It was inevitable that Anna Wintour would feel the pressure to put a plus-sized model on the cover of American Vogue. Specifically, Wintour would feel the pressure to use Ashley Graham, who has been everywhere in the past year, from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to fashion magazine covers around the world, to her new gig on America’s Next Top Model and more. But of course Anna Wintour would only allow Ashley on the cover of Vogue if Ashley had to stand sandwiched in between a bunch of size-zero models. Which is how we got this March cover: Ashley is the second model from the left.
The other models on the cover (from left to right) are: Liu Wen, Ashley, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti. I feel so out-of-touch because I really don’t know Liu, Imaan, Adwoa or Vittoria. Weirdly, I like that I don’t know all of the names. I feel like Vogue made an effort to demonstrate racial diversity and size-diversity (with Ashley’s inclusion) and it doesn’t feel like tokenism either.
Anyway, you can read the cover story here. It’s not a series of interviews with these models, it’s more like “here are the freshest models this year and you’ll be seeing them everywhere now.” In reference to Ashley specifically and her status as a plus-sized model (a term she loathes), Vogue writes: “She has stormed fashion’s most formidable barricade: its cult of ultra-thinness. Today, as she enters the supermodel pantheon, Graham is convinced that the industry’s skinny worship is destined for the dustbin.” Sure. That’s why Vogue Photoshopped the crap out of her legs on the cover, right?
Photos courtesy of Inez and Vinoodh/VOGUE.