Madonna on Vogue covers

Been hammering away on the book I’m writing about the history of magazine design and looking through some old Vogue covers. How’s this for the first Madonna Vogue cover in the US edition dated May 1989:

vogue 1989 may madonna us first

Anna Wintour was told this Madonna cover would not sell

Fashion Indie notes that editor Anna Wintour says she was told ‘[Madonna will] never sell’, but, in fact, newsstand sales rose 40% with the photo shoot. Strange that Wintour hadn’t checked with Liz Tilberis, her successor at the British sister magazine – ‘Brogue’ – which had run this Madonna Vogue cover in February:

Vogue front cover Madonna

British Vogue beat the US edition in having a Madonna photograph for its front cover four months earlier

Of course, Madonna has a reputation that has seen her described as having the ‘world’s most exploited belly button’ and she vies with Joan Collins and Kate Moss as the biggest magazine cover star.

Yet none of these Madonna Vogue covers can claim to be the first magazine to carry a Madonna photograph cover, because Madonna Louise Ciccone, to use her full name, had appeared on magazine front covers as early as February 1984 in Britain.

The British Vogue cover archive is online with the ability to search on date, model, photographer or editor, although not all covers are up. The first Vogue cover under Liz Tilberis was of Naomi Campbell – that model’s first appearance on the front of the fashion magazine.

One thing you’ll notice is that Madonna seem to reinvent herself for every cover shoot, as you’ll see from the first Madonna magazine cover in February 1984.


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

 

 


 

 

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2 Responses to “Madonna on Vogue covers”

  1. The first Madonna magazine cover | Magforum Says:

    […] was another five years before Madonna began to appear on Vogue covers in the UK and US, but Tatler had given her its front in […]

  2. Madonna – a scarce face on Cosmopolitan covers | Magforum Says:

    […] has appeared quite a few times on Vogue covers, but just twice on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. In May 1990 she fronted the […]

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