The Importance of Vogue's September Issue

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You may have heard of R.J. Cutler’s 2009 documentary, The September Issue, which introduced the world to Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor and chief’s enormous amount of work and time that goes into the edition. The intriguing film generated major buzz around the magazine, even comparing it to the “Bible” of fashion. So why the hype?

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The September Issue is the magazine world's equivalent of a new year. September marks the end of summer bringing a sense of change to the air as it is a time “of re-engaging with the outside world and the intellect, after the sanctioned mindlessness and insularity of summer.” As the leaves change, the mood shifts to reinvention and a fresh start whether it be in work, relationships, academics, politics, or fashion. It is then only fitting that the edition represent the start of a new fashion season featuring the big and exciting Fall/Winter fashion trends that will impact the whole year, offering MEGA inspiration to readers.

Being that the issue is the most influential of the year, brands pay big money for advertisement spots in the magazine to showcase their product and capitalize on reader’s willingness to spend their hard-earned money on the latest and greatest things! This makes choosing the right cover star crucial as it is what customer’s first see on store shelves, affecting their first impression of the overall issue, and drawing them to purchase or not.

They covers first began as illustrations in the 1920s.

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They then moved simply to models gracing the cover in the latest styles reflective of the time.

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In the ‘80s and ‘90s the cover star was typically a supermodel, such as icons Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, or Cindy Crawford.

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In the 2000s, this shifted to a trend in celebrities. Today, cover stars are chosen because they have a certain “clout” - they have something important to say, are selective with their chosen press, and are “having a moment.” All of the details are just as important - what type of shot and angle, location or studio shoot, and the clothes being worn.

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Vogue recently released this year’s cover star - Taylor Swift. With her 7th album set to debut on August 23rd, the star is having more than just a moment. Over the past several years she has continually used her platform to speak out and give back. Read her article on Sexism, Scrutiny, and Standing Up for Herself here.

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Another noteworthy issue this year? British Vogue’s September Issue was guest-edited by none other than the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Rather than being featured on the cover herself, she chose to showcase 15 different woman who are leaders in their communities and working towards a greater good.

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So while to many, fashion may seem trivial or an elite, exclusive industry - Vogue’s September Issue is proving it to be anything but. Rather, it is working to give people, particularly women, a voice in a world where it can be hard to have one, all while showcasing the beautiful art of fashion and how it surprisingly, brings people together.


Ryleigh Taylor/Writer