Fashion is a mirror reflecting the culture – Bill Cunningham
Vogue Italia’s pure white April 2020 cover stares blank at the coronavirus pandemic
In a publication history spanning over a 100 plus years, Vogue magazine has come through crises, terrorism, and wars like WWI, WW II and more.
But Vogue never failed to make a statement of how imperative clothing and fashion are for our culture. In 2020, when the world has neither seen nor responded to a pandemic like Coronavirus, Vogue made a statement again.
For the first time in the history of its own publication and in recorded fashion – Vogue Italia printed a blank white cover. April 2020 issue no 836 of the magazine has nothing on it.
Vogue Italia editor, Emanuele Farneti wrote in his Editor’s Letter, “ In its long history stretching back over a hundred years, Vogue has come through wars, crises, acts of terrorism. Its noblest tradition is never to look the other way.”
The April 2020 Cover
Known for its shocking and provocative imagery, Vogue magazine’s photographs go beyond regular fashion. They transcend into art and give genesis to new ideas. It mirrors our culture and aspirations at the same time.
The white cover speaks volume! Even the regular black fonts used for the title Vogue has turned white this time.
Two weeks ago the magazine editorial was about to print L’Uomo Vogue in a twin project. But given the state of the world, the editors shelved the project and started from scratch. Farneti explained, “to speak of anything else – while people are dying, doctors and nurses are risking their lives and the world is changing forever – is not the DNA of Vogue Italia.”
Inside the #FarAwaySoClose Edition
Inside the issue, 40 artists came together to put up a fashion feature shot at home including pictures of themselves, their families and friends online. High-profile fashion personalities such as Bella and Gigi Hadid, Collier Schorr, Glen Luchford, Petra Collins, Paolo Roversi, Steven Klein, David Sims, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Joe McKenna are to name a few.
Major Fashion designers produced sketches for the editorial like Maria Grazia Chiuri, Miuccia Prada, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, Jeremy Scott among others sent in their own thematic interpretations.
The decision to publish a white cover came in as the colour stands for many things. After the crisis of 1929, White was adopted for clothes as an expression of purity in the present, and of hope in the future.
It’s pure, its respect, it’s ‘the colour of the uniforms worn by those who put their own lives on the line to save ours,’ the editorial note said.
It symbolizes rebirth, light after darkness, the sum of all colours. While also representing space and time to think, as well as to stay silent.
Noting contribution of various artists, designers who contributed to the edition while at home the magazine notes, “White is for those who are filling this empty time and space with ideas, thoughts, stories, lines of verse, music and care for others.”
And according to editor Fernati,
“Above all: white is not surrender, but a blank sheet waiting to be written, the title page of a new story that is about to begin.”
History will surely remember, Vogue Italia’s White Cover That Shot Coronavirus Point Blank!