Fashion has always been an interest of mine. While I vaguely understood the fashion industry, I never delved into the logistics behind magazine covers or the fashion calendar. Balancing research and independent thought for this article was difficult. However, I pulled from many sources, both online and on social media, to compile evidence for this article. My goal was not just to describe the cover, but to show how the fashion magazine community makes decisions on their covers. It is not as simple as it seems.
Back to school commercials. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. The return of seasonal Starbucks drinks. Each evoke feelings of familiarity as autumn begins its annual reign on weather and fashion alike. Yet the September issue of magazines, such as Vogue, have earned a reputation for predicting fall fashion trends, making their covers especially important in the fashion and modeling community, said Jessica Schiffer of WhoWhatWear.
This year, the cover of Vogue’s September issue was awarded to social media dynamo and reality television star Kendall Jenner.
The September cover of Vogue — and every other magazine on the market — has become especially illustrious in the fashion and modeling worlds because of the time of year it is released. Schiffer said many readers associate the September issue with a fresh start.
“September signals the end of summertime leisure… with the school year beginning and work revving up again,” Schiffer said.
As the clothing market shifts from skin-baring summer styles to cozy pieces for cooler weather, fashion magazines capitalize on their readers’ desire for the season’s latest style tips. To garner the largest audience, a killer cover model is necessary for all publications so each magazine searches for the newest “It” girl to captivate their front page. The competitive nature of the September cover makes it an honor for models.
Yet, choosing the cover star is just the beginning of the planning process. Everything from the angle of the shot to what the star will wear is meticulously designed far in advance, Schiffer said. This year’s September issue of Vogue featured over 800 pages of fashion, according to Vogue magazine’s Instagram page @VogueMagazine.
While last year’s Vogue September cover starred music mogul Beyoncé, this year’s cover shifted its view to a praised pop culture model. As Instagram pictures and typed captions take over the fashion world and today’s culture, magazines such as Vogue lean towards high-profile social media models, like Jenner, to attract readers for their September issue.
So as the leaves begin to change and iced coffees are traded for pumpkin spice lattes, the search for next year’s latest and greatest model for the upcoming September covers begins because who’s on the cover could make — or break — the issue.