how three decades of i-D covers sound off on womanhood

Happy international women's day!

by i-D Team
08 March 2016, 3:15am

Sara Stockbridge, The Holiday Issue, no. 50, 1987

We're queens! Back in the early days, i-D celebrated our 50th issue by crowning—literally—Vivienne Westwood's muse Sara Stockbridge. Women are endlessly inspired by the other women that surround them, and in 1987 Vivienne was no different. Nearly 30 years on, we're still drawing inspiration from the first lady of punk.

Mariko, The Fear Issue, no. 53, 1987

The Devil is a woman with a red dress on, or so the saying goes. Mariko's horns remind us that girls can be a little devilish every now and then—but only if somebody really deserves it.

La Vera Chapel, The Ego Issue, no. 173, 1998

Women can be inked! Tattoos aren't only for the boys: some of our favourite women are covered in them—Grimes' knuckles read Beautiful and Grace Neutral's body is practically one large mural. Women create tattoos just as readily as they get them. The new guard of artists taking over the industry are female—so what's your next tattoo?

Kiara, The Global Issue, no. 177, 1998

Women get things done. We go, and don't stop until we cross the finish line.

Milla Jovovich, The Wisdom Issue. no 193, 1999

Pleasure: women want it, and aren't afraid to head out into the world to grab it. We knew it back in 1999, when we put Milla (in the throes of passion) on the cover! In 2016, we're well past the days where we pretended men cared about sex and women didn't. Female sexuality is louder and prouder than ever.

Lil Kim, The Hotel Issue, no. 196, 2000

We can beat the boys at (what they think is) their own game. Take Lil Kim: the MC rapped circles around her male counterparts. Her hyper-sexual lyrics made it clear women had the same drive as men, and weren't afraid to brag about their sexual prowess. 16 years after she covered i-D, her legacy in the rap game is as clear as ever.

Jessica Miller, The Let's Get Physical Issue, no. 231, 2003

Women are playful—and we're not afraid of getting into a game. On our 2003 cover Jessica Miller got sporty. Sure, she's wearing a Chanel visor on the court, but nobody said we couldn't look damn good doing it.

Liya Kebede, The Name Issue, no. 250, 2005

Women give life! One of the most beautiful aspects of being a women is motherhood. i-D celebrated exactly that by putting pregnant Liya Kebede on the cover in 2005.

Daisy Lowe, The Best of British Issue, no. 297, 2009

Women have diverse bodies, and they're all damn beautiful. Daisy Lowe said it best on her 2009 cover, "I've got tits and an arse and thighs." Some girls do, some girls don't: whatever body you've got, love it unashamedly, proudly, just like Daisy.

Miuccia Prada, The Pain & Pleasure Issue, no. 298, 2009

Women never stop winning. Miuccia Prada was 59 when we shot this cover, and her empire has kept on growing in the years since. It feels like women get better and better with age.

Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman, Allenis Sosa & Sessilee Lopez, The P.Y.T Issue, no. 302, 2009

Ain't nobody fucking with our clique. Girl gangs are more visible than ever, and we love it. In 2009 we put some of the world's most beautiful women of colour together for a cover hot enough to give an unsuspecting reader heatstroke.

Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova & Helena Christensen, The Flesh and Blood Issue, no. 304, 2009

We've got superpowers. There's a reason every single supermodel is a woman: we're simply the most beautiful creatures on earth. When we united Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova and Helena Christensen in 2009, it was almost eerie how powerful the trio was. Otherworldly doesn't begin to cover it.

Joan Smalls, The Define Yourself Issue, no. 309, 2010

Women have nipples: get over it. We freed the nipple five years ago, and will keep on fighting until every woman has the option can bare her chest without being policed.

Milou Van Groeson & Rose Cordero, The Livin' Loud Issue, no. 311, 2011

Women are bright and bold. Your voice is the most important thing you own, use it! If it doesn't work the first time, get louder and louder until you're impossible to ignore.

Li Zheng, The Whatever the Weather Issue, no. 317, 2012

Just because you look like a candy coloured dream doesn't mean you can't mix your sugar with spice. Li Zheng reminds us that the beneath the surface, even the nicest girls can be the best kind of trouble.

Vivienne Westwood, The Royalty Issue, no. 318, 2012

Time is what you make it—a quarter of a century after Vivienne crowned Sara Stockbridge we're still celebrating the designer's genius. The decades have done nothing to dull Vivienne's ground-breaking style or connection to social causes. A lifetime later, and she's still our queen.

Julia Restoin Roitfeld, The Lights Camera Action Issue, no. 319, 2012

With a baby on board, Julia was the picture of modern motherhood: sensual, powerful and totally unique. This 2012 cover certainly proved that women don't give up their sexuality when they have a baby—it's our duality that makes us so wonderful. Julia also reminded us that mums are the coolest, although to be fair—they're not all quite this cool.

Kel Markey & Herieth Paul, The Just Kids Issue, no. 320, 2012

Women are here to back each other up, when the seas are calm and when they're stormy. Not sure what you're doing with your life? Make a mess and tear the place apart. If that doesn't work, hold your best girl close and laugh it off.

Willow Smith, The Coming of Age Issue, no. 338, 2015

Women are powerful, even if they're young! When Willow Smith burst onto the scene with Whip My Hair in 2011 she was just nine years old. Four years later, she proved you can take on your teens and the world at the same time.

Ruth Bell, The Fashion Issue, no. 341, 2016.

In our latest issue we celebrated the industry we love and chose some of the freshest faces to grace our four covers. Ruth Bell's wink and eternal punk attitude remind us that in 2016 young women know how to get noticed—even when they're an identical twin.

Willow Smith
Chanel Iman
Vivienne Westwood
Lil' Kim
Jourdan Dunn
international women's day
liya kebede
Joan Smalls
Daisy Lowe
Helena Christensen
Miuccia Prada
ruth bell
Claudia Schiffer
Eva Herzigová
julia restoin roitfeld
sara stockbridge
i-d covers
jessica miller
allenis sosa
herieth paul
kel markey
la vera chapel
li zheng
mila jocovich
milou van groeson
rose cordero
sessilee lopez
cover archive