The pressure to deliver a strong second offering after a critically acclaimed debut is always high, but following a widely praised first issue of Vogue, Edward Enninful has returned with a second edition that will undoubtedly be just as newsworthy, to kick off the new year. Global superstar Taylor Swift covers the January 2018 issue of British Vogue, after model and activist Adwoa Aboah made history as Enninful's first ever cover star in a stunning, '70s-inspired close-up. Shot by Mert & Marcus, the "Look What You Made Me Do" singer wears a red, leather dress from Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello on the cover and a deep plum lip, created by makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, as she looks intently over her shoulder. With wet-look, grungy waves styled by Paul Hanlon and kohl-ringed eyes, the look is a departure from the saccharine, youthful aesthetic previously associated with Swift. Entitled 'Taylor Remade', it is evident that Enninful and his #NewVogue team wanted to portray the chart-topping singer in a way we've rarely seen her before.
Enninful explained: “For me, the chance to help transform America’s most fascinating sweetheart was a joy. As we took the pop icon on an epic fashion journey with photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, what struck me most about Taylor was her brilliant sense of humour, but also how, for a woman in her twenties, she has an incredible sense of who she is. Obviously she is a world-class lyricist – and has written a stunning poem just for Vogue on the timely subject of reinvention and moving on – but she also takes her duties as a role model very seriously. Taylor is acutely aware of her following and how she communicates with young women, and will never portray a character that would send the wrong message. That said, even superstars aren’t immune to the power of a great dress. Taylor says she has never seen herself transformed like this before, and I was very touched to see how emotional she was at the end of our shoot day in London.”
Though no interview accompanies the 12-page cover shoot, Swift has written an exclusive poem about her evolution for the January issue of the magazine which lands on newsstands later this week. As the 27-year-old prepares for her upcoming worldwide stadium tour, following the release of her latest album, Reputation, last month, the decision to feature her on the cover arguably feels like a safe and unsurprising option.
For many, Enninful's appointment heralded a pivotal moment in the style title's history and the hope for a more directional, dynamic and representative vision for British Vogue after Alexandra Shulman's 25-year reign, which lacked diversity both in terms of her editorial team as well as on the pages itself. Though Taylor's cover will most likely be a surefire hit with the masses (including her 104 million Instagram followers), here's hoping that despite this more obvious choice for the latest cover star, Enninful continues to surprise, inspire and inform us in future by championing the brightest and as-yet-unknown stars from Britain and beyond.