Written by Edward Enninful for British Vogue's July Cover: Beyoncé
Introducing The Cover Star of British Vogue's July Issue, Beyoncé
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, a writer of excellent and lengthy texts, had taken to messaging me as we brainstormed the direction of her Vogue shoot together. A fashion fantasia spun from the tropes of club life during the last century’s final quarter. Mirror balls, light boxes, headdresses? Of course. A horse on the dance floor? Certainly. A motorcycle for her to adorn in Junya Watanabe leathers and Harris Reed & Roker boots? Why not. B wanted to play with fashion like never before, and as we swapped references (from the 1990s garage scene to ’80s excess), talked hair and beauty, and got to know her team, a vision of glittering retro-futurism began to take shape.
As someone who first saw her perform live with Destiny’s Child 23 years ago, a moment’s walk from my family home when the group played at the Notting Hill Carnival in 1999, I can feel the tingling excitement build as we make our way to her home recording studio. With minimal ceremony, she takes her laptop and plugs it in as we all sit on some sofas. Quietly, the superstar hits play on her upcoming album.
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Writer: Edward Enninful
Edward Enninful is the European editorial director of Vogue and editor-in-chief of British Vogue, taking the helm of the magazine on August 1, 2017. In just over two years as editor-in-chief of the famed publication, he has helped shape a new vision for fashion media — not just in the UK, but globally — where he has placed a “diversity of perspective” at its core.
For British Vogue’s print editions, Enninful’s covers have consistently featured strong women who promote messages of empowerment: Stella Tennant, Oprah Winfrey, Adwoa Aboah, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, not to mention his September 2019 edition guest-edited by Meghan Markle HRH Duchess of Sussex, which featured 15 trailblazing female changemakers including Greta Thunberg and Jane Fonda on the cover.
Photographer: RAFAEL PAVAROTTI
Rafael Pavarotti was born in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest in 1993. At 16, Pavarotti left his remote hometown, committed to establishing a professional practice in the urban centers of fashion and media.
Pavarotti attributes the rich and vibrant color palette of his photographs to the everyday sights of his upbringing. His work is often characterized by its fusion of vivid tones with bold compositional arrangements, revealing fashion as sculptural adornment. Pavarotti’s collaborations with British-Gambian fashion editor Ibrahim Kamara are among the most novel and celebrated visualizations of fashion in recent memory. The potency of their work -- which advances the beautification and normalization of Black and indigenous bodies -- has emerged amid sweeping calls for racial justice and the Covid-19 pandemic.
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