In 1940, photographer Horst P Horst and model Lisa Fonssagrives created an image for the cover of Vogue Magazine. The Swedish model poses in a blue and white bathing suit while sitting in a ‘V’ position, to spell out the word ‘Vogue,’ as pictured. In 2013, this photograph, titled ‘Lisa As V.O.G.U.E.’, was included in a selection of limited-edition prints curated by Vogue Archives, for Artsy. It sold for US$40,000.
Fast-forward to 1991, the same idea of featuring the model in different positions to spell out the title was reused to celebrate Vogue’s 75th birthday. Model Yasmeen Ghauri is dressed in a metallic bodysuit by Karl Lagerfeld. Photographed by Tyen for British Vogue’s Special Edition 75th Anniversary issue in June, 1991.
Then in 2008, Horst’s now famous image was to be used as inspiration once again. In July 2008, Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, envisioned the first All Black Issue with the intention of promoting the importance of diversity in fashion. The cover has four different versions, each featuring models Naomi, Jourdan Dunn, Liya Kebede, and Sessilee Lopez, photographed by Steven Meisel.
In release of this historic moment, Vogue Italia teamed up with Barbie for a special all black Barbie edition in a collector’s supplement. The first black doll from Barbie was introduced in 1967, as a friend of Barbie called Francie, followed by the first “Black Barbie” doll, introduced in 1980.
“Barbie has been an icon for whole generations which is why I really wanted to give a strong sign in step with the times, and dedicate the anniversary issue to Black Barbie,” Sozzani said.
The cover is photograhed by Michael Baumgarten. Fashion editor: Giovanna Battaglia. And the entire issue can be viewed via this link.