I am not a fashion maven. I like to dress nice and try new trends, but I am not one of those free spirits who can shave the side of her head and wear a midriff top with harem pants and platform pumps on the daily.
That being said, I do obsess over the Vogue September issue. How can you not? It’s a tome of wearable art, opulence, fantasy, and indulgence. It’s also a 100-plus-year institution— an impressive feat in the dark days of print publication. This year, the magazine is throwing it back with models on the cover. It’s the first time in a decade since models have been on the September issue of the American edition.
You may ask “Who cares?” or say “I don’t wanna see those skinny bitches.” Valid points. I can in no way relate to the life of a supermodel, and yes, they are too skinny. But here’s where these lovely ladies could be a sign of good fortune for the magazine industry, or at the very least the fashion magazine industry.
In the documentary The September Issue, creative director Grace Coddington explains that few models are on the cover of Vogue these days because celebrities sell better. As a former model herself, Coddington laments the trend but understands the necessity. [BTW: Coddington is the best part of the entire doc. Watch it for her creative force and Anna Wintour’s hell-freezing stare.]
Since 2004 the magazine industry has had some rough years, and it is hardly out of the woods. It may have no correlation— perhaps they like putting a string of models on the cover every time the year ends in 4— but maybe it is a harbinger of stability and sustainability for the glossies.
At the very least, I know Grace Coddington must have been pleased.