Having cats in magazine's isn't anything new; simply cast your mind back to that Arizona Muse editorial in US Vogue's May issue for example. But as cats go, none are quite as fabulous as Choupette Lagerfeld and her rising star is so bright that magazine's are prepared to book lookalikes to ride off her success.
Okay, so maybe that's pushing it but a very Choupette-looking cat does appear on Italian Vogue's August issue cover. While it may not be Choupette, it sure as hell does her startled, slightly traumatised expression pretty well or that might just be the fact that it's surrounded by leftover Chinese take away. Who knows?
Franca Sozzani has always been one of my favourite editors. Like Anna Wintour, her work goes beyond what she does for the magazine. Over the past year, for example, she's addressed the body image issue at a talk at Harvard University and most notably, she's brought the fashion industry in Africa into the public consciousness.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the Vogue Italia editor has been asked to become the first Goodwill Ambassador of 'Fashion 4 Development', a new United Nations initiative that aims to encourage fashion leaders to work on sustainable development initiatives.
According to WWD, the role is part of a two-year platform that aims to help the United Nations meet their Millennium Development Goals. On Thursday Sozzani - who dedicated the June issue of L'Uomo Vogue to the topic of 'Rebranding Africa' - attended a meeting at the UN's Manhattan headquarters to discuss how designers and retailers can get on board to support the cause.
Miranda Kerr has never done too badly when it comes to her modelling career but it's over the last few years that we have really seen her career catapult in fashion circles. Like Joan Smalls, her career before was mainly commercial but recently things have really changed for her. Aside from her role as a Victoria's Secret Angel, Kerr has walked for everyone from Prada to Balenciaga and has appeared in magazines like Harper's Bazaar and Vogue Italia.
Ironically, though, all of the changes took place after she found out she was pregnant. 'At the moment I'm trying to do 60/40 - I spend most of my time at home being a mother and only work on jobs that I really love and with brands that I really want to work with,' she told Vogue.com when asked about the pressures. 'I've cut back quite a bit because especially the travelling can be too much and my son is obviously my number one priority. It's working out well at the moment because I'm doing fun jobs here and there and getting to spend lots of time with my boys.'
Franca Sozzani is never afraid of getting controversial with Vogue Italia. Back in December she was under fire for releasing that image of Karlie Kloss' hips looking distorted and this month the magazine is in the headlines again for rustling some feathers. When these images of their much talked about 'Haute Mess' editorial hit the net, many began argued that the representations were stereotypical at best bordered on being racist.
'We just thought it was a concept of extravagance, of creativity, even something that is not usual,' Sozzani told The Cut when asked about the idea behind the shoot. 'I think it's good that everyone sees what they wanted to see. As you know, I don't care as much what people think, because I think that every time that you try to change something, people [say something else]. I respect everybody’s opinion. … I think that the most encouraging way is to make a discussion and not to be completely, bored, you know? I think a boring magazine is always a boring magazine.' When asked about the racism issue she said: 'A racist image, I really do not understand? I went through the pages so many times.'
While French Vogue has always been my favourite version of the international title, I've always had an affinity for Vogue Italia under Franca Sozzani. Compared to her contemporaries, Sozzani is a risk taker and has an astute sense of fashion's ability to comment and reflect on the socio-political context of the times whilst also being forward thinking and innovative.
Over the past few seasons we've seen a rise in the prominence of black models and plus size girls but Sozzani have them a platform in Italian Vogue long before anyone else did. These were just a few of the issues that popped up in Interview magazine's latest issue, which saw Livia Firth interview the editor-in-chief.
This morning Joan Smalls was unveiled as the cover star of Vogue Italia's March issue. In the Steven Meisel-shot cover she appears wearing one of the statement tops from the Dolce & Gabbana S/S12 collection with bold eye-shadow, big earrings and nails that a dance hall queen would be proud off, tying in with the magazine's 'over the top' theme.
The cover is significant for several reasons. The cover signifies that Smalls has 'arrived'. A few years ago the Puerto Rican-born model was virtually unknown in fashion circles as her modelling was limited to commercial work. Today she is sits as one of the biggest faces on the scene and is currently the face of Chanel and has appeared in just about every show or magazine that matters.
More importantly, the cover marks the first time since that 'All Black Issue' that a black model has covered the magazine. Over the years Franca Sozzani has continued with her commitment to support a diverse representation of beauty in the magazine and this cover signals a movement away from the use of black models in a token way. Hopefully this isn't the end...
Much was said recently about 'that' image of Karlie Kloss that was taken down from the Vogue Italia website. While the press really went to town on the unhealthy portrayal of models argument, Kloss didn't seem to understand why the image was so controversial when asked about it this week. "To be honest, I don’t know why they pulled it off...I think they’re beautiful photos and I’m very proud of all of them,' she said. 'I’m happy with the results...I think that they’re photos that are hopefully going to become iconic.'
Italian Vogue editor, Franca Sozzani feels the same. This morning she took to her blog to discuss the issue and was quick to refute claims that the image had been heavily retouched, instead using the angle the image was shot to explain the model's thin waist. 'very few understand photography and don’t know about the viewpoint a body can be shot from,' she wrote. 'If the bust is imbalanced with respect to the pelvis and the picture is not frontal, the hips will look wider and the waist thinner.'
To be honest, I don’t know why they pulled it off...I think they’re beautiful photos and I’m very proud of all of them. I’m happy with the results...I think that they’re photos that are hopefully going to become iconic.
There's a reason why just about every designer puts Karlie Kloss in a thigh high dress on the runway. Besides her killer stare, it's not secret that the Arizona native has a killer body. Earlier this month she made her Victoria's Secret runway debut so this cover was only a natural progression, no?
To finish off what has again been a strong year, Kloss has bagged another Vogue cover this time for Vogue Italia shot by Steven Meisel. Teamed with her signature stare, it's all about the legs in this high slit cut out Valentino gown. If this doesn't make you rethink over eating over Christmas, I don't know what will.
Since becoming editor at Vogue Paris, Emmanuelle Alt has slowly began to take the covers in a new direction. Rather than sticking with the magazine's former favourites like Lara Stone and Daria Werbwoy, Alt chose Arizona Muse to front their November issue cover.
Although the model has appeared on Vogue Italia, Australia and Korea, this is her first Vogue Paris cover and the first time we've seen a smiling model on the front of it for a while.