Photoshoots cancelled, employees furloughed and the industry at a standstill only meant one thing for Vogue Italia. A blank white cover. Something that has never been done before with the publication saying, “To speak of anything else — while people are dying, doctors and nurses are risking their lives and the world is changing forever — is not the DNA of Vogue Italia.” The colour white was chosen as a colour of hope and a brighter future for Italy, as well as the world. White is what’s worn by the medical staff and front line workers who are risking their lives for all of us. “Above all: white is not surrender, but a blank sheet waiting to be written, the title page of a new story that is about to begin.”
Vogue has come through wars, acts of terrorisms and other disastrous events but for the first time in its history, they’ve clearly paid attention to whats been happening and addressed the situation with a simple cover. The industry is usually known for focusing on the glitz and glam of the world and celebrity lifestyles; so what I love is this step that Emanuele Farneti has made. Focusing on real life, real heroes and the reality of it all- the virus doesn’t discriminate and we’re all likely to get it if we don’t sort something out. So what can we learn?
Now, I’m subscribed to British Vogue so I received the April cover, which was the complete opposite to Italia. To be honest, I’m extremely disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the cover is incredible and I love Jodie Comer as an actress so it’s wonderful to have her as a cover star. However, why couldn’t all the copies be pushed back a month? Why couldn’t they symbolise and acknowledge the thousands of people who are dying daily. Instead, as a nation it’s telling us how to look after our skin at home and educating us on the showbiz world. It just doesn’t make sense- why?
Meanwhile, American and Paris Vogue have also done the same thing. They’ve focused on models and celebrities, the fashion industry and advertisements. It comes across as a blind eye being turned to the events taking place. Italy have really stepped it up and put a high benchmark which other countries certainly don’t seem to want to be following.
I think being part of an industry that usually comes across as being very detached from the general public and the world, focusing on what seems like the rich, this would be the perfect time to give back to the readers of the publications- specifically key workers. Maybe by donating a profit of their issues, for instance this Vogue Italia cover sold out so quickly just due to the uniqueness of it. If there was a charitable side to it, that would have been amazing. We need to change.