Eight American models have featured on the September issue of Vogue, representing a “new generation in fashion”. Apart from Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and Madonna’s daughter Lola Leon, the cover also features trans and plus-size models.
As a statement on diversity, the cover features plus-size models Yumi Nu and Precious Lee, trans model Ariel Nicholson, South Sudanese-American model Anok Yai, and Chinese-American model Sherry Shi.
The new issue aims to celebrate models and designers who challenge “definitions of beauty” leading to an “industry-wide reckoning” over beauty standards.
“What stands out about the women on this cover is that they’re not reducible to kind; each is a unique superstar with her own story to tell, of which her beauty is merely a part,” the cover story reads.
Earlier, Vogue editor Anna Wintour was accused of encouraging a racist work environment. Amid the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests last year, she reportedly sent out an e-mail to her fellow employees to apologise. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes,” the document read.
Talking about the latest cover, Ariel was quoted as saying by the magazine, “Obviously it’s a big deal being the first trans woman on the cover of Vogue but it’s also hard to say exactly what kind of big deal it is when the effects are so intangible. There are limits to what ‘representation’ can do.”
“I cherish the platform I’ve been given, and it makes me happy-like, so happy to know there are larger Asian-American girls who can look at me and see themselves…Labels can be limiting. In an ideal world, maybe we wouldn’t have them,” Yumi said.