covers are, without a doubt, the single most important part of any publication. they act as a selling point for the magazine, used as bait to reel people in. they attract you at the checkout stand at the grocery store, their thumbnail images cause you to click your mouse when online, their allure keeps your eyes glued once purchased & taken home. for editors, photographers, publishers, celebrities, models, stylists, consumers & fans alike; covers are everything & can prove to be a make or break moment for a string of careers that work to produce these amazing covers from behind the lens to who stands in front of it, every year. at a year glance, i’ve collected twenty of, what i feel, are the illest covers of 2011. i took the time to go into this years archives to pull my favorites, without holding back a single ounce of my appreciation, favoritism & preference for what makes the baddest, biggest & best cover. since my own obsession with fashion publications & glossed pages during my youth, i’ve watched the concept of a cover evolve & dissolve, only to reappear & become recycled over the past two decades. of the year 2011, these are this year’s best.
20. BEYONCÉ FOR DAZED & CONFUSED, SUMMER/SPRING melting her way into this year’s top 20, beyoncé set a few newstands on fire, clad completely in givenchy with a dripping ice cream cone. in addition to being a magnetic entity of entertainment, beyoncé stormed the publication market with a slew of covers, but this was her best in 2011. while other covers were great, i loved the blonde updo & the styling did a bit of trash talking for itself as the cover shoot also doubled as a video shoot. styled by karen langley, the cover was shot by sharif hamza with make-up by francesca tolot & set design by louis asaro. in the issue, beyoncé burned shit & rocked gareth pugh, but nothing stole the show like this cover. additionally, while im against the whole celebrity-on-fashion-mag cover concept, i do recognize & appreciate the level of photographic performance seen here & fully acknowledge beyoncé’s impact in music. perhaps one of her most sassy shoots to date, beyoncé would later announce with one belly rub, a pregnancy that had urban entertainment & the entire world buzzing. though her album ‘4‘ didn’t rule the charts with powerful singles as expected, when beyoncé lands a cover- everyone is watching. modern styling combined with ultra-celebrity super power are why this cover enters the list at #20. reading, ‘pop vs. life’ beyoncé is a unique character who transcends both, with manipulation of pop & life. perception? i think not, mrs. knowles-carter is one of the biggest black female stars this world has ever had the opportunity to experience.
19. BENJAMIN EIDEM FOR i-D, FALL/WINTER when willy vanderperre photographed benjamin eidem for one of six covers of i-D’s winter 2011 cover series, my back stiffened in my seat. represented by request models, benjamin had been floating under the model radar for a minute & this cover was his breakthrough. though simple, the cover represents a flawless entry into the greater editorial arena for eidem. kept in good company, eidem appeared along with supermodels, jourdan dunn & joan smalls. eidem took to the cover & posed for the publication’s signature wink as one of the standouts in the magazine’s six cover set cover series. the way his curls peak from his crocheted beret & the appearance of the printed patterns that ever so slightly compliment his lightly tanned skin tone & white backdrop- a stunning cover image to put it simply. one of my favorites & admittedly, i began to pay much closer attention to benjamin past this point. his relevance became emphasized in my world of endless male models that hit the runways each season, only to slam back into fashion’s revolving door on their way out the following season. while this cover remains frozen, through greatness, in time; new developments will expose how large a star benjamin really is- fashion does no favors. while the editorial content that was included within this photography session fell flat, if a cover truly is a publication’s selling point, this shot was top billing.
18. KIRSTEN DUNST FOR ELLE UK, SEPTEMBER as a lover of digital media, im always inspired by different elements that i’ve used myself while growing up. through my love of publication, i would often create collages from dated magazines, in an effort to not waste my inspiration. i would come to school with intricate clippings strategically placed on the front of my binder for all the kids at school to obsess over & eventually try to duplicate. the september issue of elle uk very much reminded me of that time in my life. the appearance of mixed media & the floral cut outs that appeared on this david slijper shot image were kept exclusive, as only elle’s subscriber’s received this cover. i’ve admired the work of kirsten dunst through her early years when she was interviewing with vampires to when she was bringing it on with gabrielle union while plotting virgin suicides- her work has greatly developed & i fully understand why a women of her stature would be given a cover. her beauty transcends through her talent as an actress & the text, “a life less ordinary”, somehow pulls you into to the fact that kirsten, in many ways, is a child prodigy & a legend in the film industry. i love the contrast of the soft, pale pinks to kirsten’s grey scaled headshot immensely. of the most creative of the covers in this bunch, shit like this stops my heart & inspires me to no end. elle uk has had a strong year through content though this was their best cover. editor-in-chief, lorraine candy is forever a gangster in my heart; cause gangster’s know how to handle their shit. kirsten’s dulled, dazed & darling stare attract us as the reader while the flowers float against dunst’s greyed out blonde poetically. the most artistic on the list, hands down.
17. NAOMI CAMPBELL FOR VOGUE JAPAN, JUNE with the words, ‘the age of beauty’ & ‘life force’ splashed across the inez + vinoodh shot cover of vogue japan’s june issue- only one name would ever come to my mind. that name is naomi cambell. as a continued force in fashion, as one of the last remaining iconic supermodels to still be working, naomi killed this cover with a slight smirk, beautiful dark hair that seemingly dripped down her beautiful, brown, flawless body. wearing spring 2011 gucci on the cover, naomi sadly did not shoot an accompanying editorial for the issue. styled by george cortina, make-up artist wendy rowe compliment campbell’s perfected face with soft nudes & a light lip, while manicurist deborah lippmann made sure the edges were right. now represented by marilyn management, naomi killed this cover so hard- i had taken the initiative to special order this issue. upon discovering that naomi’s feature was limited to the cover, i fell back- as strong a cover as naomi can serve; there should always be an accompanying editorial when she is cast. the one model that can, literally, make me scream like my brother does annoyingly during the superbowl is naomi. the baddest to ever do it in this fashion game- i had to put her on this list if i was gonna reference the best of anything in fashion & in 2011. her resumé & career longevity deserve a list all it’s own- naomi is & always will be the greatest.
16. LIYA KEBEDE FOR NUMÉRO CHINA, OCTOBER when ethiopian supermodel icon, liya kebede steps in front of the camera to shoot anything from a cover to a simple editorial cameo- you stop in your tracks. shot by tiziano magni, kebede appeared for the october 2011 cover this year for numéro china; glowing with an updo & golden bronzed, brown skin. styled by joseph carle, liya is photographed nude, being only slightly by a chic tweed chanel dress. what’s particularly beautiful about this cover is the contrast of liya’s own skin tone with the immaculate white that surrounds her- it’s almost as if the depth of her complexion is emphasized that much more greatly. white manicured nails & luxe bangles are also seen in the shot as beauty is sophisticatedly translated through kebede’s stance, soft gaze & strong presence. it’s as though liya comes alive in front of the camera & this cover is pure evidence of that. it’s not about a wild movement or ostentatious facial expression- it’s about poise, a refined pose & undeniable style. this cover lands at #14 on the list for the very reason that liya represents a face of beauty that needs to be seen on a higher level, a greater level, a much more emphasized level. she represents the opportunity for beauty to be exposed in fashion in another dimension. the words ‘role model’ were never more fitting as text on a cover as they are with liya in this shot. i look for a reaction when selecting covers to present to you & when i seen this cover this past year, i gasped in awe & amazement. it’s those reactions that remind you of what a cover is suppose to do- grab you.
15. RIHANNA FOR VOGUE, APRIL the year in music for women was massive, evidence of that larger than life female resurgence was evident on the cover of the top fashion & entertainment publications. of the top pop tier, rihanna sat comfortably with film roles, two top 5 albums active on billboard throughout this year & a string of #1 singles to boot. shot by annie lebovitz, rihanna graced the illustrious cover of american vogue with her hot, red head look which ushered in her ‘loud’ era. styled by tonne goodman, the cover takes on hair & make-up by oribe & stephane marais. the cover itself was one that drew a strong reaction when i first seen it. dropped in april, rihanna served up the goods, clad in red doing a back bend for the issues centerfold- a move that had me screaming in my seat. of the females in entertainment, rihanna is definitely one of the biggest, brightest & youngest stars in the game. appearing for the publication’s shape issue, rihanna is seen almost resembling disney’s ariel from the little mermaid, considering the oceanic backdrop & beautiful, sheer, flesh tone gown. from her legions of followers to her fun-loving, island girl image- rihanna made quite an impact on the vogue front by not only scoring this cover, but also another just two months later for british vogue; in which she appeared as a blonde clad in armani privé. whether it was her being named esquire’s sexiest woman alive or her million dollar profits made with her fragrance, rihanna is a huge star & her list of covers in 2011 emphasized that star power by 100. the red was such an intense move for rihanna’s image & she has become one of the biggest trendsetting stars in history. her vogue cover seals that fate, completely.
14. KATE MOSS FOR VOGUE JAPAN, MAY at the top of this year, maryna linchuk appeared for january the cover of vogue germany clad in a feathered gown, against a white backdrop- looking something like an angel. i loved the cover for it’s angelic poise & maryna remains one of my favorite females in the game. fast forward to four months later & the same feathered gown appears on this cover for vogue japan. shot by mert alas + marcus piggott, the iconic kate moss appeared for this cover which won over maryna’s. while i couldn’t have two covers of similar styling & a similar angle on the list, i did find it necessary to mention which cover came first. when judging a cover, i weigh victory upon who appears on the cover, the quality of lighting, styling & the surrounding elements like the color chosen for the mast head & the corresponding colors used for the other surrounding contrasting text. all of those elements considered allowed this cover to be placed on this years list at #14 instead of maryna linchuk’s vogue germany shot. another strong year for moss, she continues to dominate across the board in fashion. her consistent bookings on the runway, with advertising campaigns & her regular appearances on fashion’s most prestigious covers allow her star to remain atop other models in fashion. this year proved to be big for kate with her business endeavors, modeling career & personal life as she also got married this year. her wedding was the subject of american vogue’s september issue, as she also appeared on that cover clad in a purple gown by alexander mcqueen. of kate’s multiple covers this year, this is my favorite. styled by george cortina, with hair & make-up by paul hanlon & charlotte tilbury; the cover is soft, feminine & yes, angelic- all qualities a cover should be.
13. KARLIE KLOSS FOR VOGUE ITALIA, DECEMBER it has been said that you become a star through the lens of steven meisel. though not her first time being shot by meisel, american supermodel, karlie kloss left no room for error, even at the tail end of 2011. blazing her way this years top 20, kloss showed her ass by way of italian vogue & never has she appeared more powerful. wrapped in a gold ribbon, the words ‘extra strength’ accented kloss’ becoming a woman with such force that the image of the cover burned screens across the globe on just about every blog but this one. of the year, this cover was one of the most impressive- not because of the angle, or even the dress that was chosen- impressive in that karlie kloss clearly has transcended onto the next level; setting the tone for the year to come. walking the runway as a victoria’s secret angel this year, karlie continues to kill just about every female model in fashion, booking endless runway shows, serving campaigns for the biggest labels & still, she’s not even legal to drink. at the age of 19, karlie has already done what most supermodels would dream of doing in a lifetime. her cover represents her strong armed hold on fashion & her piercing gaze is enough to rattle a few newsstands in the process. all this & her accompanying editorial for the issue stretches the limitations with nudity, minimal styling & an ultra-lean physique absent of an ounce of fat. while the industry clamors for girls like karlie, she remains just as sweet as she’s always been, thus representing the all-american girl effortlessly. i love a girl who can serve on multiple levels in a range of personas & karlie is that bitch. styled by carlyne cerf de dudzeele, with hair & make-up by oribe & pat mcgrath- this cover is karlie transcending.
12. ABBEY LEE KERSHAW FOR NUMÉRO, MAY when i first started to take an active interest in fashion in 2007, i remember seeing abbey lee’s commercial for gucci’s flora fragrance. as the wind surged around her in the field of flowers, i couldn’t understand her appeal. the gapped teeth, her ghostly pale skin- it differed so intensely from my own perception & categorization of what beauty meant in my world. gradually, as i exposed more & more of myself to high fashion- learning that fashion is a fantasy, those thoughts morphed. shot by tom munro, abbey’s may cover for numéro stopped my high fashion heart. clad in lanvin, the elements of fantasy that are often built around abbey were present once more- the wind swept hair, the paled skin & the now platinum blonde hair were all captured beautifully. i love images that can capture movement, as if you can see the image moving, the garment shifting along with the models body. this cover represents much of the dark fantasy that i have become obsessed with in high fashion. styled by charles varenne, with hair & make-up by diego da silva & fulvia farolfi- abbey is a show stopper in this shot. another top model in the game of fashion- runways, campaigns & covers are nothing new to abbey on any level. athletic in some form, the image is incredibly captivating. in fact, so captivating that the accompanying editorial was not enough to compete. when cast for anything, abbey is likely to not only serve but to deliver & slay in the process.
11. MERT ALAS & MARCUS PIGGOTT FOR INDUSTRIE, SPRING responsible for a large percentage of fashion’s best campaigns & covers, a few that are even seen on this list, are the two men seen at #11. a self shot image for the summer/spring 2011 issue appeared as photography duo destroyers, mert alas & marcus piggott prepped their own close up for the industry driven publication, industrie. a unique magazine that allows those behind the scenes to get on the cover & in the spotlight; industrie is one of my absolute favorite publications on the market for it’s brilliant approach to interviews & their reshaping of how industry professionals should be acknowledged. with their matching anchor tattoos & their slightly hidden faces; this cover says so much to me. i love that these two are such a juggernaut force in fashion photography & still, they have no qualms about being silly & not taking things too seriously. printed larger than normal publications, the creators of industrie have chosen some of the top industry professionals for their covers but this cover is, hands down, their best yet. while it might be largely due to the fact that these two are expert photographers, i love the simplicity, playful nature & dark undertones of the shot. as one that has learned the art of self photography myself, the cover lends a certain skill level to the bunch & is probably one of the only self shot covers i’ve seen, in my life. for their contributions to high fashion & as a nod to the greatness that is industrie magazine, this cover is one of my favorites this year & likely of all time. though not models, mert + marcus contribute a huge aspect to high fashion, so huge it should not be ignored or go unlisted as this years best.
10. KRISTEN STEWART FOR W, SEPTEMBER cracking the top 10 this year, i find it completely necessary to remind you of how intensely i am against celebrities on the covers of fashion magazine. however, as we near our #1 magazine cover of 2011, there are a few images that really stopped my hi-res heart this year & regardless of which actress was photographed, amazing images are amazing images- it is what it is. additionally, i also want to express my obscene annoyance of the twilight film series, in honor of the #1o cover. shot by the same men coming in at #11, mert + marcus, a transformed kristen stewart appeared for the september cover of W magazine. styled, incredibly, by edward enninful, with sensational hair & make-up by luigi murenu & lucia pieroni, the american actress had also stunned me while gracing the cover of american vogue for their february issue. but when seeing this cover on the newstand, i gasped, “that’s kristen stewart?!” be that as it may, edward enninful is a style genius & fashion editor guru & it’s no surprise that he would have played a large part in this transformation of stewart. as an american actress, stewart has had a break out year, regardless of how deep my hatred for her film roles runs. while i don’t understand the interest in vampires & wolves fighting in forests, it seems as though bella, the role in which stewart plays in twilight, is seen as being a ‘breakout’ of the series & seemingly overnight, she’s become a star. when on the red carpet, dressed in some of the finest gowns; kristen often appears sloppy, rough & without poise. i remember seeing her at the oscars & while on stage presenting, she proceeded to scratch the back of her neck as though she had some kind of rash or allergic reaction. guess her acting skills proved their worth with this cover shoot because she looks stunning, sophisticated & dare i say, sexy. purely based on her transformation, with mindful mention of edward enninful’s extrememly beautiful work, this cover comes in at #10 as one of the best magazine covers of 2011. the eyes, that fucking hair- this. is. glamour.
9. MICHELLE WILLIAMS FOR INTERVIEW, MAY from her roles as marilyn monroe, to her role as the love struck victim of a bad romance- michelle williams has definitely made her mark in american cinema. also landing covers for elle uk, marie claire & the second of her career for american vogue this year; there has never been quite an image like the cover, shot by mikael jansson, for interview magazine’s may issue. styled by my all-time favorite stylist, karl templer, the cover is eternally cool as williams appears in iced tones that further emphasize her softly pink lip & deep blue yet green eyes. from the white masthead to the contrasting text that sits below her, everything about this cover is stunning to me. the fact that this is an actress on the cover & not a model aside, this image is striking & powerful through subtle elements. with set design by mary howard, michelle’s mug was cosmetically iced by mark carrasquillo while hair was forsted by anthony turner. it’s everything- the lighting, the fact that she is backed by fur, the slightly agape mouth, the pixie cut. it’s all done beautifully, incredibly chic & overall, classic. while michelle williams might not be the most glamourous of the hollywood sector, she is definitely a magazine cover favorite. her ability to transform in front of any lens, apparently, adds to her star power. though i would have loved to see a model given this same shot, i give proper credit to michelle & the team who worked to produce this cover. such a stunning piece of hollywood & high style. drifting further into the top 10 of 2011, this cover represents not what actresses are but what they can become with the right styling & photographer. fashion made this image.
8. ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY FOR ELLE UK, JULY there was a time when victoria’s secret models could do nothing but pose for catalogs & walk in the annual lingerie runway show which airs on ABC. those days are over. coming in at #8 in this year’s top 20, rosie huntington-whiteley appears through the lens of terry tsioilis for this british elle subscribers cover. of course, the minimalist in me prefers the subscribers covers; not just for their exclusive appeal but for their stripped nature. at times the text is so distracting that is takes away from the model cast for the cover. give me a good masthead, a bad bitch & superb styling- that makes a cover. channeling sex appeal as only a true VS angel could, the covers produced by british elle represent the fantasy that i believe fashion to be. the ghosted masthead with gradation fade out contrasts perfectly to the soft, seductive tones seen in the images back drop. fused beautifully against rosie’s bronzered skin tone, blonde hair & powdered pink, slightly undone blouse- the question is, really, what isn’t beautiful about this? again, playing up the role of simplicity, the signature that reads simply, ‘rosie’ sends me over the edge in what appears to be the birth of a new model icon. as a darling in the united kingdom, rosie is fast making a name for herself in the magazines & in the movies. while no other film roles have been announced aside from her stint in transformers; the fact that she only worked for one season with VS before landing a major movie role says a lot about her prowess as a female in the industry & her striking poise on this cover reminds you that she is here & here to stay.
7. NYASHA MATONHODZE FOR LOVE, FALL when katie grand created love magazine, i knew that it would be a spectacle for all to see. her approach to style is jaw dropping-ly glamourous & her eye is impeccable. much like the styling work she has given birth to over the years, grand is the brainchild behind love magazine & their amazing cover series. printed bi-annually, love magazine’s approach to covers is unlike any other. for the publication’s fall/winter 2011 cover series, mert + marcus shot 8 covers of 8 different models with a theme of discipline, obsession & desire. playing up my own obsession, my favorite cover in the set belonged to supermodel on the rise, nyasha matonhodze. the beauty from zimbabwe, by way of the united kingdom, has had quite a year- walking for some of the biggest fashion houses like versace, christian dior, balenciaga, yves saint laurent, givenchy & louis vuitton to name a few. slaying on the editorial circuit, nyasha has appeared for numéro, american vogue, W magazine & was even cast for donnatella’s versace pre-fall look book at the close of this year. this cover, showcases vulnerability with artificial tears, as both katie grand’s vision & nyasha’s already astounding career collide in this sickening visual. kept in good company with model icons mariacarla boscono, lara stone & kristen mcmenamy- nyasha held her own & her cover resonates depth through style darkness & not to mention how in love i still am with the givenchy cat eared patent leather cap. i’ve been obsessed with love’s masthead since this magazing debuted & each issue they raise the bar. as a nod to katie grand’s genius & a motion to mert & marcus for killing it, as well as acknowledgement of the star that nyasha will grow & glow into becoming in the next year, this cover lands in at #7 in this years top 20.
6. CANDICE SWANEPOEL FOR VOGUE ITALIA, FEBRUARY it was clear at the top of this year that victoria’s secret angels were no long to be kept that way, a secret. whether their agencies, or managers, conciously made the decesion to conquer the fashion markets or it was all just a coincidental twist of fate- candice swanepoel was one angel who had a great deal of shine this year. shot by steven meisel for the february issue of italian vogue, candice comes in at #6 for her bold & bright, ultra glam cover. taking me back to the 90’s era, which was definitely a reference point for many aspects of fashion this year; candice embodies that stunning presence of true supermodels & is my favorite VS angel of the new batch of girls. from swanepoel’s gaudy gold jewelry to the larger than life hair, steven meisel seems to have no limitations when creating a cover for italian vogue. the south african beauty was styled by carlyne cerf de dudzeele, with hair & make-up by oribe & pat mcgrath. as mentioned many other times before, when meisel shoots you- you’re a star & so was the case with candice this year. as the VS angel with the brightest star presence next to brazilian bombshells adriana lima & alessandra ambrosio, this cover marked a new beginning for swanepoel as she entered into the high end market. back in the day, VS angels were almost segregated from the high fashion market, as if they couldn’t mix commercial with high end & those days seem to be long gone. many of the VS angels, including candice continue to climb the fashion hierarchy posing a true threat to some of fashion’s most high end girls & overthrowing them, on the runway, on magazine covers- all while still floating on the runway for victoria secret’s fashion show, the most commercial show of all. considering her successful transition into the high end arena, with campaign bookings for both tom ford & a versace fragrance contract, candice is on another level, which is why her cover comes in at #6. high fashion girls watch your back- the angels have landed.
5. CANDICE HUFFINE, TARRA LYNN & ROBYN LAWLEY FOR VOGUE ITALIA, JUNE the year of 2011 proved to be larger than life & in more ways than one for modeling. plus sized models entered the game with a much more developed platform, in fact, one that is now larger than ever before. evidence of this breakthrough in acceptance was evident when steven meisel shot three full figured women for italian vogue’s june issue. as the last cover to be styled by edward enninful, before his departure to W magazine, randall peacock set the scene, creating a fine dining experience while the bold beauties posed in their undergarments. with hair & make-up by guido palau & pat mcgrath, the cover was quite the conversation piece & was seen all around the fashion blogosphere as a breakthrough for americans, candice huffine & tarra lynn of ford models; as well as for robyn lawley of wilhelmina, by way of australia. a third meisel shot cover for our list edging closer & closer to #1, this cover was placed at #5 for it’s ‘in your face’ approach to high end fashion photography. beyond any form of limitation or creative boundary, meisel is above it all, creating & testing the pre-established one frame at a time. one of italian vogue’s best covers & a beautiful opportunity for increased exposure for these girls, whom lead the plus sized pack. lacking no less of a sense of glamour or sophistication, i love to see who italian vogue selects for their covers each month, every year. an italian vogue cover makes you a star, from there a new foundation is set.
4. ALINE WEBER FOR NUMÉRO, NOVEMBER covers are the face of an issue, they represent a visual tone & set the blueprint for the rest of the issue to follow. when i seen aline weber’s november numéro cover, shot by camilla akrans, it was as if the world around me moved in slow motion. i have long been a fan of akrans’ work, as well as the work of aline; both represent a certain versatility that others don’t greatly possess. the soft edged lines of the image were done perfectly, heavenly- immaculately. the harsh black masthead proved to be just enough boldness against aline’s platinum blonde hair & stirring blue eyes. her pale skin tone drove the theme of subtlety even further & her bold lip pushed the look over the edge. the simple, white one shoulder top accented the look of ‘eden’, perfectly. the work of akrans is always soft, feminine & imperially chic- this cover stayed true to her aesthetic as franck benhamou styled with shay ashual & lloyd simmonds doing hair & make-up. the forbidden fruit theme lived on through the issue’s accompanying editorial & proved to be a perfect extension of what was seen on the cover. the biblical undertones of the cover projected a heavenly image while aline’s gaze is seductive & deep rooted in purity. while the image itself is angelic, it’s as if aline’s eyes are those of the same serpent that lured both adam & eve to the forbidden fruit in the garden of eden. laid up with serpents & sucking down ripe fruit in the issue’s feature, aline’s cover tells a story, which all editorial intends to do. the best covers enchant you to want to know more of the stories that follow them & this was one of 2011’s most beautiful.
3. AMANDA SEYFRIED FOR INTERVIEW, MARCH blazing in, unexpectedly at #3, photographer mikael jansson & super-stylist karl templer prove to be an untouchable force. with hair & make-up by anthony turner & mark carrasquillo, actress, amanda seyfried appeared beautifully for interview magazine’s march issue. a noted force in hollywood & on the publication front, seyfried is not a standout nor that large a star in my opinion but this cover bum rushed it’s way into my heart this year. the styling, the lighting & the creative elements of this cover sit atop the other covers in this list. i love the art element of the cover, you see that blue glow along amanda’s left side? so fuckn ill. the best covers for me are not those of my favorite celebrities or my favorite supermodels, but the ones that are so intensely beautiful that they challenge or change my perception of the individual pictured. true covers of actual value turn the invisible into the invincible. armed with a dangerous aesthetic that is superbly consistent, mikael jansson perfectly captured templer’s styling as that balanced with turner’s hair styling. im absolutely obsessed with the imperfect hair against the embroidered detailing of seyfried’s coat. i love covers that combine art with style & fashion with celebrity- of the publication industry, in fashion, there are probably only a dozen amazing ones. of the amazing percentage exists interview magazine, they continually raise the bar & for that reason, this cover sits comfortably in at #3. beautiful, in all aspects of photography & style.
2. KARLIE KLOSS & JOURDAN DUNN FOR i-D, SPRING when supermodel homegirl’s karlie kloss & jourdan dunn graced this shared cover of i-D through the lens of emma summerton, i described it as the realized dream of martin luther king jr. this cover represents so much for me, in my heart, for my love of fashion. fashion to me is about the bridging & contrasting of two worlds that would have been separate otherwise. two supermodels of epic proportions in their own rights, the power of these two on this cover, unclothed & hiding behind a prada striped hat- what is more powerful that that? i have never been an individual who believed in segregation, separation or division- as an individual of color, i’ve always looked to represent all dimensions of beauty; contrasting, discussing & highlighting things that may have not been noticed otherwise. i’ve made it a point to inclusively represent fashion from point A to point Z, hitting every letter in between. the most beautiful cover is that much more beautiful considering that these two are actual friends when the cameras stop flashing. in modeling, with women in general in today’s society, there is this need to compete. while im not entirely sure if this concept of competition was even birthed by women themselves rather a creation of men & their heightened expectations, i do find that it is completely necessary for women, not just even in fashion but in general, to support one another through positivity & encouragement. for me, this cover represents all of that. it represents an industry of progress, one that is working to represent more diversity. to even further represent more of the spectators watching & allowing that industry to grow & thrive.
1. ANNA WINTOUR FOR WSJ, SPRING ranking as this year’s number one cover, the testino shot image of anna wintour for wall street journal magazine reigns over all. without anna, a large gap would be left in high fashion, commercial advertising, high end marketing & editorial relevance. not one single aspect of fashion remains untouched by anna as she is referred to as fashion’s #1 power player. what’s particularly amazing about the shot is that it’s so iconic of anna herself. the signature bob & the blacked out chanel shades- the image says it all without having to actually say it. even the text that is latched onto the image is kept simple & low key, ‘the business of being anna’. it’s simple & direct, without having to overtly express that she is, well, the most powerful woman in fashion. dressed in prada, wintour appears perfectly, without a hair out of place. her look is a complete personification of her role in fashion- strict, without fail & respected among the elite. fashion publication would not be what it is today without anna wintour. her cover, unarguably, is not just the most striking but the most powerful- when the editor-in-chief of american vogue stands in front of the lens for a cover- worlds collide. the woman whom orchestrates covers, now becomes one. this year’s top cover prize belongs to anna, as do many other covers on this list. she is responsible for what covers, fashion & style journalism have become in this new, modern & rapidly evolving industry of image, style, celebrity & beauty. there is no greater cover than the one for the woman who creates them.
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my fascination with editorial