Fashion&Beauty

Beyonce's upcoming Vogue cover: another moment of #BlackGirlMagic

Beyonce. File Photo.
Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Beyonce has been on more magazine covers than we can count, but her upcoming appearance on the cover of American Vogue’s September issue is remarkably different.

She has been given full editorial control.

According to the Huffington Post, the publication is contractually obligated to give Queen B complete control not only over the cover shoot itself, but of the photos and captions that’ll appear on the accompanying article inside the issue as well.

Usually magazine cover stars are given little to no say when it comes to such things. And, the fact that Beyonce’s been given free reign with the cover of the September issue in particular shows the extent of her star power.

Not only is Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour notoriously precious about her magazine but, as shown in the 2009 documentaryThe September Issue, this is traditionally the publications’ biggest and most influential edition of the year.

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Beyonce is known for championing other black creatives and she did just that with her choice of photographer. Tyler Mitchell (23), who has worked with designer brands like Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, will be the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year history.

This is a win for Bey and for black empowerment, but not for US Vogue. Being a big player in the media industry it’s disappointing to know that, in over a century, they’ve never hired a black photographer for a cover shoot before. And that, if it wasn't for Beyonce, perhaps they still wouldn't have.

That it's finally happening is an important fashion milestone. 

“I think it will make an impact. Someone is breaking a barrier,” says visual artist Jamal Nxedlana of Joburg collective The Bubblegum Club, whose work will be shown alongside Mitchell’s in an upcoming group photography exhibit in New York.

He adds: “TimesLIVE in South Africa is doing a story on it, so this is big … Beyonce made it happen. If you look at South Africa, we do have our own issues that need to be spoken about: how many covers of major magazines have been reflected by black creatives? That needs to change.”

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