US Vogue just went through with what apparently no one in fashion thought they’d go through with: Anna Wintour put Kim Kardashian on the cover of her holy fashion bible. She may have been backed up by fiancé Kanye West to add some street cred, but make no mistake of it, that kover was all Kim K all the way. Twitter’s fashion corner responded with tweets such as, “Words I thought I’d never say,” “Wait, what?” and, “Is Anna on crack?” The answer is no, Anna is not on crack – if anything she’s smoking the grass of genius. The high priestess of publishing went against the grain and set the agenda. (There you go, Kim. Enjoy highbrow superstardom. It’s yours.) In commemoration, we give you five other magazine covers that shook the world, increased sales and paved the way. i-D has of course politely excluded our own archives from the race since, well, we wouldn’t want to steal the show.
Anna Wintour says the first US Vogue cover under her strict direction wasn’t as considered as history has made it out to be. “None of these things was true. I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change,” she once wrote. But nonetheless, Wintour’s debut cover featuring a fresh-faced Michaela Bercu in a Christian Lacroix jacket paired with – gasp! – Guess jeans was nothing less of a revolution in the very proper women’s fashion magazine world where denim didn’t belong on a cover and a pose from the model was the least to expect. Styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, the cover went on to signify a new Vogue – Wintour’s Vogue – and changed high fashion publishing forever.