Beyoncé’s Return As ‘Vogue’ Cover Model Is Making History

Beyoncé performs.
Duane Prokop / Getty Images

Beyoncé will be returning to the cover of Vogue in the September 2018 issue, revealed E! News. Not only is this the second time she will be appearing on the cover (the first time having been in 2015), her return marks a very important milestone in the history of the magazine.

For the first time, a Vogue cover photo was photographed by an African-American. The 23-year-old photographer, named Tyler Mitchell, also photographed gun rights activists for an edition of Teen Vogue earlier this year.

While rumors circulated that Beyoncé had full control over the photo shoot and the story, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour spoke to Business of Fashion, discounting the rumors.

“…the concept and the photographer was entirely Vogue’s,” cites E! News. She then added, “As last time, and the time before, there was a lot of discussion about the best way to approach this. Who is better to write about Beyoncé than Beyoncé?”

Beyoncé also spoke to why she personally wanted Tyler Mitchell to photograph her.

“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like. That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.”

With the push for greater diversity and representation of voices from various backgrounds in Hollywood, publications such as Vogue are also feeling the effect.

In the 125 years since Vogue published their first issue, there have only been seven women of color featured on the cover, with Beyoncé being featured on two.

Beverly Johnson was the first black model to be featured on the cover, followed 15 years later by Puerto Rican model Talisa Soto. Naomi Campbell was the next woman of color to be featured on a September issue cover, followed by Halle Berry in 2010, Joan Smalls in 2014, and Beyoncé in 2015. Chinese model Liu Wen shared her March 2017 cover with six other models.

Mitchell spoke to his experience photographing Beyoncé in his Vogue profile.

“There was a ladder for the people who came before me, and there’s a ladder now—it’s just a new ladder. I want to open the eyes of the kids younger than me, show them that they can do this too.”

He tweeted later that he “cried 3 times already this morning” after his work was revealed.

The September 2018 Vogue issue marks a giant step up the ladder for the magazine.