Avedon. Penn. Meisel. Leibovitz. Klein. There are few jobs in the fashion industry that grant you the clemency of unironic, mononymous status but shooting the cover of American Vogue certainly helps. The fortress of fashion known for its stable of photographic talent has in a rare showing of evolution given 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell the life-changing opportunity to shoot the September issue featuring music icon, Beyoncé. Styled by Vogue veteran Tonne Goodman and shot right outside of London, the issue is marked as the first cover story ever shot by a black photographer in all of the US tome’s 125-year history – a monumental achievement that is hopefully not the lone one of its kind. The wow factor of taking portraits of the entertainment powerhouse puts the project on another playing field of notoriety as Knowles-Carter discloses her personal thoughts on opening doors for people of color, the recent buzz on her Coachella performance and the On the Run II tour with Jay Z, and her difficulties with her pregnancy and body acceptance. Read an excerpt from the singer in her own words, as told to Vogue, and be sure to pick up a copy of the issue when it hits newsstands later this month.
“If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose.”