Introducing The Cover Stars of March Issues

Introducing The Cover Stars of March Issues

Vic Mensa Graces Cover of GQ South Africa's February/March Love Issue

He debuted as a solo artist in 2013 on Chance the Rapper’s high-profile mixtape Acid Rap and released his first song ‘Down on My Luck’ in June 2014. His upbeat lyrical style drew on elements of ’90s hip-hop’s positive side and rock and pop music. Roc Nation signed Mensa and released his debut album, The Autobiography, in 2017. Over the next several years, he released a slew of EPs, collaborations and singles, including working with 93PUNX in 2019 and I Tape in 2021.

Writer: Shannon Manuel

Shannon is GQ SA’s Snr features writer with a slightly alarming sugar addiction and a love of everything dark, macabre, weird and creative. Earphones in, music blasting is her default setting

Photographer: Akilah Townsend

Akilah Townsend was born on the Southside of Chicago. Akilah was captivated by art, films and music videos at an early age and went on to teach herself photography and film. Akilah focuses her work on representation. Akilah is a director and photographer based in Los Angeles and Chicago.

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Winston Duke Graces The 2nd Cover of GQ South Africa's February/March Love Issue

Winston Duke is having a moment – again. He made his feature-film debut in Marvel’s 2018 Black Panther as fan favourite character M’baku and has been in high demand. His film credits include Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Us, Nine Days, and Spencer Confidential, and guest-starring roles on shows including The Messengers, Major Crimes, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Modern Family. He’s received numerous accolades for his acting and activism.

Writer: Shannon Manuel

Shannon is GQ SA’s Snr features writer with a slightly alarming sugar addiction and a love of everything dark, macabre, weird and creative. Earphones in, music blasting is her default setting

Photographer: David Higgs

Melbourne born and bred, and now based in Los Angeles and working globally, David Higgs is part of the new breed of energetic, fun and professional fashion photographers. His sense of humour and fun loving nature is sought after in a fast paced industry, yet still produces the highest quality of work with a distinct style and an infectious smile.

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Michael B. Jordan Graces Cover of Rolling Stone's March Issue

Writer: Carvell Wallace

Photographer: Adrienne Raquel

Adrienne Raquel is an image-maker and art director working between New York & Los Angeles. Inspired by femininity, soulfulness, and color, Adrienne's work is rooted in nostalgia and fantasy while remaining fresh and contemporary. Exhibitions include Aperture's New Black Vanguard, Jeffrey Deitch: Shattered Glass Miami, and Mickalene Thomas' Better Nights at Miami's Bass Museum.

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Danielle Deadwyler Graces Cover of W Magazine's The Directors Issue

A few feet away, dressed in a slinky black Saint Laurent gown with a hood, Danielle Deadwyler overheard Field talking. Despite her serious mien in Till, in which she played the mother of Emmett Till, the Black teenage boy who was murdered in 1955 by white supremacists, Deadwyler has a naturally joyous demeanor. “What are you saying about me?” she almost yelled. Field smiled. 

Writer: Carvell Wallace

Photographer: Todd Field

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Justice Smith Graces Cover of L'Officiel Fashion Book AU

"I don’t agree with cinema purists when they shit on streaming. At the same time, I think the experience of going to a theater is unmatched. I don’t think anything can beat that, but I don’t see anything wrong with watching your movies at home. If you want to watch your movies at home, watch them at home."

Justice Smith

Editor-in-Chief: Dimitri Vorontsov

In meticulous rapid succession, Dimitri Vorontsov has placed himself across a range of creative roles covering music, sports, photography, and publishing. Dimitri has always remained relevant, prominent and the representative for modern pop culture, constantly creating, redefining and delivering his interpretation through artistic forms. The launch of the unprecedented L'Officiel Fashion Book in Australia and New Zealand in 2014. Cielo Magazine represents the many aspects of Fashion, Art, Design and Music through the professionals who help shape these industries and push their boundaries beyond the contemporary.

Photographer: Mike Ruiz

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Monique and Melvin Rodriguez Graces Cover of ESSENCE'S March/April Issue

Almost a decade after its inception, Mielle Organics has joined this pocket-size bunch. Founded in 2014 by husband and wife Melvin, 41, and Monique Rodriguez, 39, Mielle is the latest Black-founded brand to build a loyal following among Black women. “When we entered into our first retail partnership, which was with Sally Beauty, it was a proud moment and a surreal experience,” Monique tells me on set in Miami. “I still remember the day I went into the store and saw my products on the shelf. It was a dream come true.” On January 11, 2023, ESSENCE reported that the hair care brand had joined forces with P&G Beauty, the corporation behind Gillette, Febreze, Olay, Aussie, Pantene and many other recognizable brands.

Writer: Nandi Howard

Photographer: Kennedi Carter

A Durham, North Carolina native by way of Dallas Texas, Kennedi Carter is a photographer with a primary focus on Black subjects. Her work highlights the aesthetics & sociopolitical aspects of Black life as well as the overlooked beauties of the Black experience: skin, texture, trauma, peace, love and community. Her work aims to reinvent notions of creativity and confidence in the realm of Blackness.

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Kerry Washington Graces Cover of Marie Claire’s Identity Issue

As a kid, Washington loved performing in children’s theater. She even received an acting scholarship to college, but her real focus was on the anthropology of performance, majoring in social sciences like psychology and sociology. By her 20s, though, she was determined to make it in Hollywood, and took flexible jobs as a substitute teacher and restaurant hostess so she could chase roles. Landing parts in films like She Hate Me, Ray, and The Last King of Scotland set her career in motion. But playing the lead in Scandal made her a household name.

Writer: Jessica Herndon

Jessica Herndon is an award-winning, Los Angeles-based writer who has contributed to Women's Health, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Elle, The Hollywood Reporter, Essence, the Associated Press, People, Spin, Flaunt, Nylon, and Seventeen.

Photographer: Breyona Holt

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Yara Shahidi Graces Cover of PORTER Magazine

Activism is a label that Shahidi is intimately familiar with. She has long used her platform to speak out on global issues, and particularly causes that relate to her identity as a Black-Iranian person. She has worked with organizations on increasing the youth vote in elections, given a TED Talk on the perpetuation of Black stereotypes in the media, spoken out against police violence, and passionately supported the uprisings in Iran in recent months. Shahidi credits becoming politicized at such a young age with having grown up in a very socially aware family, but she says that the public’s engagement with her beliefs took time to adjust to.

Writer: Hanna Phifer

Hanna Phifer is a journalist and culture writer whose work explores the connections between pop culture, Blackness, queerness, and womanhood.

Photographer: Katie McCurdy

Photographer and director Katie McCurdy divides her time between New York City and Los Angeles, where she creates vibrant and expressive images that are both playful and earnest. Katie uses her pared-back approach to cultivate an immediate rapport with her subjects, to capture authentic, intimate images that champion a timeless & ageless beauty. Through her sensitive, yet strong, portraiture, Katie erases the distance between subject and viewer — presenting both celebrities and strangers in an immediately intimate way.

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Jamaica Graces Cover of Harper's BAZAAR's March Issue

Jamaica is a crucible for all the questions that animate our modern world. Jamaica is a space where questions of freedom, art, and humanity are posed by a people who have made an art form out of everyday life. Countless poets, writers, and philosophers—Claude McKay, Sylvia Wynter, Erna Brodber, Michelle Cliff, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Marlon James, and Safiya Sinclair to name a few—have written and rewritten the story of the island.

Writer: Kaitlyn Greenidge

Photographer: Philip-Daniel Ducasse

Born in Quebec, Canada and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Philip-Daniel Ducasse is a Brooklyn-based photographer. Since the inception of his practice, Ducasse’s work is a celebration of those he meets; the landscapes they live amongst and the attention they deserve. By allowing these elements to unfold, it becomes evident how Ducasse reminds us that photography can be a device for these inquiries, which are guided by his patient and considered spirit.

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Rihanna Graces Cover of British Vogue's March Issue

As befits a near-mythical creature, Rihanna lives atop a gleaming tower perched above Century City, ringed by guards, the queen of all she surveys, from the mountains to the ocean. At 4am, the apartment building’s lobby is pin-drop deserted as I tip-tap across the marble and make my way down to a plushly decked-out communal sitting room in the basement, by the residents’ screening room and a few dozen floors below where Fenty Jnr is sleeping soundly (and whom we mustn’t wake).

Writer: Giles Hattersley

Giles Hattersley is the features director of British Vogue.

Photographer: Inez & Vinoodh

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50 Cent Graces Billboard's Digital Exclusive Cover

Once considered rap’s top villain during the days of promoting his explosive 2003 debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 50, at 47, is now a consummate professional. He’s punctual, debunking the theory that hip-hop stars always arrive on “rapper time.” He’s well-mannered and respectful, saying, “Please,” and “Thank you,” after each request. He’s also a great listener, allowing the staff to complete their directives during the photo shoot without stiff-arming his way into the conversation. It’s all in keeping with Curtis Jackson III’s drive to achieve a loftier ambition no one could have predicted 20 years ago: to become the biggest mogul in the TV industry.

Writer: Carl Lamarre

Carl Lamarre is an experienced music and sports journalist on a voracious mission to shift the culture. After writing for XXL, Complex, Billboard, Pepsi, Global Grind among other publications, he has proven to be well-versed in the music scene and exploring the artistry of many prominent figures.

Photographer: Jai Lennard

Jai grew up in the Bay Area of northern California with family roots in Texas & Louisiana. He studied at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga where he started taking photos more seriously, then London where he took his first photo course and finally New York where he received his BA in Photography at the School of Visual Arts. He’s lived in Brooklyn ever since.

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Micheal Ward Graces Cover of ELLE UK's March Issue

Now 25, Ward grew up in Hackney with his mum and three sisters (his father died in a car crash when he was two), before moving to Romford. He developed a taste for acting at school after realising academic subjects weren’t for him. ‘I can’t learn by sitting down! I liked PE and I liked drama. I didn’t enjoy anything else so I went for it,’ he says. ‘There was nobody around me who wanted to be an actor. When I went to [Epping Forest] College to study performing arts, I was the only Black guy on my course. I’d be learning ballet and my friends would watch through the window, laughing.’

Writer: Shannon Mahanty

Photographer: Ruth Ginika Ossai

Known for her portrait and studio photography, Ruth Ossai documents members of her Nigerian community in ways that capture their natural beauty, style, and identity. Subjects in her lens pose proudly while wearing intricate garments and ornate accessories, creating vivid images rooted in the unapologetic expression of self. Ossai’s practice is heavily influenced by everyday life in Nigeria, with the bright printed backdrops in her portraits nodding to special effects in popular Nigerian Nollywood films. Ossai’s interest in capturing the people around her was sparked as a teenager after her mother gave her a point-and-shoot camera.

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Janelle Monáe Graces Cover of Ebony's March Issue

Much of Monáe’s career thus far has been driven by their alter ego, Cindi Mayweather, a character they created who represents and emboldens the “other” in an Afro-futuristic, alternative world. From the self-financed, self-released 2003 EP, The Audition, and its 2007 follow-up, Metropolis: Suite 1 (The Chase Suite), to 2010’s debut studio album, The ArchAndroid, and 2013’s The Electric Lady, Mayweather remained a central storytelling device through which audiences connected with Monáe.

Writer: Tre'vell Anderson

Tre’vell Anderson is an award-winning journalist, social curator, and world changer who always comes to slay! Named to The Root’s 2020 list of the 100 most influential African Americans, they have dedicated their career to centering those in the margins, grey spaces, and at the intersections of life through a pop culture lens. Currently, Tre’vell co-hosts two podcasts, Crooked Media's "What A Day" and Maximum Fun's "FANTI." They are a forthcoming authoress, of “We See Each Other: A Black, Trans Journey Through TV and Film” (Andscape, May 2023) and “Historically Black Phrases” (Ten Speed Press, September 2023).

Photographer: Keith Major

New York City native Keith Major's love for photography and art began in his pre-teen years, when he attended after-school programs at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Pratt Institute. Keith specialized in photography at New York’s highly regarded High School of Art and Design, and after graduation attended the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

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