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Image / Fashion

Alexandra Shulman’s top 10 British Vogue covers as chosen by IMAGE editors


by IMAGE
11th Jun 2020
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Ahead of her exclusive sit down with IMAGE editor-in-chief Lizzie Gore-Grimes, we take a look back at former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman’s best covers of the magazine that she edited for 25 years.


Throughout her reign as the longest-serving editor of British Vogue, from 1992 to 2017, Alexandra Shulman lived and experienced some of the most iconic moments in fashion industry. From the rise of Kate Moss – arguably the world’s most influential model – to tackling size standards with the world’s top designers, to witnessing political unease and the death of an icon, British Vogue was there to capture it all.

Now, three years after passing the editorial baton to Edward Enninful, Alexandra has been busy writing her memoir, Clothes… and other things that matter, and making her name in other fields. She is a regular columnist with the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, is a vice president of the London Library and in 2019, was a co-presenter at the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards.

Next week, she sits down with IMAGE editor-in-chief Lizzie Gore-Grimes to discuss her new book, what it’s like promoting it in lockdown, as well as life after Vogue and many other meaningful things.

Register for Alexandra Shulman in conversation with IMAGE here 

Here are 10 seminal British Vogue covers under Alexandra’s editorial reign that IMAGE editors remember from the archives.

1. Kate Moss, March 1993

A 19-year-old Kate Moss landed her first ever British Vogue cover in March 1993, wearing Chanel and photographed by the late Corinne Day, who had previously photographed Moss in a feather headdress for the now iconic The Face cover in 1990.

2. Princess Diana, October 1997


Princess Diana had died on August 31, 1997, but the print deadlines of fashion magazines meant the next available cover she could grace wasn’t until October. Writing in British Vogue, Alexandra said, “The Diana memorial cover. It’s a wonderful photograph by Patrick Demarchelier that had already been taken but hadn’t been used – and we only had a few days to put together the tribute issue. We weren’t sure that we were even able to change the cover at such a late stage, so it was a logistical triumph as well as a beautiful cover in her honour.”

3. Kate Moss, May 2003

Kate Moss graced the cover of British Vogue in May 2003 dressed as David Bowie from the cover of his 1973 Aladdin Sane album. By then, Kate already had more British Vogue covers than any other model. As of June 2020, she has 40. Recalling the shoot, Alexandra said, “I love this because I’m a lifelong Bowie fan so it was my idea to do Kate Moss as Aladdin Sane – and it’s become one of the most reproduced covers of all time.”

4. Multiple, July 2007

Alexandra tackled ageless style for the July 2007 issue featuring established models Cecilia Chancellor, Elizabeth Jagger, Erin O’Connor, Yasmin Le Bon, Marie Helvin and Jacquetta Wheeler next to younger model of the moment Lily Cole. Patrick Demarchelier shot the cover shot.

Register for Alexandra Shulman in conversation with IMAGE here 

5. Multiple, January 2002

Mario Testino shot Kate Moss, Elizabeth Jagger, Erin O’Connor, Jacquetta Wheeler, Jade Parfitt, Jodie Kidd, Liberty Ross and many more influential British supermodels of the time for this cover which opened out as a spread.

6. Naomi Campbell, February 2001

Having first appeared in Vogue in 1988, Naomi Campbell was well cemented as a cover star when Mario Testino shot her for the February 2001 cover of the British edition. Campbell’s most iconic British Vogue cover is the 1990 group shot she shares with fellow models Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, photographed by the late Peter Lindbergh.

7. Kate Middleton, June 2016

Celebrating 100 years of British Vogue, the magazine was granted rare access to the British royal family and even rarer access to a photoshoot of one of the family’s most iconic members. Kate Middleton, by then married into the family for five years, posed for a secret cover overseen by Alexandra for the June 2016 issue. The portraits, taken by Josh Olins, not only marked the first fashion shoot featuring Kate Middleton – arguably the most coveted cover star at the time – but were hung in the National Portrait Gallery in London, of which Kate is a patron.

8. Bono and Christy Turlington, December 1992

It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the only Irishman to have ever graced a Vogue cover. One of Alexandra’s earliest covers, in December 1992, features Bono and Christy Turlington for a rock, fame and fashion issue. Bono was just about to embark on U2’s Zooropa tour and Christy was still in demand as one of the world’s highest-paid supermodels.

9. Kate Moss, August 2011

Another Kate Moss cover, but a totally different style to the ones we’ve seen before. Alexandra chose this as one of her favourite covers before she stepped down as editor-in-chief in 2017. “I love the dress, I love the styling here – I was interested in seeing how she looks when she is styled in that very elegant way – it’s unlike any cover we’ve featured of her,” she told British Vogue.

10. Multiple, 2017

To mark the end of an era in British Vogue’s history, Alexandra chose models of the past and present including Kate Moss, Nora Attal, Edie Campbell, Jean Campbell and Stella Tennant for her final September issue – and final cover – ever, shot by Mario Testino. The formidable editor-in-chief passed the torch to Edward Enninful, who, in August 2017, was the first black man to edit British Vogue.

Register for Alexandra Shulman in conversation with IMAGE here 

 

Read more: Alexandra Shulman in an exclusive Irish sit down with IMAGE

Read more: Alexandra Shulman’s IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year 2019 speech in full 

Read more: Alexandra Shulman’s memoir is out now


If you love Vogue and fashion, then you won’t want to miss Alexandra Shulman in conversation with IMAGE editor-in-chief Lizzie Gore-Grimes on June 18. Both luminaries of the fashion and publishing worlds will discuss fashion in lockdown, life after Vogue and Alexandra’s new memoir, Clothes… and other things that matter, which is out now. Register your place for free here

For more on IMAGE’s virtual events, see here

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