gracie van gastel and ophelie guillermand were seen through the lens of steven meisel for the december cover of italian vogue. unbeknownst to the general public, this pairing was unexpected and represented a range of diversity that is not normally adopted by big fashion houses. take prada for example, they are known for rarely picking women of color for their runway shows, not to mention their campaigns. styled by marie-amélie suavé, with hair and make-up by guido palau and pat mcgrath, the cover was striking. many wondered why this pairing, why these four females? when the prada SS14 campaign was revealed, and showcased some familiar faces- four were familiar from this december italian vogue cover. the prada campaign? it hosted a dazzling 19 female models, represented forms of diversity and was comporable to a cool girl clique at some all-girl prep school. steven meisel, always on-point and never without purpose, revealed a preview of the prada campaign a month before it debuted, and we didn’t even know it. killing two birds with one stone, this cover doubled as a teaser for a campaign for prada, one of the largest and most intriguing of the fashion houses in milan. i love that ms. cindy bruna landed this cover, she is a glowing star and one i predict will follow in the same or similar career trajectory as joan smalls. they say that you become a star once viewed through meisel’s lens. this track record, thus far, has proven to be true. also featured in the victoria’s secret fashion show for 2013, the french born bruna is represented by wilhelmina models in new york and was the clear cut stunner of the four models cast for this cover. im always looking at fresh faces, while observing opportunity and star power. i predict that bruna will kill the editorial circuit and eat the runway this coming show season. past predictions of mine include, joan smalls.
15. LADY GAGA FOR V, FALL/WINTER V magazine has long been a supporter of pop ruler, lady gaga. so when it was announced that her third studio album would hit store shelves in the fourth quarter of 2013, PR moves were flexed. of course, V magazine was part of gaga’s promo domination. she served up a four part cover series with the publication, shape shifting in and out of different images for each cover, allowing each to have an independent visual from the last. shot by inez and vinoodh, gaga dawned four different wigs and showcased four different looks, while then appearing nude for her accompanying cover spread in the issue. with make-up artistry by yadim, and styling by brandon maxwell, the cover series signaled gaga’s new era of ARTPOP. of the four part cover series, this cover was the best. the transparent, and safety pinned number that gaga wore was the most striking of the set, and the headline ‘gaga strikes back’ spared no mercy on what could only be described as one of the stronger moments in pop music this year. gaga is an artist who reinvigorates pop performance, as her approach to performance art is what lends an elevated sense of unique grandeur to her place in mainstream music. with the help of the magazine covers, gaga’s ARTPOP debuted at the top spot of billboard’s 200 album chart, moving 258,000 copies in it’s first selling week. while setting out on tour, ARTPOP became the fourth best selling album by a female performer for 2013.
14. JOAN SMALLS & RONALD EPPS FOR I-D, FALL/WINTER the number one supermodel of today’s fashion industry, ms. joan smalls will continue to dominate the world of style and beauty well into 2014. with the new year already looking up with her three covers as of january, joan booked a stunning fifteen covers in 2013. i love this cover because it took the relatively unknown new face, ronald epps of wilhelmina models into the fashion spotlight. another aspect of creativity i love about I-D is the ways that they create their signature wink. to use two models for this one shot was a genius idea. a celebration for the ways that joan smalls has resurrected the modern day supermodel are why this cover is where it is on this year’s countdown. joan had many highlighting moments throughout the year, and as we’ve closely followed her career since she began to gain high fashion traction, i am personally very proud of all that she has done for women and individuals of color in high end media. a dominating force who showcases the range of what it takes to truly be hailed as a supermodel, there is no stopping this young lady from further dominance for the next several years. shot by willy vanderperre, joan covered I-D for both cover series’ they ran this year. her editorial and advertising portfolio continues to grow and while this was just a mere glimpse at her year, i’ll continue to showcase her superstardom and take over through 2014.
13. CHRISTY TURLINGTON FOR HARPER’S BAZAAR, JUNE a supermodel poised to continue her reign at the top going into 2014, christy turlington is an icon of both beauty and philanthropy. her subscriber’s edition harper’s bazaar cover for the month of june was a stunner and standout for me this year. never lacking relevance, christy turlington has remained on the scene through her cosmetics contract with maybelline. outside of her long time cosmetic contract, this year alone; christy appeared in ad campaigns for H&M, calvin klein, jason wu, prada and donna karan. 2013 was an especially visible year for christy back on the high fashion front, as she returned as the face of calvin klein underwear. outside of her campaign trail, she landed six magazine covers, and continues to show a strong entrance into 2014 as well. at 44 years of age, christy has become an emblem of the aging process for women all around the world. i love this cover for it’s representation of america- it’s an american model, published on the cover of a leading american fashion publication, and she’s wearing an american designer, tom ford. harper’s bazaar is a publication that still embodies and represents the creative aspects of fashion, as an american fashion publication. the dual subscriber/newsstand edition process that they’ve adopted for the last several years is one that is successful and inspiring. i love the low key, minimal aspects of the subscriber’s editions, and loved the contrast of the headline ‘fashion runs wild’ with the visual of simplicity. the zebra inspired tom ford look was allowed to shine, while christy was beautifully accented. supermodels live forever, and ms. turlington is living proof of resilience.
12. KATE MOSS FOR VISIONAIRE, 63 visionaire is at the highest level of publications. each year they release one issue and create all aspects of that one issue while tying them into a theme. published in limited quantities, issue 63 titled, forever, was only limited to 1500 numbered copies. priced at $350.00, the issue was made entirely of stainless steel and aluminum with a weight of 6.25lbs. progressive in execution and innovative in concept, visionaire broke barriers with this issue. seen on the cover was british supermodel, kate moss. issue 63 was produced through the minds and hands of CGI artists who used 2D photographs which were processed through pounding of metal plates. sponsored by G-shock, the issue is made up of 10 pages, which showcase the work of both artists and fashion photographers of the past and present. photographers featured in the issue are mario testino, inez and vinoodh, karl lagerfeld and craig mcdean. artists featured in the issue are gilbert & george, as well as yoko ono with other contributions by maurizio cattelan, pierpaolo ferrari, solve sundsbø, steven klein and iconic photographer, richard avedon. what i admire of every visionaire issue is their approach to ideas. this cover was included in my top twelve because of it’s relation and transcendence of time. to promote a publication and hold it to the unimaginably idealistic theme of ‘forever’ is bravery. well executed each year, this is the most unconvential cover included in my list, but is definitely one of the most memorable, not even just for the year 2013, but in the history of style, fashion and art publication. kate moss landed this cover and 23 other covers in 2013.
11. NATALIA VODIANOVA FOR W, SEPTEMBER through the lens of mert and marcus, natalia vodianova appeared in a three part cover series with fellow supermodels kate moss and lara stone. the ribbon and floral accented cover shoot was among the most beautiful photographic work of the past year. always serving a stunning visual, mert and marcus created a romanticized and alluring image of vodianova, which was a clear standout in contrast to the other covers, that were also strikingly good. the retouch, the lighting, the styling and the ways that the color really accented natalia’s features was all culminated immaculately. W magazine really developed a stronger fashion angle for themselves over the course of last year, and this year- they have an unusually strong arsenal of cover images. W makes interesting, as well as important, casting choices for who appears on their issues from month to month. always a lover of a beautiful image, natalia vodianova performed exceptionally well, as expected, for september. landing 14 covers in 2013, natalia is one of very few models who holds an untouchable record of visibility in high fashion. she has been long contracted with calvin kelin, being the face of their euphoria women’s fragrance and also holds a contract with guerlain. also a favorite face of designer stella mccartney, she was cast in a campaign for that label this year. not much to say for this cover, but ‘look at it’. natalia’s gaze is piercing and completely unforgettable.
10. RIHANNA FOR ROLLING STONE, FEBRUARY never lacking scene visibility, rihanna has significantly altered the ways in which music is produced at a rapid pace. dropping an album every year, with no stops in between- rihanna is a pop force to be reckoned with and this year she proved that to an even greater extent. the most downloaded artist in history, rihanna was awarded with the icon award at this year’s american music awards, and though this cover was more directly linked to the sensationalism of her public persona than her style choices, she is very much the modern fashion muse for labels like chanel and balmain. in 2013, her campaign for balmain debuted, lending her face to one of the top high end labels in all of fashion. shot by terry richardson, the cover is clean and striking, and rihanna’s hair appears flawlessly colored and simply styled. dawning a white top that accentuates the strategic placement of her tattoos, rihanna is a bad girl for all the right reasons and this cover showcased that persona perfectly. around the time that rihanna reunited with chris brown, both parties garnered a lot of press for their controversial romance. the beyoncé-borrowed-lyrical headline, ‘crazy in love’ which appeared on the cover couldn’t be more poignant. there’s something about her body language, the slightly gaped mouth, the exposed shaved side of her head, the flawlessly retouched skin, and the gold jewelry- it was all done in a way that transcends commercial appeal and crosses over to the representation of ethnic beauty, but in a way that merges relatability to fantasy. this cover lands in the top 10 best of 2013 for it’s cultural relevance, musical accomplishment and range is representation of how the world views women.
9. A$AP ROCKY FOR INTERVIEW, APRIL shot by craig mcdean, gold fronts and a liquified masthead edge us closer to the top of dopest covers of the last year. hip-hop music has remained a corner stone of american musical history for more than a decade. this cover shows that we, as a community of color, are still shattering barriers with our sense of style. our approach and the ways in which we engage our audiences in any and every field of art, serves as inspiration for both high and low end forms of media. with 2013 wins for best collaboration at the BET awards, and an MTV japan VMA for best hip-hop video under his belt, A$AP rocky is a movement of sorts. injecting high fashion into trap laced, new york gritty rap- his debut studio album, “Long.Live.A$AP” was a follow up to the critically acclaimed mixtape, “Live.Love.A$AP” which introduced the harlem born rapper to audiences on the digital music scene. A$AP began his journey to conquer musical media in 2011, when he signed a reported $3 million deal with sony music entertainment. rocky’s funding from that deal went into ASAP worldwide, which supports the creative endeavors of the rapper’s crew, A$AP mob. his involvment with NYC street culture and fashion brands like, hood by air- A$AP’s cover for interview is proof that the musical industry does show hope of creative resurrection in the near future. A$AP’s debut studio album hosted over 20 producers to pull off his progressive vision. the album hit number one on the US billboard 200, as well as the top R&B/hip-hop album’s chart. in the UK & canada, the album also reached #1. with apparel design and product development, as well as a crew following closely behind, with a rack of albums scheduled to hit in 2014, this cover is further indication that hip-hop as a culture will move with heavier influence into the new year and far, far beyond. up next for A$AP? supermodel, joan smalls was cast for A$AP’s next music video for ‘angels’ and he is also currently dating model, chanel iman. in addition to dropping his debut album in 2013, A$AP also appeared on the cover of l’uomo vogue, and made a campaign cameo for T by alexander wang. A$AP also made his runway debut, walking for new york fashion week in the FW13 show for hood by air.
8. KIM KARDASHIAN FOR CR FASHION BOOK as if shot by karl lagerfeld, with fashion editing by carine roitfeld and art direction by ricardo tisci doesn’t sound epic enough. the biggest cultural icon for women since marilyn monroe appeared on the cover of carine roitfeld’s CR fashion book, pregnant and wearing a full gold grill. kim kardashian is a portrait of success, and is an entrepreneurial mascot for women of color living and working in america. the smoke laced cover was a sight to see and made it’s rounds in social media faster than light can travel. in the accompanying editorial, kim was seen wearing a margiela crystal face mask, archival givenchy african tribal inspired diamond earrings and was shot laying in flowers with her mouth slathered in jam. labeled, ‘miss USA’ in the issue, this was probably the most epic cover by what some would call a talentless star. said best by carine roitfeld herself, beauty is a talent. such is the case of kim kardashian, an alarmingly beautiful woman and one of the most dominating figures in media. this year, in addition to landing this cover, she gave birth to her first daughter with artist kanye west, got engaged and continued to dominate the world of television with her media fixture hit reality television show, keeping up with the kardashian’s. everything from her readiness to give birth again, her post-baby weight, trips to the nail salon, her hair color, and whether or not she is wearing make-up are all headline news for this armenian-american icon. for it’s garnering of attention as a media fixture, this cover was the basis of this list and goes on to prove that beauty is most definitely a talent when marketed in the right ways.
7. FEI FEI SUN FOR VOGUE ITALIA through the lens of steven meisel, fei fei sun became the first asian model in history to appear solo on the cover of italian vogue this year. as a major first for women of color in the industry, i absolutely had to include this for my year in review rankings. aside from the photo being stunning, visually, the make-up and all the creative elements that allowed for china machado’s visage to come back to life were astounding. the cover was an homage to the fashion pioneer, as machado was the first asian female to land a major fashion spread, at that time in a 1958 issue of harper’s bazaar. italian vogue is the most brave of all the vogue editions, internationally. they take chances and break barriers year after year, going where no other edition goes. they represent the unrepresented and provide greater visibility for minorities which is both respectable and appreciated. i love this cover, it’s clean and classic- it breaks barriers further by simultaneously acknowledging other pioneer’s in fashion, who paved the way for women still working to set forth greater changes in the world of both style and beauty. italian vogue goes into uncharted territory and allows steven meisel to express an unrestrained level of creativity in a pure way that is showcased through pure emotion. for that very reason, italian vogue will likely continue their path to greatness, and groundbreaking ways of visualizing fashion. this is history, ladies and gentlemen!
6. FERNANDO CABRAL FOR NUMÉRO HOMME, SUMMER/SPRING 2013 shot by jacob sutton, styled by samuel françois, fernando cabral single handedly represented male models of color on the summer/spring cover of numéro homme this year. mesmerizing with his dark skin tone and lean physique- the high fashion angle of media is not one that many understand. this cover, is the best artistically, in this years top 10 covers. as a true fan of visuals and style, as well as model casting and representation of diversity and beauty, this cover is one that deserves to be celebrated. high fashion is the truly challenging aspect of the industry that rarely sees movement or transformation for individuals of color. we are represented in a very narrowed lane, stylistically and photographically, through image, casting and all around visibility. a striking image of angles and a vision of unexpected forms of beauty by high end standards. i am very proud that numéro allowed for this moment to happen this year. vital and necessary to the diversification process of high fashion, a range of ethnicities and shades of such range need to be showcased in order to provide a more realistic view of beauty in our ever changing world. the absolute best male model fashion magazine cover of 2013, there was no competition when this cover hit newsstands. a completely breathtaking image of beauty, the way it should be seen.
5. JAY Z FOR VANITY FAIR, NOVEMBER when shawn carter graced the cover of vanity fair, styled by june ambrose and shot by annie lebovitz, it provided range. while the previous rap starred cover in my countdown shows the current state of where we are in hip-hop, jay z represents the legacy of that work. as one of the most recognized figures in business, globally, jay z has remarkably moved past the marginalization of what is possible not only for rappers, but for artists and individuals of color all together. the cover represents more than just a cover, it represents progress and recognition for the work that we do and continue to do as people. a patriarch of music iconicism in the game of rap, jay has embarked on greater feats of business while blending the streets of brooklyn with the glitter filled fantasy of business on wall street. an entrepreneurial mascot, this cover breaks barriers further- beyond the worlds of music, style, influence and moves the bar even higher for what we are able to achieve through dedication and hustle. jay’s approach to marketing as an artist and his tactful method of branding have provided a blueprint for modern day artists in every genre. with his company roc nation well on the rise with a roster of talent, jay will likely continue his reign in both business and music. for it’s cultural impact, this vanity fair cover opens many doors for us. jay’s twelveth studio album, the grammy nominated magna carta… holy grail has moved 2.5 million units since its july release; making it the most successful release by a rap artist of the year, in 2013.
4. KERRY WASHINGTON FOR VANITY FAIR, AUGUST the biggest female figure on television next to oprah winfrey, this year, was ms. kerry washington. entering homes all across america as the slick talking, scheme plotting, problem fixing star of the political thriller, scandal, washington’s role as olivia pope has provided her with tremendous media attention. similar to what what jay z’s vanity fair cover represents for business in the industry of music; kerri’s cover also represents for actresses of color. one of the only starring roles by a black female on network television, in the new year, washington’s role as olivia pope has earned her screen actors guild and golden globe nominations. also in the new year kerry is expecting her first child. all these happenings are a continued level of success following her hit television show, which is how the actress landed this cover. her role in scandal is both emotional and necessary, as her character provides range for black actresses starring or vying for more serious roles, as serious actors. the series went into syndication on black entertainment television (BET) and airs in over eight countries around the world. all in just three seasons on television. as the star show in ABC’s thursday line up, this cover was a necessary move to commemorate the media frenzy and social media reaction to this television phenomenon. kerry washington will be the star to watch during awards season this year; her acting work on scandal is both riveting and inspiring. the ways that women of color are seen or can be portrayed on television will be forever changed thanks to ms. kerry washington. now all we need is her on the cover of vogue. and don’t play us- have the hair, make-up and styling right when that happens!
3. BEYONCÉ FOR VOGUE, MARCH holding it’s rank toward the top of my list not for it’s photographic appeal, or styling prowess- ms. beyoncé knowles-carter graced the march 2013 cover of american vogue with what none of us suspected to be as true, as it has become now. appearing on the magazine’s annual power issue; i had many conversations about michelle obama being more deserving of the power issue cover. but as the year came to a close beyoncé proved that there was no performer bigger or better than her. looking back at the year that was 2013, you didn’t suspect it in ways that it she had been promoted in the past. but this most definitely was beyoncé’s year. at the top of the year she performed at the inauguration for barack obama’s second term. the following month, she performed at superbowl XLVII where she reunited with past members one of the biggest girl group’s in musical history, destiny’s child, where she started her career. in march this cover hit newsstands, giving you a slight hint that something was coming for the remainder of the year. to much surprise, it was announced that she would embark on a world tour, which she did. many media news outlets questioned the relevance, as no new album or new material had yet to be released. at the back end of 2012, beyoncé made headlines when she signed a $50 million endorsement deal with pepsi. media and press coverage continued until the commercial debuted, in 2013. with her fragrances already generating revenue upwards of $400 million, and a deal with l’oreal in place since the singer was 18. one wondered, where is the new album? she released a self-shot, self directed auto-biographical documentary titled, ‘life is but a dream’ which debuted exclusively on HBO. during the summer of 2013, she was revealed as the face of H&M for the season, which seen her designing swimwear and shooting a music video commercial hybrid with which she debuted the song, ‘standing on the sun’. while she toured the world, there was no sign of an album, and fans began to lose hope. but on december 13th, 2013, beyoncé changed musical history when she released a surprise visual album. with 14 new songs, and 17 new videos, there has never been an album like it before. the album moved 80,000 units in a span of three hours and debuted atop the billboard 200 with sales exceeding 617K, for the first three days. the album debuted at #1 in 90 countries and took six days to reach platinum selling status. oh, and there was no promotion or commercial advertising for the album leading to it’s release. the surprise, self-titled visual album became the highest first week sales of beyoncé’s career and was recorded as having the best selling debut week numbers by any female artist of the year. since it’s release, the album has remained at #1 on the billboard 200 chart, three weeks in a row. power? vogue knows best. the cover read right, “beyoncé rules the world”.
2. NAOMI CAMPBELL FOR INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER before jay was on the block sellin dope, perfecting his hustler’s mentality. before beyoncé was rehearsing in a girl group and long before kerry washington decided to become an actress- this face on my list of top 20 best covers of 2013 has always represented faces of color in the world of fashion. the single most important female of color in the history of modeling and fashion, naomi campbell has remained relevant, timeless and more visible than any female in every aspect of mass media. shot by mikael jansson, naomi campbell was included in a supermodel cover series captured by interview magazine. among the new and veteran talent- she stood alone. alone as the single most influential female. the only black model to be included in the 7-part cover series. the most iconic black model in history, hands down. there is no name bigger than naomi campbell. her unapologetic approach to business has been spotlighted on her show, which aired this year when she served as the executive producer for the reality show, the face, which teamed supermodels with model hopefuls. airing first in the united states to applause and acclaim, the show was taken to the united kingdom, where it aired a british version to rave reviews. the next stop for the face is australia. naomi’s spare no fucks attitude of domination is one that many emulate and dream of attaining. the epitome of confidence and signature personality, naomi is a living legend who continues to kill television, interviews, cover bookings, runway castings and business contracts. for the year, she booked a staggering 16 covers around the globe. in representing black women powerfully in fashion, she also joined forces with model icons iman and bethann hardison, to commission and campaign for greater diversity, internationally, in the fashion industry. naomi’s career spans 28 years, and her passionate approach with fashion modeling has largely contributed to the image of black women. ms. campbell will forever be included in every countdown that will ever be seen in this space with regard to cultural relevance, representation of individuals of color, beauty and style. she is the greatest supermodel to ever walk this planet.
1. KIM KARDASHIAN & KANYE WEST FOR L’OFFICIEL culminating all aspects of music, beauty, style and culture; this years top cover could not be a more perfect choice for the marriage of all these elements. kim kardashian and kanye west slam into the #1 spot of this years countdown. the biggest media pairing since john f. kennedy and marilyn monroe- kimye dominated all forms of media. since rumors began swirling about their romance kim and kanye have taken the world by storm, not only as a couple but as single entities with their own respectively powerful careers. in 2013, kanye west released yeezus his sixth studio album which blended the worlds of high end and hip-hop further. his nationwide tour was hailed as a musical experience, and as an artist west continues to push the boundaries to move beyond the outter limits of marginalization as a rapper. describing himself as more of a visual artist than a rapper, west signed a collabrative design deal with adidas, which will likely see him making additional headlines well into 2014. kim kardashian is the only female to appear on my list of top covers, twice. her cultural influence in the scope of beauty and style go without proper recognition. this cover was given the top spot this year, because of it’s celebratory take on love. shot by nick knight, the story of kim and kanye is what dreams are made of. complimentary to one another, personally, the two have found love in a place where hope is seemingly lost. the greatest collaboration that these two have made together, is without a doubt their daughter, north west. their daughter was given the name, north, as both feel she represents the highest point. with the acclaimed yeezus album charting at #1 in over 30 countries, and with kim kardashian maintaining global publicity at all times- the cover is striking and passionate. it represents the blending of multiple creative and ethnic cultures and represents the truest form of passion and beauty, on a higher level, than any cover this year. a french publication, sold in europe, the cover was plastered around the streets of paris. the two are engaged to be married, as west asked kardashian on a baseball field at san francisco’s AT&T park, during a stop on his tour. kardashian said yes, amidst torched heating lamps while an orchestra played lana del rey’s “young & beautiful”. west will dominate the year of 2014 as the creative endeavors of his design agency, DONDA are well underway. long live kimye.
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