We started off August 2018 on an undeniable high as we received word of two history-making events: Beyoncé would appear on Vogue’s September Fall Fashion issue photographed by its first-ever black cover photographer, Tyler Mitchell, while Rihanna would cover her first September issue of Vogue’s British sister, styled by its first black editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful.
To top that off, at least nine other international outlets (and counting) chose black women as the cover models for their most lucrative issues of the year, making Fall 2018 truly one for the record books in terms of representation.
But as two new Vogue September issues dropped this week, we found our attention drawn back to the world’s best-known fashion magazine franchise, as they devoted yet another two covers of their most popular international editions to showcase black women.
Vogue Arabia, which has been a runaway success since it debuted in October 2016, has been a welcome showcase for women of color—and has proven to feature several within its almost two-year history, with Rihanna, Iman, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Halima Aden all making appearances. However, the honor of being the first black woman to grace the coveted September issue now belongs to Nicki Minaj—also celebrating her first Vogue cover—who is featured in two stunning black-and-white versions of the magazine, where she is called “fashion’s latest muse.”
Indeed, one of fashion’s most enduring muses tops one of three Vogue Paris covers in September. Rightfully called one of “fashion’s legends” (in French) Naomi Campbell returns to the cover 30 years after her first appearance, cementing her status as not only one of the best to ever do it—but still a force to be reckoned with.
But if Campbell is still one of the baddest in the game, she also recognizes her status as a pioneer who helped make this fall’s equal opportunity fashion moment possible.
“I could not be more proud of all the diversity on the September covers,” she writes in an Instagram caption. “It makes it all seem worth it.”
And Vogue’s showcasing of black female beauty and talent hasn’t stopped at the covers of their September issues; inside the pages of American Vogue alone, black women continue to shine as celebrities and supermodels alike are featured in stunning pictorials. Take a look ...
More importantly, take stock of what this moment means for long-demanded representation in the fashion industry. It is neither incidental nor accidental that our stock has suddenly risen, or that so many of the world’s top magazines have conspired to support it. And as The Glow Up has previously pointed out, the only way to guarantee this type of parity moving forward is to reinvest in the moment, because this is not a drill.
I repeat: This is not a drill.