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British Vogue puts “real filter” on November issue’s fashion pages

October 5, 2016

British Vogue's November 2016 cover British Vogue's November 2016 cover


Condé Nast’s British Vogue is getting real by having everyday women grace its fashion and editorial pages rather than models in its November issue.

Dubbed the “Real Issue,” British Vogue’s theme for its November edition was conceptualized by its editor Alexandra Shulman in the spring. The idea came to Ms. Shulman after the publication found it challenging to dress actors in high-fashion garb intended for sample-size models.

Let’s get real
In her editor’s letter Ms. Shulman discussed how when preparing for a fashion editorial with cast members of the Netflix series “The Crown,” the production team had trouble sourcing the pieces they wished to include because only sample sizes were available from leading fashion houses.

While she acknowledged the importance of models to the fashion industry, Ms. Shulman looked to express a more democratic perspective of high-fashion for the Real Issue. In her note she says, “Fashion should be something that everybody -- no matter their age, size, creed, profession -- should be encouraged to enjoy.

She continued saying, “I thought that it would be interesting for us to put together an issue of the magazine where none of the fashion is shot on models and where we looked in various ways at the subject of what we wear through a more ‘real’ filter.”

british Vogue Nov16 Cover 400

British Vogue's November cover 

Women featured in the issue include tetraplegic journalist Melanie Reid, Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly Media, a video marketing firm, architectural historian Shumi Bose and ice cream entrepreneur Kitty Travers of La Grotta Ices.

Actress Emily Blunt, who stars in the film adaption of “The Girl on the Train,” is featured on the cover of the November edition of British Vogue.

For campaign purposes it is not uncommon for fashion brands to enlist personalities who are not traditionally known for modeling. Often, brands will cast local faces from the location where the campaign is set.

For example, Barneys New York teamed with photographer Bruce Weber to feature local Los Angeles people for its fall 2014 campaign.

“L.A. Stories” featured 76 local Angelenos in their spaces in the city while sporting clothing and apparel from Barneys. The local vibe likely made the retailer seem more attuned to its consumers (see story).