Jacinda Ardern stars on the cover of British Vogue – guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex

29 July 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern graces the cover of British Vogue, alongside 14 other change-making women.

British Vogue has revealed the cover of their ground-breaking September issue, guest-edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle – the first guest editor of the magazine’s September issue in the publication’s 103-year history. It is rare for members of the royal family to wade into publishing waters, and this issue is made even more momentous by its theme and the subjects it celebrates.

Entitled ‘Forces for Change’, the issue champions women who are world-leading change-makers in their chosen fields. The series of cover images were lensed by iconic photographer Peter Lindbergh – each woman featured, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, was personally chosen by The Duchess of Sussex and British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, a process that began back in January.

Talking to British Vogue, the Duchess shared her experience of creating the issue. “These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, to take the year’s most-read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today,” she said.

“Through this lens I hope you’ll feel the strength of the collective in the diverse selection of women chosen for the cover as well as the team of support I called upon within the issue to help bring this to light. I hope readers feel as inspired as I do, by the ‘Forces for Change’ they’ll find within these pages.”

British Vogue's September Issue cover, guest-edited by Megan Markle

The cover stars are as inspiring as they are diverse, ranging in age from 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg to 81-year-old actor and activist Jane Fonda. Other subjects include LGBTQIA+ advocate and actor Laverne Cox, activist and actor Jameela Jamil, model and mental health campaigner Adwoa Aboah, diversity advocate Sinéad Burke, former refugee and model Adut Akech, multi-hyphenate and women’s rights advocate Salma Hayek Pinault, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, campaigner and actor Gemma Chan, youth voting activist and actor Yara Shahidi, boxer and former refugee Ramla Ali, dancer and actress Francesca Hayward, and model Christy Turlington Burns.

The last spot is a mirror, to reflect and showcase the reader as another powerful force for change.

Jacinda Ardern’s shot also makes fashion history as the first British Vogue subject to be photographed via video link, a first for Peter Lindbergh as well.

Styled in Auckland by the fashion and creative director of the NZ Herald‘s Viva magazine, Dan Ahwa, she wears pieces from New Zealand designer Emilia Wickstead and jeweller Jessica McCormack. This issue also marks the first time Peter Lindbergh has shot a British Vogue cover since 1992.

The issue will be available from August 2, and is set to also include an interview between the Duchess and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Watch the video below to find out more about this iconic shoot:

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Words: Emma Gleason
Images: Getty Images & @SUSSEXROYAL


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