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Makeover: UK fashion bible Vogue turns serious for September

Vogue needed to change in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the coronavirus pandemic, UK Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful told the BBC.

The September cover of UK Vogue features Marcus Rashford and Adwoa Aboah. Picture: Instagram/britishvogue

LONDON - Misan Harriman hopes to encourage employers to cast the recruitment net more widely with his Vogue cover portrait of influential black activists in place of the usual pouting stars.

Footballer Marcus Rashford, who helped force a UK government U-turn on children’s meal vouchers, and Adwoa Aboah, a model and mental health campaigner are featured with the banner “Activism Now, The Faces of Hope” on the front of the fashion bible.

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Introducing #BritishVogue’s September 2020 issue, featuring a special fold-out cover starring 20 inspirational activists dedicated to making a change. First up: model and activist @AdwoaAboah, who has used her visibility to change perceptions around mental health, most notably through her platform @GurlsTalk, and international footballer and child poverty campaigner @MarcusRashford, who recently used his platform to lobby the government to fund free school meals for vulnerable children. From those tackling systemic racism to disability discrimination and domestic abuse, gender inequality to the climate crisis, in the new issue, @AfuaHirsch meets the activists determined to make a difference the world over. Swipe to see the full cover and read the full story at the link in bio. #VogueHope Featuring: @MarcusRashford @AdwoaAboah Second cover, from top left: @Meenals_World @TamikaDMallory @RizAhmed @JanetMock Professor Angela Davis Jane Elliott Alice Wong @Disability_Visibility @IJesseWilliams @JoanSmalls Third cover, from top left: @ReniEddoLodge Yvette Williams @OfficialJ4G @IAmPatrickHutchinson @OsopePatrisse @ClaraAmfo @BerniceAKing @JanayaTheFuture @FDwyer1980 Brittany Packnett Cunningham @MsPackyetti #MarcusRashford wearing @R13, @AColdWall & @Churchs and #AdwoaAboah wearing @Fenty, @Martine_Rose, @LockHatters, @Osoi_Official & @SLJLondon, photographed by @MisanHarriman and styled by @ItsDWallace, with hair by @EarlSimms2 and make-up by @CeliaBurtonMakeUp. With additional cover photography by @PhilipDanielDucasse, @KingTexas, @ChriseanRose, @EddieH__ and @KidNoble.

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For Harriman, the first black male photographer to shoot a UK Vogue cover, the picture is “really of this moment”, reflecting a summer of protest for social justice following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

It was Harriman’s pictures of London’s Black Lives Matter movements that brought him to the attention of UK Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, himself the first black person to lead the magazine.

Vogue needed to change in the wake of the protests and the coronavirus pandemic, Enninful told the BBC, and that is what led to Harriman’s cover for the September issue.

“You couldn’t just sell, you know, beautiful clothes and shoes when the world was going through such a crisis,” the editor said.

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“This is a year that shredded complacency,” writes @AfuaHirsch, in #BritishVogue’s September 2020 issue cover story. “It is a year that has elevated the visibility of legendary figures from those past battles, and ushered in a new generation of young activists, in which previously unknown campaigners and celebrities alike became unapologetic about demanding change.” Meet the 20 activists on the cover making change, from #DrMeenalViz who became the voice and campaigner for BAME health workers at higher risk from the virus, to 86-year-old anti-racism activist and educator #JaneElliott, whose lifetime of work is currently gaining unprecedented attention, and Puerto Rican model and Vogue regular #JoanSmalls, who is donating 50 per cent of her earnings for the rest of 2020 to Black Lives Matter charities, see the full portfolio in the new issue, on newsstands and available for digital download Friday 7 August. And read the full story at the link in bio. #VogueHope Featuring: @Meenals_World @TamikaDMallory @RizAhmed @JanetMock Professor Angela Davis Jane Elliott Alice Wong @Disability_Visibility @IJesseWilliams @JoanSmalls Photographed by @MisanHarriman, @PhilipDanielDucasse, @KingTexas, and @EddieH__.

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Leafing through the magazine in his garden, Harriman said he felt cover stars Rashford and Aboah represented both hope and empathy and reflected on his own achievement.

He is the first black man ever to shoot a Vogue cover after Nadine Ijewere became the first black photographer to shoot a cover when she did the January 2019 issue.

“If you’re looking for a talent in a non-diverse place then it doesn’t matter because you’ll never see the talent,” he said in an interview.

“So I think you have to cast the net wide. I’m not the only black photographer - there are thousands, hundreds of thousands, of amazing black photographers out there.”

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The September issue of #BritishVogue is an ode to the extraordinary voices, old and young, who in this difficult year have devoted their energies to fighting for a fairer society. “This movement is setting to change their own pathway,” #DrBerniceAKing, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, tells @AfuaHirsch of the eruption of activism that has elevated the visibility of legendary figures from past battles, as well as ushering in a new generation of young activists and campaigners. From #PhyllOpoku-Gyimah, AKA @LadyPhyll, co-founder of @UKBlackPride, and #MunroeBergdorf, model and activist, to #ReniEddoLodge, bestselling author of ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’, see the portfolio of global voices for change in the September 2020 issue of #BritishVogue, on newsstands and available for digital download Friday 7 August. And read the full story at the link in bio. #VogueHope. Featuring: @ReniEddoLodge Yvette Williams @OfficialJ4G @IAmPatrickHutchinson @OsopePatrisse @ClaraAmfo @BerniceAKing @JanayaTheFuture @FDwyer1980 Brittany Packnett Cunningham @MsPackyetti Photographed by @MisanHarriman, @KingTexas, @ChriseanRose and @KidNoble.

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The September issue traditionally sells more copies as fashions shift from summer to winter. Last year it was guest-edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and featured influential women on the front.