Rihanna has become the first Black woman to appear on the cover of British Vogue’s September issue in its more than 100-year history. Edward Enninful, the magazine’s Ghanaian-born editor-in-chief, personally chose the multihyphenate for the historic moment.
In his monthly editor’s letter published on July 31, Enninful explained his decision. “As you know, September issues are important in the fashion world, our largest and most lavish of the year and a real statement about what the coming months will bring,” he wrote. “With this one being my first as editor-in-chief, I was determined it would be something special.”
Enninful became the first Black man to hold the position as editor-in-chief at the fashion publication in April 2017. Since taking over, he has overseen 10 issues, half of which have featured women of color, including Oprah and actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
For Rihanna’s cover shoot, Enninful enlisted fashion photographer Nick Knight and took on the task of styling the pop star himself. She appears in the spread wearing a dress made of flowers by Noir Kei Ninomiya and is also featured in garments by designers Alexander McQueen, Loewe, Prada and Gianvito Rossi in addition to a lace bodysuit by her own brand, Savage x Fenty. Rihanna’s makeup was all from her cosmetics line, Fenty Beauty.
The historic news comes just days after reports that Beyoncé has chosen the first Black photographer to shoot her for the 2018 cover of U.S. Vogue’s iconic September issue.