Diversity Report: Fashion Magazine Covers 2017

Allure April 2017: Dilone, Imaan Hammam & Aamito Lagum by Patrick Demarchelier; IMAGE: COURTESY OF ALLURE

It was one of the best of occasions, it was the worst of occasions. This yr was a tumultuous one for vogue media firms, however an encouraging one when it got here to variety within the business (which, in fact, consists of race, dimension, age, gender id and all combos of the above). While we bade goodbye to Teen Vogue and Nylon’s diversity-championing print editions and skim boundary-pusher Bullett’s brutally sincere eulogy, we rejoiced on the sight of more and more multiethnic runways and print adverts (each of which, for the primary time, included over 30 p.c fashions of colour).

Sure, the business is altering — notably its media division — however the “trend” towards variety has not stalled. Mostly as a result of, very similar to the shifts within the vogue media world, variety shouldn’t be a pattern, it’s a actuality — and this yr’s journal cowl stats additional illustrate this truth.


UK Vogue December 2017 : Adwoa Aboah by Steven Meisel


After reviewing 782 cowl appearances throughout 49 high worldwide vogue publications, we discovered that 32.5 p.c featured folks of colour, a notable enchancment over earlier years (and a three.5 level enhance from 2016). That stated, 2017’s slight carry in cowl star variety was not fairly as dramatic as that of previous years. (For context, between 2015 and 2016, racial variety rose by 6.2 factors; between 2014 and 2015, 5.four factors.)

Nevertheless, 32.5 p.c is a landmark determine: 2017 was the primary yr during which the runways, advert campaigns and main worldwide vogue journal covers all handed the 30 p.c racial variety marker.

Vogue Arabia, Vogue Taiwan, Vogue India, i-D, Paper, Allure and Dazed featured probably the most racial variety — Vogue Taiwan, Vogue India and Paper for (not less than) the third yr working. Vogue Arabia got here out on high with 12 out of 12 nonwhite cowl stars (two of them over the age of 50). Vogue Taiwan practically matched Arabia’s rating with 12 out of 13 fashions of colour — that’s 92.three p.c. Nineteen of Vogue India’s 21 cowl stars — or 90.5 p.c — had been folks of colour (once more, two of them over 50). I-D forged 5 out of seven — or 71.four p.c — nonwhite cowl fashions and Paper featured 6 nonwhite ladies on its cowl, for a rating of 66.7 p.c. Allure forged eight out of 14 ladies of colour — Zendaya, Alicia Keys, Zoë Kravitz, Halima Aden and Kerry Washington fronted the sweetness magazine solo, whereas Dilone, Imaan Hammam and Aamito Lagum shared a canopy — for a rating of 57.1 p.c.

Chart: Percentage of nonwhite cover models on top international fashion magazines, 2014 through 2017

Percentage of nonwhite cowl fashions on high worldwide vogue magazines, 2014 by way of 2017; Images: Getty

Several magazines that featured no fashions of colour in 2016 embraced variety this yr, some extra stridently than others. LOVE lastly obtained with this system, that includes 7 out of 19 fashions of colour, a marked enchancment over the previous three years the place no nonwhite fashions appeared on the quilt. After a 14-year stretch with solely 6 nonwhite solo cowl stars, British Vogue featured 6 ladies of colour, together with Adwoa Aboah on Edward Enninful’s mic-drop of a December cowl. (We’ve little question that 2018, Enninful’s first full yr as editor-in-chief, will see much more pronounced progress on the British shiny.) Oh, and Vogue Germany lastly employed one nonwhite mannequin.

Still, many continued to lag behind (particularly chez Condé Nast). Of the 253 nonwhite cowl stars booked, none appeared on L’Officiel or Marie Claire U.Okay. Both publications restricted their covers to white, cisgender, straight-size fashions. Vogue Australia, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Ukraine and Vogue Paris every employed one mannequin of colour, though the latter redeemed itself — barely — with a March cowl that includes transgender mannequin Valentina Sampaio. In addition, solely two of Vogue Italia’s whopping 22 cowl stars had been nonwhite — Bella Hadid and Joan Smalls.

On the intense aspect, Vogue‘s storied U.S. version featured eight out of 18 ladies of colour — or 44.four p.c — in addition to one plus-size mannequin (Ashley Graham) and one over-50 superstar (Meryl Streep).


Vogue March 2017 cover

Image: Inez and Vinoodh, courtesy of Vogue

While the Spring 2018 season noticed a report 93 plus-size fashions stroll the runways (90 of them in New York), you wouldn’t guess it by trying on the newsstands. In 2017, just one p.c of the celebrities and fashions on journal covers had been a dimension 12 or over. In different phrases, eight covers. Sure, it’s an enchancment over final yr’s zero.9 p.c — or 6 out of 679 covers — however hardly.

Moreover, 5 of these eight appearances belonged to Ashley Graham. (Lest the runway stats deceive you, tokenism is alive and effectively.) In addition to touchdown her first solo Vogue cowl for the shiny’s British version — for which a handful of unnamed designers refused to decorate her, we would add — Graham coated Harper’s Bazaar U.Okay., ELLE U.Okay., Glamour and the March subject of American Vogue. Note that not all of her appearances had been solo: on American Vogue, Graham posed alongside Adwoa Aboah, Liu Wen, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, and for ELLE U.Okay., she starred on one in all 4 November covers (one other of which went to rock star/Marc Jacobs muse/body-positive vogue icon Beth Ditto).

UK Elle November 2017 : The Wonder Woman Issue

Ashley Graham covers the November 2017 subject of ELLE U.Okay.; IMAGE: ELLEUK.COM

After 16 years within the business, Candice Huffine lastly landed her first American cowl: ELLE‘s May 2017 subject, starring on one in all six covers launched for the difficulty. “There was no home for me in the beginning [when I was] signed as a plus model,” she shared within the accompanying interview. “Magazines were not diverse then or open to varying sizes and over the course of a decade-plus, the change is real because we can hold it in our hands. We can open a magazine and see a body like mine or Ashley Graham’s or see just a wide variety of women. And I think that is the biggest telltale sign of the change and is the most rewarding feeling. I know that I made a mark in that. And I just know that the best is even still yet to come.”

Like Huffine, we sit up for seeing better change. Body variety, although higher represented on worldwide newsstands than in years previous, clearly stays an enormous downside for the style business.


US InStyle July 2017 : Nicole Kidman by Will Davidson

InFashion July 2017 cowl starring Nicole Kidman; IMAGE: COURTESY OF INSTYLE

In 2016, 34 of the 679 covers we reviewed featured ladies of their 50s, 60s and upward. This yr, 39 of 782 — or 5 p.c — did. Technically, that’s neither a loss nor a acquire, however the extra age-diverse covers staring again at us from newsstands, the higher, we are saying.

Helping the previous two years’ stats keep neck and neck was Nicole Kidman, who turned 50 final June. The Big Little Lies star coated six main publications this yr, together with ELLE, Glamour, InFashion, Vogue Australia, W and LOVE.

Other notable over-50 appearances included the late, nice Carrie Fisher’s Vanity Fair tribute, Meryl Streep on Vogue, Hillary Clinton on Teen Vogue, Dame Helen Mirren on Allure, Kathleen Kennedy on ELLE U.S., Madonna on Harper’s Bazaar U.S., Vogue Germany and Vogue Italia, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore and Julia Roberts on InFashion (in January, October and December, respectively), Björk on Dazed, Debbie Harry on Wonderland, Cindy Crawford on Vogue Australia and Lauren Hutton on Vogue Italia.

Helen Mirren covers Allure's September 2017 issue

Helen Mirren covers Allure’s September 2017 subject; IMAGE: COURTESY OF ALLURE

Looking at age and racial variety concurrently, solely eight of the covers we reviewed starred nonwhite ladies over 50. (None of them stand-alone covers. While some did pose solo, it was for points with a number of cowl choices.)

Like Kennedy, Cicely Tyson fronted one in all ELLE U.S.’s eight “Women in Hollywood” covers. Iman Abdulmajid coated LOVE’s 18th subject — the identical multi-cover subject that spotlit Kidman, Blake Lively and the Muppets, amongst others. Former Bond woman Michelle Yeoh and Dolce & Gabbana runway vet Marjorie Harvey posed for Vogue Japan’s 67-strong August cowl photograph (which accounted for 4 of the 37 over-50 mannequin castings). Elsewhere, Hindi movie actress Jaya Bachchan fronted Vogue India’s August subject, posing along with her equally gifted daughter and granddaughter.

While it appears the pattern of magazines grouping their older cowl stars with youthful faces is holding sturdy (particularly the place nonwhite fashions are involved) and we’ve but to see a plus-size mannequin over 50 grace a significant cowl (not less than prior to now two years), we’re optimistic that the variety of age-diverse covers will proceed to develop. After all, older readers are likely to have more cash and shopping for energy, enduring Hollywood favorites like Kidman are reaching the 50-year mark/reigniting their careers by switching to TV and (slowly however certainly) society is transferring towards a extra inclusive thought of magnificence.

(Note: Barbra Streisand’s December 2016/January 2017 W cowl factored into our 2016 information, due to this fact we didn’t recount it.)


Vogue Paris March 2017 : Valentina Sampaio by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Vogue Paris March 2017: Valentina Sampaio by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott; IMAGE: VOGUE.FR

Transgender and non-binary inclusion likewise stalled. Of the covers we examined, solely 5 featured a transgender/non-binary mannequin, a quantity that’s on par with 2016.

Gender non-binary actor, activist, illustrator, singer and hair and magnificence icon Amandla Stenberg landed two main covers. In February, Stenberg confirmed off their then-new buzz lower on the quilt of Dazed. In August, they posed solo for Teen Vogue “Volume III,” a three-cover subject starring Stenberg, Kaia Gerber and Millie Bobby Brown.

As far as transgender visibility goes, Kendall Jenner photographed Hari Nef (who landed 4 of 2016’s 5 transgender cowl bookings) for the quilt of LOVE‘s 17th subject. The Transparent actress and face of Gucci Bloom shared the distinction with Gerber and a handful of recent, social media-sourced faces.

Amandla Stenberg for Dazed.

Amandla Stenberg for Dazed; Image: Ben Toms/Dazed

The two remaining covers went to Brazilian mannequin Valentina Sampaio, who posed for Vogues Paris and Brazil (she additionally coated the July subject of ELLE Brazil, a publication not included on this report). The former made headlines by placing Sampaio on the quilt of its pivotal March subject. It was the primary time the journal — or any Vogue version — had ever employed a transgender cowl star.

“This cover is about the importance of [human] rights, and that we still need to make progress on an awful lot of stuff,” Vogue Paris Editor-in-Chief Emmanuelle Alt advised American Vogue. (Truer phrases.) Nine months later, Vogue Brazil seconded that movement, giving the mannequin not one, however two December covers.

There you could have it. On the one hand, 2017 witnessed two groundbreaking moments for transgender inclusion and on the opposite, trans/non-binary fashions remained the least represented group.


Top cover models, 2017 graphic

Here’s an encouraging statistic: 6 of 2017’s 10 most-booked cowl stars had been ladies of colour. American-Dutch-Palestinian mannequin Bella Hadid racked up probably the most covers of the yr — 12, together with CR Fashion Book, ELLE U.S., InFashion, Porter, Teen Vogue and several other worldwide Vogue editions (Australia, Brazil, Spain, Arabia, Italia, China).

In second place, with 11 covers every, had been Bella’s elder sister Gigi Hadid and Dutch-Egyptian-Moroccan mannequin Imaan Hammam. The former fronted American Vogue (twice), CR Fashion Book, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar U.S. and, once more, a handful of worldwide Vogues (China, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Arabia). Hammam graced the covers of American Vogue, Vogue U.Okay., Allure, Porter (twice), Vogue China, Vogue Spain, Vogue Japan (twice), Vogue Netherlands and Vogue Arabia.

Next got here Anna Ewers, Irina Shayk and Lara Stone, with eight covers every, adopted by Vittoria Ceretti, British-Ghanaian mannequin Adwoa Aboah, Argentinian stunner Mica Argañaraz and Barbadian magnificence (magnate) Rihanna, who walked away with seven covers apiece. Per custom, no transgender, plus-size or over-50 fashions made the highest 10 record.


While it’s clear mainstream titles are starting to suppose extra independently, this yr’s variety good points had been marginal at finest. Racial variety on journal covers didn’t sure ahead, as was the pattern, till lately. Welcome, surprising cowl decisions like Ashley Graham on Vogue U.Okay. and Valentina Sampaio on Vogue Paris did little to distract from the final shortage of plus-size and transgender/gender non-binary cowl stars. A handful of white ladies over 50 got their due, their nonwhite friends got shared or multi-cover points.

That stated, we are able to’t argue with year-over-year progress, even whether it is maddeningly gradual. At least once we take a step again and have a look at the business as a complete, we are able to see the assorted cogs working collectively.

With extra reporting by Mark E.

For the aim of this report, “model” is anybody who seems on a canopy, even when modeling shouldn’t be their career. Models of colour are categorized as those that are nonwhite or of blended backgrounds.

Note: In stories from years previous, Bella and Gigi Hadid, who’re of Dutch and Palestinian descent, had been categorized as white. For 2017 and going ahead, the Hadids can be categorized as nonwhite to extra precisely replicate their mixed-race heritage.

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