Covers & Content: September 2017

The September Issues are the most important issue a fashion magazine puts out during the publishing year. This being said, let’s see how Canada’s three biggest fashion magazines fared diversity-wise this month…

The Magazine: Elle Canada

The Cover Star: Jessica Chastain

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Yes, there was one fashion editorial in this issue and it starred one thin, black model (Herieth Paul!)

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Nope

 

The Magazine: FASHION

The Cover Star: Lorde

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: There were two fashion editorials in this issue. The first starred one thin, white model. The second, like Elle Canada, starred Herieth Paul!

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Nope

Biggest Hmmm Moments: Canadian September Issues

There were a few things that made us pause (both in good and bad ways) while looking at the September issues of Canada’s top fashion magazines. Here we have a closer look at the content that was inspiring, and the content that made us cringe.

ELLE CANADA

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Pros: They had a really cool lifestyle special focusing on 36 get-to-know-yourself better questions, and their one fashion editorial for this month was probably one of their best ever.

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Above: Both images above from editorial “We’re all mad here” in Elle Canada 2015.

Cons: Despite how strong the editorial was styling and concept-wise, it was lacking diversity–sure there was a model over 60, but of the six models Elle Canada booked for this spread, only one was a model of colour. Pretty pathetic, hence why we called it out for being a Token Diversity Spread.

FASHION

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Pros: When it came to exploring gender and fashion, FASHION really rose to the occasion by having both an article on gender identity, as well as one of the coolest gender-bending fashion editorials we’ve ever seen. Not only was this editorial playing with gender identity and androgyny, it also starred two models of colour!

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Above: Both images above from FASHION September 2015

Cons: Was anyone else like “wtf?” when they saw two Victoria’s Secret Angels Elsa Hosk and Taylor Hill?? We thought at first they might be Canadian, which would explain their “a little out of left field” cover feature. But nope, they are not Canadian, they are just minor celebrities. It’s super-disappointing that FASHION would go and book not just one but two white B-list celebs when they could have taken the opportunity to open up diversity for their publication and put say, Mindy Kaling or Viola Davis on the cover.

FLARE

Pros: Flare had lots of really cool articles this month, and, like FASHION, they did one on gender diversity–fantastic!

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Above: While Flare talks about diversity in fashion, referring to model Chantelle Winnie above, they still don’t book any models of colour for their own editorials in their September issue

Cons: Honestly, this was the weirdest Canadian September issue by far. Karlie Kloss was on the cover, but she just got a snippet of an interview (not even an interview, just literally 5 very brief questions. The main feature was a huge advertorial with Joe Fresh–boring! Deceptive! A total ripoff! And SO WEIRD for a September issue! We’re not paying to learn about a company, and it’s rather insulting because Kloss is very interesting–she runs a charity, and recently just started a coding school for girls. While Kloss was able to briefly able to address her coding school, it was a shame that readers couldn’t hear more than a sentence about her efforts, being bombarded instead with pages of Joe Fresh advertisements.

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Above: A shot from one of two of Flare‘s September editorials–so boring, aren’t you falling asleep?

The next downside about this issue is that Flare does this relatively-cool special called “The Future of Fashion Is….” and they fill in the blanks with tidbits like “…is over 80,” “….is vlogger-run,” etc. They do a spotlight on diversity as well on p. 130-131 with, “The Future of Fashion is more diverse.” Though Flare claims that the future of fashion is more diverse, they fail to be diverse themselves: the September issue of Flare is a Whiteout issue! There are two fashion editorials in this issue, and both star thin, white models. It’s almost painfully ironic, and very disappointing.

Covers & Content: Bazaar September 2015

Normally we do our Covers & Content column on Canadian fashion magazines only, but this year we’ll be focusing on Bazaar US as well. So how did the issue of the year, the September issue of Bazaar fare in terms of diversity? Read on to find out.

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Above: The newsstand cover of Bazaar (US) September 2015

The Issue: Bazaar (US) September  2015

The Cover Star: Katy Perry

Editorial comment: Is Katy Perry even relevant still? This issue contained an interview with Empire star Taraji P. Henson–they should have put her on the cover.

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Being the behemoth September issue, this issue contained 6 editorials.

Despite having six editorials, only one –the first one by Carine Roitfeld and Jean-Paul Goude featured women of colour. Pretty bad odds, all things considered.

Thankfully, none of the editorials were shot by Bazaar pet and alleged sexual offender Terry Richardson, a very positive sign given this is their biggest issue of the year.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Yes, if you count the celebrities featured in the first editorial. you will see some folks who are not stick-thin.

Katy-Perry-Harpers-Bazaar-September-2015-subscriber cover

Above: The subscriber cover of Bazaar (US) September 2015

Covers & Content Annual Review 2014, Part 1: Elle Canada

2014 has come to a close, so it’s time to look back on every issue printed this year by Canada’s three top fashion magazines: Elle Canada, Fashion, and Flare, to see how diverse they were overall and compared to last year.

This review will be divided into three parts (one for each magazine), just like we did last year. Posting will be done alphabetically, so Elle Canada is up first!

For a review of this project, please check out the FAQ page here.

***

Elle Canada, what happened to you this year??

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Last year, Elle Canada came in second for most cover stars of colour, and this year they had ZERO cover stars of colour exclusively. A note should be made though–yes, Kayla Clarke made an appearance on the August 2014 cover BUT there are three serious caveats to consider:

1. She did not star solo on the cover, but was one of three models on the cover.

Pamela-Bernier-Kayla-Clarke-Sophie-Touchet-for-Elle-Canada-August-2014

2. As you can see from the cover, she appeared as part of a Token Diversity Cover, which may be considered akin to a Token Diversity Spread (Token Diversity Spread: When a fashion magazine books/uses an ensemble of models, including some models of colour or models representing other minorities in the fashion world like plus size models or visibly older models, but are careful not to allow the minorities chosen to make up the majority of the spread or the majority of models chosen.)

3. She (nor any of the other models for that matter) did not get an in-depth interview or accompanying story to go with her cover. The three models shared a one paragraph-long interview.

This is pretty shocking, as Elle Canada had 4 cover stars of colour last year, and its competitors, Flare and Fashion both managed more cover stars of colour (we’ll get there, don’t want to spoil the total yet). Tsk, tsk, tsk.

January

The January 2014 issue of Elle Canada was a Whiteout Issue, starring Cate Blanchett on the cover, and contained two fashion editorials, both starring one thin, white model each. This issue stood out as it contained an interview with Jenna Talackova. Incidentally, she would have been a great cover star for Elle Canada–take note, editorial team.

February

The February issue was pretty slim, Kate Mara starred on the cover and it had no editorials, only a trend/runway report.

March

Scan 3

Above: Scan from editorial “Top Ten” in Elle Canada March 2014.

For the first time this year, Elle Canada returned to a fashion magazine classic and had a model star on the cover, Logan, who is Canadian. Unfortunately, this didn’t do much for diversity as Logan appears to be thin and white. There were three editorials this month. Two of these editorials were status quo, starring one thin, white model each. The third editorial starred four black models, representing the first time this year Elle Canada booked models of colour for an editorial. Something interesting to note though about this editorial:

1. It was the first and only time a female model appeared entirely nude in a shoot throughout Elle Canada‘s publishing year.

Scan 4

 Above: Scan from editorial “Top Ten” in Elle Canada March 2014.

2. It is interesting that four black models had to share a spread when immediately following, two white models got to star in their own spread.

April

April was a blah blah basic Whiteout Issue, starring Emily VanCamp on the cover, and two editorials both starring one thin, white model.

May

elle canada may 2014

Above: Perhaps this model is sulking because the issue she was in, May 2014, just missed the mark of being a really great, feminist issue.

Damn, too bad the May Elle Canada was a Whiteout Issue, because it was otherwise Elle Canada‘s most feminist issue of the year! It literally had an article on fashion and feminism (which, you know, is kind of what we’re all about here at The Closet Feminist). This issue also focused on female artists like Winnie Truong which was really cool (for more on women, art, and fashion, be sure to check out our Inspired by Art Herstory column). Lastly, it featured a Kelis interview, and she’s badass. Interestingly, both Elle Canada and Fashion featured brief interviews with Kelis this year to discuss her latest album, Food, but neither decided to give her a cover story. The May cover, by the way, featured Rose Byrne.

June

June was yet another Whiteout Issue, starring Emma Roberts on the cover, and had two editorials, both featuring one thin, white model each.

July

Scan 5

Above: The weird, second “cover” featuring Ashley Graham in Elle Canada‘s July issue.

The July issue of Elle Canada was kinda….weird. It was another Whiteout Issue, and Gisele was the cover star, but then they did this odd second cover, immediately behind Gisele’s starring top ‘plus’ model Ashley Graham.

The pull quote on Graham’s “cover” reads, “Everyone wants to talk about plus size models right now.” Ironically (and sadly), Graham’s interview is super-short. To add insult to injury, this issue has two editorials, but there isn’t a ‘plus’ model in sight, as both feature one thin, white model each.

Lastly, it seems Graham’s cover is a classic controversial cover–we can’t really see her face or her body, which is a fatphobic trick magazines seem to use when they have a ‘plus’ cover star.

Given all this, the July issue seems like the biggest #fail of the year for Elle Canada, not to mention its the FOURTH Whiteout Issue in a row.

August

Scan 6

Above: A scan of one of the two pages that the three models shared. Honestly, it’s a bad picture of all of them. Way to phone it in, Elle Canada.

Now we come to the August issue, which has already been torn apart in the opening comments. Technically, it breaks Elle Canada‘s streak of Whiteout Issues, but just barely. As mentioned, there were three cover stars, Canadian models Pamela Bernier, Sophie Touchet, and Kayla Clarke. The models, however, do not get an editorial nor a full length interview, the three of them share a paragraph-long interview.

Weirdly, there is one editorial this month, and while it gets points for showing off the creations of Canadian designers, it stars one thin, white model. This is kind of odd, because they clearly had Kayla Clarke in their studio at one point, why not just book her for this shoot instead?

September

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Above: Grace Mahary stars in “Mod Love” in Elle Canada September 2014

And now we come to the September Issue of  Elle Canada, which is any fashion magazine’s biggest issue of the year. Thankfully, it is not a Whiteout Issue. It starred Mia Wasikowska on the cover, and had three editorials. The first starred Canadian Model (and woman of colour) Grace Mahary exclusively, yay! The other two editorials were status quo, featuring a single thin, white model each.

October

October saw to another Whiteout Issue, featuring Drew Barrymore on the cover. Despite having three editorials this month, Elle Canada decided to not book a single model of colour, as all three starred one thin, white model each. Booooo!

November

ellecanadaNovember2014

Above: Hereith Paul stars in “Evening Star” in Elle Canada November 2014.

Masters of Sex star Lizzy Caplan landed the November cover of Elle Canada. This issue had three editorials, the first starred one thin, black model, the other two were status quo editorials.

December

Apparently committed to finish off their super-status quo year, Elle Canada closed out their publishing year with Hilary Duff on the cover of their December issue. There were two editorials, both starring a thin, white model each. Talk about anticlimactic!

RECAP

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Above is a table of how each 2014 issue of Elle Canada fared in terms of diversity this past year.

Elle Canada put out twelve issues this year, though only featured a cover star of colour. Of these twelve issues, seven of them were Whiteout Issues.

They did twenty-six editorials total this year. Of these, none featured a ‘plus’ size model. Three editorials total featured models of colour.

Bottom line, Elle Canada, you are a great magazine, but we know you can do better, you did last year! If you’re stuck on building a more diverse publication, The Closet Feminist humbly recommends you consider the following celebs as cover stars for 2015:

Kelis

Jenna Talackova

Lupita Nyong’o

Laverne Cox

Janet Mock

Jourdan Dunn

FKA Twigs

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (she really loves fashion!)

Alexa Chung

Jamie Chung

Solange

Mindy Kaling

Rihanna

Rebel Wilson

Nicki Minaj

Kerry Washington

Beyoncé

Melissa McCarthy

Lucy Liu

M.I.A.

Stella Jean

…just to name a few amazing ladies we’d love to see land a cover story of your magazine.

 

 

Covers & Content: September 2014

The September Issues are the most important issue a fashion magazine puts out during the publishing year. This being said, let’s see how Canada’s three biggest fashion magazines fared diversity-wise this month…

FLR09_Cover-copy

The Magazine: Flare

The Cover Star: Chloë Grace Moretz

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Yes. Flare did three editorials this month. The first did something relatively rare for a magazine–the spread starred three models, two of whom are women of colour. This rather inverts the precedent we have for our definition of a Token Diversity Spread, which we define as:

When a fashion magazine books/uses an ensemble of models, including some models of colour or models representing other minorities in the fashion world (i.e., plus size models or visibly older models), but are careful not to allow the minorities chosen to make up the majority of the spread or the majority of models chosen.

The second editorial is very status quo, starring 2 white models. The third and last fshion editorial in the September 2014 issue of Flare stars one white model.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No

Fashion-Magazine-September-2014-Lana-Del-Rey

The Magazine: Fashion

The Cover Star: Lana del Rey

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No–yikes, for their biggest issue of the year, Fashion opted to have a Whiteout Issue, the only magazine of the three to do so. This is also a step back from what Fashion did last year for their September issue. We define a Whiteout Issue as:

An issue of a fashion magazine where neither the cover star nor models booked/used for any of the major editorials are people of colour.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No

Elle-Canada-September-2014

The Magazine: Elle Canada

The Cover Star: Mia Wasikowska

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Yes, this issue of Elle Canada had three editorials, one of which starred a model of colour (Canadian stunner Grace Mahary!).

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No

 

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