For most fashion magazines, the September issue is the most important release of the year. This year, Vogue Italia used its coveted September issue to celebrate equality. In a landmark moment, the Italian style magazine featured not one, but two, same-sex kisses on its September covers.
Following in the footsteps of the late editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, the publication’s new editor-in-chief, Emanuele Farneti, honored underrepresented minorities for fashion’s biggest month. One of the covers features models Lily Aldridge and Vittoria Ceretti, and the other highlights real-life couple Edoardo Velicskov and Pablo Rousson, with the word bacio (“kiss”) emblazoned across the image. The magazine’s third cover stars opposite-sex models Maria Carla Boscono and Federico Spinas.
Sneak peek to our September issue 🔥 #thenewvogueitalia #itsallaboutitaly 🇮🇹 Bacio! 💋 by #mertandmarcus @mertalas @macpiggott styled by @alastairmckimm Editor in chief @efarneti Creative director @gb65 Full Cover + Fold-Out Credits Fashion: @prada #prada #MariacarlaBoscono @ Elite Milano @iosonomariacarlaboscono Federico Spinas @ I Love Management Lily Aldridge @ Img Models @lilyaldridge Vittoria Ceretti @ Elite Milano @vittoceretti Pablo Rousson e Edoardo Velickskov Casting Piergiorgio Del Moro @pg_dmcasting and Samuel Ellis Scheinman @samuel_ellis Hair Cyndia Harvey @ Streeters @cyndiaharvey Make-up Isamaya Ffrench @ Streeters @isamayaffrench Manicure Mary Soul using Chanel Le Vernis Set design Andrea Stanley @ Streeters On set Across Media Productions
Captured by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the photos inspired a surplus of positive reactions. The hashtag “#ItaliansDoItBetter” is swirling around Instagram while fans of the brand praise its queer-themed September issue. Even the shoot’s casting director, Piergiorgio Del Moro, took to social media to express his excitement for the issue. “It’s such an important message for my country,” he said.
The covers promote the idea of absolute love and demonstrate Vogue Italia‘s commitment to pushing societal boundaries. While it’s important to recognize the trailblazing work of Vogue‘s international editions, it also highlights the American version’s shortcomings. Earlier this year, Vogue disappointed LGBT readers when it tried to pass heterosexual and cisgender cover stars Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid as “gender fluid.”
Vogue Italia‘s September issue isn’t the first time an edition of the magazine published an LGBT-inclusive cover. Transgender Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio covered this year’s March issue of Vogue Paris. It was the second largest issue of the year. In 2015, American Vogue featured Andreja Pejic in a fashion editorial, which made her the first trans model appear in Vogue.
In 2016, Italy became the last founding country of the European Union to recognize same-sex civil unions legislatively. That same year, lawmakers rejected a proposal to award same-sex couples the right to adopt.