Vogue surprises with coronavirus issue that may inspire you to appreciate a new stillness of life

Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, is taking time to smell the flowers during these uncertain times. Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, is taking time to smell the flowers during these uncertain times. Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

The world’s fashion bible, Vogue, is launching a special June/July issue linked to the coronavirus. The special Vogue U.S. June/July issue with the cover line “Our Common Thread” will drop on 23 May, boasting the magazine’s first still-life photograph cover in over 50 years – an unpublished image of a rose taken in 1970 by Irving Penn.  

READ MORE: The velvet curtain falls: People, Rooi Rose, Bona and more editors on the end of SA's iconic magazines

Hypebeast reports that the upcoming issue was produced remotely as this is now the modus operandi for print publications, and "features many images and anecdotes submitted by frequent collaborators and previous cover stars including Florence Pugh, Marc Jacobs and Kim Kardashian West, whose work comes together in the series Postcards From Home.”

Additionally, "there is also a selection of photographs shot by Ethan James Green, which captures frontline healthcare workers in New York."

In her editor's letter, Anna Wintour explains the special issue, saying “Like you, no doubt, I’ve been left reeling by the dramatic changes we’ve experienced in the space of a few short weeks and the constant emotional challenges of striving to look after our families, friends, colleagues – and ourselves”. 

“The crisis is global in scale, and none of us have been left untouched. We’ve all witnessed terrible scenes and felt acutely how the coronavirus has affected our lives, and we are incredibly grateful for those who have selflessly stepped forward to keep our communities safe. 

READ MORE: Dame Judi Dench making history as the oldest British Vogue cover star at 85 is great news. But why?

“As I write this, it has been just over a month since we returned from the fall 2020 collections in Europe, though the shadow of the coronavirus had already started to fall on us even then, as we watched in horror while the situation in Italy began to unfold. 

“We barely had a week back in the office before making the move to working remotely, changing everything – including our June/July issue, which was created as the worlds of fashion, theater, movies, and art were on lockdown. 

“For this special issue, we asked a number of our friends and collaborators – including designers, actors, artists, photographers, and models – to create self-rendered images that reflected the new realities of their lives," she writes.  

READ MORE: Rihanna makes history as she fronts the May issue of British Vogue in a durag

Unexplored territory

Anna Wintour goes on to write that “with this June/July Vogue we are in unexplored territory – commissioning, designing, and producing everything remotely”. 

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Vogue staff, I hope that we have created a document of this moment for the years to come: a poignant reminder of how we were all acutely missing the miracles of everyday life and the joy that they can bring.” 

"I don’t think I am alone in wishing for a little bit of hope right now – though one of the few positives of our current time is that one can find it if one goes looking for it. I’m thinking, for instance, of how quickly people have come together to help,” she adds.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, other Vogue editions have published blank covers, cover stars in masks, and even a CGI cover. 

View this post on Instagram

This is not (only) a fashion magazine, by @ChiaraNonino. When asked what she thought the role of a magazine like Vogue should be, Audrey Withers, the editor in chief of Vogue UK during WW2, responded with a memo that was almost a manifesto, saying more or less this: Vogue could never again be merely a fashion magazine. It has a moral duty to cover everything that happens and that impacts the lives of the women to whom it is addressed. Fashion, of course, will always remain in the foreground, but the magazine must be openly progressive and socially committed. For one simple reason: saying nothing is nevertheless a political gesture, one that is tantamount to accepting the status quo. And this is certainly not Vogue. The pages of Vogue Italia you are leafing through today are the result of a very long history and many battles. If fashion reflects its own time, the same goes for the magazines that recount it. A simple principle that is the foundation of our magazine: from Meisel's editorials to this issue, cobbled together in little more than a week while in Italy and around the world rages a pandemic that will probably upend many of the assumptions we took for granted, forever changing our way of life and therefore the way we talk about and consume fashion. Magazines are about the immediate, the here and now. For Audrey Withers that meant being able to talk as much about beauty as war and devastation, with the same credibility. As Beaton wrote, describing a London that resisted constant bombardment with yet another English invention, the Blitz Spirit: “To spite Hitler and in spite of him, the garden catalogues arrive, and we order not only the beans and the potatoes and the spinach and the cabbages and beehives that thrive so well in London gardens, but the fibre and the bulbs of hyacinths that will enliven the darkest day at home.” Of course, those hyacinths were not essential for survival. Then again, maybe they were. Read the full text in our April Issue and via link in bio. #FarAwaySoClose

A post shared by Vogue Italia (@vogueitalia) on

View this post on Instagram

Uma imagem não vale só mais que mil palavras. Vale também enquanto documento histórico. E a liberdade de 2020 vai ser reconhecível assim: confinada. Seja por quatro paredes, seja por uma máscara, sempre com uma luz que espreita pela janela de um futuro que virá melhor, e mais livre. E vai ser reconhecível hoje ou daqui a dez anos. A Vogue Portugal “Freedom on Hold” chega às bancas a 02 de abril, juntamente com o download gratuito do pdf - porque estamos juntos nisto. Mas para não perder uma edição tão especial e que ficará para a história, pode assegurar a sua cópia já em Vogue.pt/shop. #freedomonhold Capa 01 de 02. — An image isn’t just worth more than a thousand words. It’s worth as a historical document as well. And 2020’s freedom will be recognizable like this: in confinement. Be it within four walls, be it separated by a mask, always with a ray of light peeking from the window of a brighter and better future - with more freedom. And it’ll be recognizable today and in ten years time. Vogue Portugal is out on stands on April 2nd, along with the free download of our pdf - we’re still in this together. But to make sure you don’t lose such a special issue, one that will be forever part of History, make sure you grab your copy now at Vogue.pt/shop [link in bio]. #freedomonhold Cover 01 of 02. #vogueportugal #editorinchief @Sofia.slucas #coverartdirection @jsantanagq #photography @branislavsimoncik #models @bibibaltovic @adambardy #mask @lukaskimlicka #freedom #liberdade #april #freedomissue @lighthouse.publishing

A post shared by Vogue Portugal (@vogueportugal) on

View this post on Instagram

Uma imagem não vale só mais que mil palavras. Vale também enquanto documento histórico. E a liberdade de 2020 vai ser reconhecível assim: confinada. Seja por quatro paredes, seja por uma máscara, sempre com uma luz que espreita pela janela de um futuro que virá melhor, e mais livre. E vai ser reconhecível hoje ou daqui a dez anos. A Vogue Portugal “Freedom on Hold” chega às bancas a 02 de abril, juntamente com o download gratuito do pdf - porque estamos juntos nisto. Mas para não perder uma edição tão especial e que ficará para a história, pode assegurar a sua cópia já em Vogue.pt/shop. #freedomonhold Capa 02 de 02. — An image isn’t just worth more than a thousand words. It’s worth as a historical document as well. And 2020’s freedom will be recognizable like this: in confinement. Be it within four walls, be it separated by a mask, always with a ray of light peeking from the window of a brighter and better future - with more freedom. And it’ll be recognizable today and in ten years time. Vogue Portugal is out on stands on April 2nd, along with the free download of our pdf - we’re still in this together. But to make sure you don’t lose such a special issue, one that will be forever part of History, make sure you grab your copy now at Vogue.pt/shop [link in bio]. #freedomonhold Cover 02 of 02. #vogueportugal #editorinchief @Sofia.slucas #coverartdirection @jsantanagq #photography @renee_parkhurst #styling @olgayanul #model @_lilystewart_ #freedom #coronavirus #covid19 #liberdade #april #freedomissue #voguevalues @lighthouse.publishing

A post shared by Vogue Portugal (@vogueportugal) on

Follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaway.

Voting Booth
What part of your lifestyle are you most conscious about when it comes to sustainability and ethical consumption?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Clothing and accessories
16% - 20 votes
Skincare products and makeup
15% - 19 votes
Food and home
70% - 90 votes
Vote