The return of supermodel covers – Vogue Paris

Opinion is divided on the subject of who should grace magazine covers – celebrities or supermodels. The celebrity-on-covers trend is attributed to La Wintour, who started putting celebrities and actresses on covers in the 90s. It does work very well as they have their own fanbase and are instantly recognisable but I much prefer seeing supermodels on covers. To me, supermodel covers are always stronger with a high impact – they know how to command the camera’s attention. Also, they are generally more neutral than celebrities, who have supporters as well as haters and have their private lives aired out in public. I think supermodels are a bit more untouchable and unattainable; isn’t that what fashion magazines are sort of supposed to be? A fantasy land where ethereal Amazonian creatures frolic in Balmain, couture and Lanvin, rather than a calculated platform for an actress to push her film while the magazine hopes for boosted circulation figures.

I’ve been quietly rooting for the widespread return of supers on covers for a while and I think the Emmanuelle Alt is on the same team – I may be a tad optimistic but her first two covers at the helm of Vogue Paris have starred two of the most successful models in the world. The April 2011 cover featured Gisele in a pretty, sheer lace D&G dress shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. I was quite surprised when I first saw this cover, I expected more rock ‘n’ roll attitude from Alt but it was a sweet cover, perfect for Spring. I don’t think many celebrities could pull off the outfit with such aplomb or create such an assertive, confident pose.

The second cover features Kate Moss shot by Mert & Marcus. Dramatically different to the previous cover, this one seems to be more Alt – strong, sexy and provocative. I think Armani Prive was an unusual choice as were the hands but as an overall image it works. Again, I think that a celebrity would struggle to draw the reader in with their expression alone. Both of these covers are creating something beautiful but slightly out of reach, which I think is what a cover should be. It should be intriguing and pull you in..something that celebrity covers just don’t do for me. 

Reena Rai

Reena Rai is a 30-something London-based fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for 10 years (!), previously at before launching her self-titled blog.



  1. Fashion Limbo
    April 21, 2011 / 11:24 am

    Firstly Reena, thanks so much for commenting on my "skinny" post, I really appreciate the support and your words are truly inspiring.I miss the "supermodel", like you, i like to think of these women as unattainable, a different kind. In the 90s we had Cindy and Claudia and all of the amazing women that came with them. They walked differently, moved in such a surreal way, they all looked very different from one another (which ties in with the whole "real women" debate right?) and they were all gracing covers.Now it is more the celebrity cover, celebrities that are not necessarily iconic or even inspiring. Celebrities that are heavily photoshopped, celebrities that, many, say nothing to me. Kate Moss may be disliked by a lot of people, but what's undeniable is what a statement she makes on a cover, on any photoshoot. She has IT.A lot of people questioned this new era of Vogue Paris with that Giselle cover, saying it was "blah" and completely lame. I liked it, as you states, it screams Spring, Giselle gives that image of the "woman we all aspire to be", or that goddess-like nature that comes with superb magazine covers.

  2. Nina
    April 21, 2011 / 1:44 pm

    wauw grogeous coversthanks!xoxo

  3. yiqin;
    April 21, 2011 / 5:14 pm

    kate moss is still the queen.

  4. WendyB
    April 22, 2011 / 12:23 am

    I so miss the '90s supermodels. Much better than today's celeb covers!

  5. Meera
    April 22, 2011 / 7:37 am

    I am so glad Alt is bringing back models to the covers of Vogue Paris! I have always thought that supermodels represented fashion, and have done so very beautifully. Alt's first cover with Giselle is just gorgeous!Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. Now following!xxMeera

  6. marta
    April 22, 2011 / 8:43 am

    Both covers are amazing, but Kate Moss one is cooler, without doubt!! ;)Marta, xxx

  7. col
    April 22, 2011 / 10:03 am

    Hey Ree xxx I really miss the supermodels, so much so that I spend the majority of my time on Youtube looking at clips of the supermodels. I don't know about you guys, but I'm so bored of seeing Hollywood Actresses on the covers, every now and then, all good, but when it's one after another… I actually thought we were going to go back to the days when models were on the cover when natalia vodianova graced the cover of US Vogue back in 2007, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Still loving your blog! xxx

  8. iconic models
    August 29, 2011 / 5:05 am

    Second cover is amazing Reena.. Thanks for sharing..

  9. thiacarr
    July 14, 2012 / 8:15 am

    I completely agree with this above comment, the internet is with a doubt growing into your most essential medium of communication across the globe and also its due to sites just like this that ideas are spreading so quickly.Ines Rivero

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