Behind Vogue’s September Issues That Will Focus On Hope

Though the magazine’s inspiring editorial theme is already garnering praise — Vogue has been called out in the recent past for hollow portrayals of activism.

Part of the fold-out cover of British Vogue's September 2020 issue | Instagram / britishvogue
Part of the fold-out cover of British Vogue's September 2020 issue | Instagram / britishvogue

For the first time in Vogue’s 128-year history, all of the magazine’s 26 global editions will feature the same editorial theme centered around hope for the September/October 2020 issues. 

According to a Monday release, the next issues of Vogue, which will appear on newsstands throughout August and September, will “celebrate hope with an aim to unite millions of readers worldwide with a positive vision of the future.” The issues will feature inspiring letters from celebrities, models, and other public figures, showcase “thought-provoking fashion,” and include essays on timely topics such as diversity and inclusion, the climate crisis, LGBTQ+ rights.

Each Vogue editor-in-chief will also select a portfolio of imagery to appear in the Conde Nasté legacy brand’s signature issue. The release read: “From Captain Tom, the centenarian who raised £32m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden in British Vogue, to a portrait of professor and doctor Marylyn Addo, one of the worldwide-leading scientists in infectiology and virology for Vogue Germany.”

According to the release, the theme was inspired by the many challenging circumstances the world is facing right now: from the coronavirus pandemic to the climate crisis and the demonstrations around the U.S. against systemic racism and police brutality. 

As part of the the global Vogue theme, British Vogue’s September issue, titled “Activism Now” features a fold-out cover with 20 activists, including Black liberation activist Professor Angela Davis, LGBTQ+ activist and writer Janet Mock, and disability rights activist Alice Wong.

View this post on Instagram

God is BEYOND. Black girl. Black EIC. Black designer. Black twists. And the most brilliant Black photographer I know, @kidnoble, whose work is so meaningful, the team ditched their original plan and asked him to photograph me. On the cover of @BritishVogue alongside heroes and friends alike. Incredibly honored to be part of @edward_enninful’s masterful vision, focused on expanding the necessary work of the discipline of hope worldwide. If you had told me a few weeks ago this would have been my first Monday of #BlackAugust, I would have told you it was impossible. But God is in the business of doing exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ever ask or imagine. Think about it-the things we don’t even think to ask God for because they are so impossible, He sees fit to gift us. Thankful for God’s favor, but ever focused on bearing more fruit. I could only show up in something for us, by us. So so grateful to @lpeopleswagner for the quick connect to my fave @hanifaofficial, who let me wear this incredible gown from her Pink Label Congo collection for this shoot. Ma. we’re on the cover of British Vogue. The September issue. Pinch me. God is better than good. ______ Rp: @britishvogue The September 2020 issue of @BritishVogue features a special fold-out cover starring 20 inspirational activists dedicated to making a change. Read the full story by @AfuaHirsch in the new issue, on newsstands Friday 7 August. #LinkInBio

A post shared by brittany packnett cunningham (@mspackyetti) on

Though the magazine’s inspiring editorial theme is already garnering some praise — Vogue has been called out in the not-so-distant past for hollow attempts at highlighting activism. 

The cover of Vogue Hong Kong’s August cover titled “Act Now,” features 22-year-old model and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” fame. People were quick to point out that Jenner has not contributed to the pro-democracy protests and related political turmoil taking place in the special administrative region.

Back in 2017,Vogue also released a March issue celebrating "Modern American women,"  featuring models or various ethnicities such as Liu Wen, Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, Imaan Hammam, and Adwoa Aboah. But many pointed out that, while the women were from diverse backgrounds, most of them still had conventionally slender figures. The exception was Graham, who frequently appears on magazine covers as an alternative to “sample size” models, and appeared to be posed on Vogue to look thinner, some critics said.