Last night the Duchess of Sussex revealed the first look at British Vogue's September issue, which she guest-edited. On Instagram, the Duchess shared the cover, which features women she, along with British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, dubbed "forces of change," which is the theme of the issue. "For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness," the Sussex Royal account notes in the caption. On the cover are many familiar faces, including actresses Yara Shahidi, Jane Fonda, and Laverne Cox, activist Adwoa Aboah, model Adut Akech Bior, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, but there is one blank space at the center of the image with no face in it. What is it? It's not a mistake, in fact that blank space is a very significant...and it's not actually a blank space at all.
"The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective," the Sussex Royal account writes.
"The 16th spot on the magazine’s cover represents a mirror, at the request of the Duchess, to include the reader in this unique moment and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change," Vogue explains further in a post from Enniful about the issue. "The 16th spot on the cover will appear in print as a silver reflective mirror, to show how you, the reader, are part of this extraordinary moment in time."
So it seems the idea for the mirror came directly from Meghan Markle who, Enninful says, didn't want to be featured on the cover herself. "As you will see from her selections throughout this magazine, she is also willing to wade into more complex and nuanced areas, whether they concern female empowerment, mental health, race or privilege. From the very beginning, we talked about the cover–whether she would be on it or not. In the end, she felt that it would be in some ways a 'boastful' thing to do for this particular project. She wanted, instead, to focus on the women she admires.”
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