In the past 126 years, Vogue, the world’s premiere fashion publication, has never hired a black photographer to shoot its cover.
That will change with the magazine’s September 2018 issue. According to HuffPost, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour ceded unprecedented editorial and creative control to Beyoncé, who will grace the issue’s cover. Beyoncé picked 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell to photograph her.
Mitchell is something of a savant in the fashion world. Though he’s 23, he’s already shot campaigns for Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, and been profiled by the New York Times.
“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 level of control Wintour is granting Beyoncé is highly unusual. Subjects in journalism do not normally exert any control over the editorial process. But Wintour reportedly allowed Beyoncé to edit the entire cover shoot, including long-form captions on the photos.
Despite the control, though, Beyoncé is not being interviewed for a cover story. She also wasn’t interviewed for her last Vogue cover, in September 2015.