This is why being the September cover star of US Vogue is still important

By Fiona Morgan
Newsbeat reporter

Published
image copyrightGetty Images

What do Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Jennifer Lawrence have in common?

They've all featured on the cover of the "legendary" September issue of US Vogue magazine.

As Kendall Jenner is announced as this year's cover star, we find out why it's such a big talking point.

In short, it's all about the start of the new fashion season in New York but there's obviously a bit more to it than that.

Judith Watt, a fashion historian from Central Saint Martins art school in London, has written for British Vogue.

She says that although it's still a big deal, it was a much bigger deal in the past.

"It is traditionally the issue that showed the forthcoming collections.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionKendall Jenner has modelled for plenty of designers already

"And in a time when women were more conventional with their style, this was their bible.

"Vogue was doing this from 1909 until about the '80s or '90s and showed all the couture styles from the prestigious fashion shows around the world."

She thinks the arrival of the internet and the higher levels of individuality of women these days has changed the impact of the September issue.

"Back then we were more conventional," she says.

"Women would use these magazines to find out if their hem line should be going up or down and what types of hat they should be wearing.

image copyrightPA
image captionKim Kardashian and Kanye West's controversial Vogue cover sold more than 500,000 copies

"You wouldn't be looking at the magazine to buy the clothes though, you'd be looking at the new dressmaking patterns and then make them yourself."

It is the American version of the magazine which is most widely talked about and they've even made a documentary about it.

Watt believes that these days "it is famous because of the film".

Vogue has used the front cover to make some big statements

Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour speaks on episode one of the Vogue podcast about putting Naomi Campbell on the cover of her very first September issue in 1989.

"We have this meeting every month where we present the issue to the corporate floor and I remember all the men in suits being absolutely stunned that I would put a black woman on the front cover of the September issue of Vogue.

"So looking at this issue made me very proud of how far we've come, how much the world has changed and that question would just simply not arise today."

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