Beyonce, Vogue’s new guest editor, hired the first black cover photographer

bey vogue

Last week, I wrote about a Vogue rumor and no one cared! That was heartbreaking, because the rumor was dishy and interesting, but I think a lot of people are on vacation right now? Anyway the rumor was that Beyonce will be America Vogue’s September cover girl. Not only that, Page Six claimed that the Beyonce cover would be Anna Wintour’s last issue as editor-in-chief. The rumor of Wintour’s Vogue exit has been in the air for months now, but the Beyonce part of the story was interesting. And as it turns out, it was true: Beyonce is the September cover. Not only that, she’s the guest editor-in-chief and she made some incredible decisions.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour gave Beyoncé unprecedented control over the cover of the upcoming September issue, sources say, and the music icon hired the first black photographer to shoot a cover in the publication’s 126-year history. The publication is contractually obligated to give Beyoncé full control over the cover, the photos of her inside the magazine and the captions, which she has written herself and are in long-form, according to two sources who are familiar with the agreement between Vogue and Beyoncé but aren’t authorized to speak to the press.

Wintour has always exerted complete control over the fashion bible, including selecting the outfits worn by cover models. Cover subjects are usually given little to no say in their photos and are sent the cover in the week ahead of publication, a source familiar with the editorial process at the publication told HuffPost. Beyoncé chose Tyler Mitchell, 23, to be her photographer.

“I depict black people and people of color in a really real and pure way,” Mitchell, who has already made a splash by shooting campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, told The New York Times in December. “There is an honest gaze to my photos.”

Wintour typically prefers to hire fashion photographers with more traditional experience and likely would not have selected Mitchell for a cover shoot, according to a source familiar with Vogue’s editorial process.

“The reason a 23-year-old black photographer is photographing Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue is because Beyoncé used her power and influence to get him that assignment,” the source said.

The cover is also likely to be Wintour’s last September issue, according to four sources familiar with her plans. Vogue parent company Condé Nast repeatedly has said the editor is not leaving the magazine.

[From HuffPo]

The fact that Tyler Mitchell will be THE FIRST black photographer to ever shoot a Vogue cover is a blemish on Wintour’s tenure at Vogue, and a blemish on Vogue entirely. Wintour has a lot of blemishes on her record, but that was one that slid under the radar. It took Queen B asserting editorial control over the fashion bible for a black photographer to be hired. That’s insane. As for the rest of it… Beyonce’s long-form captions are going to be lit. Here’s my question: if Beyonce is editing a Vogue cover with herself, do you think Bey would hire an actual magazine writer/journalist/profiler to come out and interview her? I doubt it. I think Beyonce has decided to forgo a cover interview. Hell, she might even just interview herself. #SheCanDoItAll #HireSolange

Filming Italy Sardegna Festival - Day 2- Arrivals

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Bey’s social media and cover courtesy of Vogue.

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40 Responses to “Beyonce, Vogue’s new guest editor, hired the first black cover photographer”

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  1. Renee2 says:


    They should have hired Solange to do this because she is the one with the sense of style. I like Bey, but her taste in clothes leaves a little to be desired…. In all the years I have followed her (20?) I think that I’ve liked what she has worn twice, and this includes videos, promotional appearances, shots on Instagram…her taste runs from weird to tacky.

    Something positive: it is beyond dope that she hired Tyler Mitchell. It is a disgrace that Anna hadn’t hired a Black photographer previously.

    • Scal says:

      I’ve liked a lot of her looks-but yea. With high fashion it is hit or miss and it would have been really interesting to see what someone else would have picked for her to wear on the cover. I hope she’s been styled in some amazing coture and blow it away. This old cover is blah.

      • This old cover is pee wee beauty pageant fug and (don’t shoot me) she looks a lot like Kim Kardashian in that photo. Compared to the photo with Blue that is just stunning.
        Bey is a lot of fabulous, but her fashion is just bad.

        Edit: I see it’s an old cover *whew*

      • Nancy says:

        I think she resembles Tyra Banks on the cover. They have similar faces structure. Long forehead, short chin. She looks better to me with darker hair, as opposed to the orangish curls she usually wears. Something about her, even when she’s smiling, she never appears happy. Watched her and Idris in Obsessed a few weeks ago, good thing she stuck with singing!!! Blue Ivy is a force that will be reckoned with in the future. Move over North West!!

    • Ye says:

      Solange would have been fashion. Love her.

    • Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

      Solange may have down something similar before, so it’s nice to have Beyoncé take the reigns on this.

      What I would like to see, though, is perhaps Solange interviewing Bey. A reverse of what they did when Solange was on the cover of Interview Mag.

  2. Sensible says:

    I am sorry to say I really do not like this cover shot. The way she is holding her body annoys me…like a very obvious sucking in of the guts and holding her breath. I wish I loved it but I just dont. Her hair and face look great.

    • hindulovegod says:

      That’s her 2015 cover shot by Wintour favorite Mario Testino. You understand why Beyonce insisted on someone with a fresher perspective.

    • Léna says:

      I think this cover is an old one, from a few years ago….

    • Jenns says:

      They had to hire a black photographer? Who is they? There is only one person who made this happen and that person is Beyonce. And it has nothing to do with Vogue running out of white photographers.

  3. Cantgoogleme says:

    This is incredible, but Vogue must be really desperate to allow B that kind of creative control. Something fishy is happening, this is not like Anna Wintour.

  4. BaBaDook says:

    Why would Wintour want to leave it on an issue entirely controlled by someone else? Surely it doesn’t fit with her character as an intensely scrutinizing editor. Excited about Bey issue, rolling my eyes that this is the first black photographer vogue has ever had, but sad for Wintour if this is true.

    • Betsy says:

      First black cover photographer. Not first black photographer. Still bad, just slightly less bad.

      • BaBaDook says:

        You’re right, my bad. We’ll take what we can get in terms of fractions of goodness these days!

  5. A says:

    I don’t think there will be an interview. The long form captions are going to be it. I am so excited to see what this photographer comes up with and I can’t wait. This is such an incredible opportunity for him and I hope it opens more doors going forward.

  6. Kate says:

    I’m so happy for Tyler, what an incredible opportunity to showcase his talent. SMDH at this being a first in Wintour’s 30 year-tenure at Vogue US.

  7. Jay says:

    I love the cover and I love that she hired the first Black photographer. And you’re right, it’s a huge blemish on Wintour’s career. Gross of her, TBH. And gross of the magazine before Wintour was editor.

  8. Farah says:

    It’s gross that there’s still these kinds of “firsts” in 2018. Not one black photographer in 126 years. Not one?!!?! Good on Beyonce for this.

    • Ye says:

      Cover photographer. First cover photographer, not photographer in the rest of the magazine.

  9. Y says:

    The FIRST black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover? Jesus, that is beyond terrible.

  10. Pamm says:

    Let’s not forget that before Wintour, there was a black male Vogue editor. Why did he never bother to use a black photographer?

    • Gigi LaMoore says:

      For several reasons-maybe there weren’t many black photographers back then or maybe like many of my black people, he was afraid to hire one as he didn’t want to appear as if he was showing favortism to blacks, which is something white people don’t seem to have to worry about.

      • Ye says:

        Andre LT doesnt seem like the kind of man who would bend under that kind of pressure. I’d be interested in hearing him explain that.

        But as editor at large maybe you dont get to pick the photographer?

    • Deedee says:

      There has never been a black editor in chief at American Vogue. You may be thinking of Edward Enninful who became the first black editor in chief at British Vogue last year.

  11. Betsy says:

    Hey hey hey! I made three comments on that other thread!

    Yeah, Wintour is gone, because wasn’t the September issue kind of her entire reason for living?

    And this is the sadsville cover I was thinking of when I said on the other thread that I hope they give Beyonce some decent styling and clothes. Her Instagram and music videos are so lively, and this old cover just looked so stodgy. And I’m usually team stodgy, but they just sucked the life out of her.

  12. Rhys says:

    “World domination “? Is she not tired of seeing her face everywhere?

    • Kate says:

      Why so salty?

    • Ferdinand says:


      I’m sorry but I’ve never jumped in the Beyoncé wagon. I think she is overrated.
      The only domination going on is over people working in Asian clothes factories for her Ivy line.

  13. WendyNerd says:

    I honestly would not mind if Solange took over for Wintour. Her style is amazing.

  14. Jess says:

    I love this story because it showcases both Beyonce’s power and how she used her power to lift up black professionals and artists. So awesome. But I agree, Solange should handle the fashion.

  15. Eva says:

    This will be the first copy of US Vogue I’m buying in years and years.

    I guess that’s what they’re counting on. Good for them. Time to change things up, it’s 2018.

  16. Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

    Hey guys, I’m going to be in line at Barnes & Noble for Bey’s September issue of Vogue. Anybody want anything? 😆

    • Betsy says:

      Does yours have a kitchen? Plancha-cooked Salmon, please! We can sit and read the Vogue!

  17. Sandy says:

    Congratulations Beyonce!! people forget Beyonce has been in the business since She was 9? I remember when the group was on star search, she worked very hard to be where she is, Prince, Michael, Tina turner, Stevie wonder, just to name a few who, she’s worked with and they respected her, she is now one of the greatest entertainer of our generation, she has multiple charities, and she constantly gives to other charities, including, Houston, where she is from, she is making history on many levels 😊 while creating jobs for minorities. Well Done.

  18. bacondonut says:

    i thought it was another kim kardashian shoot with a filter. i didn’t realise it was Beyonce until i read the article header. She is such a beautiful woman. Why go to such lengths to get the first black photog to do a Vogue cover, but make yourself look unrecognizable?