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Making a statement: Transformation of the British Vogue

By August 11, 2020 No Comments

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A l i n a  S t e b l o v s k a y a

Making a statement: Transformation of the British Vogue

The future of fashion magazines is an ongoing debate between the old and the new. The old is reluctant to change and tries to hold on to what it is used to. The new is whispering: “We cannot continue like this. The world is changing, we ought to as well”. The customers are voting with their cash – and it comes as no surprise that the sales of the traditional printed magazines are dropping. The readers prefer to get their information instantly via online platforms and influencers who are often much more relatable than the unattainable editors of Vogue. In fact, this has been slowly happening for the past decade, and by no means is related to the pandemic.

Amongst this overall downward spiral, the British Vogue has become one of the first giants that started looking into different direction. It all started back in 2017 when Edward Enninful was appointed a new editor-in-chief replacing Alexandra Shulman. This became truly a steppingstone to a new era of a magazine with a 100-year history. A magazine that was traditionally seen as a publication for upper-class white women was now headed by a gay man of Ghanaian decent.

Ever since Edward Enninful has taken his position, he committed to drive change making the British Vogue a more inclusive and diverse edition. This touched upon not only the diversity of the team, but also the diversity of the topics covered in every issue. In the past three years, the magazine featured non-white women on more than a half of its covers as well as the first openly transgender model.

This is why it comes as no surprise that September issue 2019 was named “Forces of Change” co-edited by Meghan Markle. That issue featured a variety of public figures from political activists to artists influencing the global agenda and driving a much needed change. The sales of the September issue 2019 went through the roof demonstrating that the British Vogue can appeal to a wider audience. That was a turning point that has shown that even some giants can change and adapt to the new reality.

It only makes sense that the course on diversity and activism continued in 2020, with the global pandemic, climate change, continuous political tensions across the world, and the BLM movement. Even though no one would have imagined having a healthcare worker instead of a model on the cover of a fashion magazine, yet again the British Vogue has become the publication that did that without hesitation. We are now expecting another September issue, this time dedicated to BLM and named “Activism Now” with Marcus Rashford & Adwoa Aboah on the cover. And who knows what is next?