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Report: 2021 Journal Covers Have been the Most Racially Numerous on File


Vogue September 2021 by Ethan James Inexperienced; Picture: Vogue

In terms of variety, trend notoriously lags behind different industries. However with the struggle for racial justice taking middle stage final 12 months, issues lastly began to vary in 2020. Fortunately, that change continued this 12 months. No less than when it got here to 2021 journal covers. We’ll actually take it.

We noticed a small uptick in racial variety on 2021 journal covers. Whereas not as giant of a rise as in comparison with 2019 and 2020, issues are nonetheless trending in the appropriate course. There was extra dimension and gender variety on covers this 12 months, too. Though age illustration took a nosedive. (There’s a logical cause behind the plunge, however extra on that later.)

In fact, the continuing pandemic continues to pose challenges. However traditional photoshoots made a comeback in 2021 after many trend publications needed to forgo them in 2020. Sadly, some trend magazines weren’t capable of climate the storm. American Marie Claire, for instance, went strictly digital. So on account of all the pieces that occurred this 12 months, there have been much less cowl appearances for fashions than final 12 months.

Learn on to find out how the 2021 journal covers fared on the range entrance throughout all classes.


2021 magazine covers

Vogue Japan September 2021 by Luigi & Iango; Picture: Vogue Japan

We examined 685 cowl appearances throughout 48 main journal titles and located a small spike in illustration. This 12 months noticed 52.9 p.c fashions of coloration in comparison with final 12 months’s 48.8 p.c. That’s an uptick of slightly over 4 factors.

2021 magazine covers

Share of nonwhite cowl fashions on high worldwide trend magazines, 2014 by way of 2021

This improve was smaller than the one which occurred between 2019 and 2020, when there was near a 12-point surge in fashions of coloration. Nonetheless, this 12 months’s covers had been probably the most various on report. Which is a particular win. Particularly since we lastly pushed previous the 50 p.c mark.


2021 magazine covers

Vogue India September 2021 by Sølve Sundsbø; Picture: Vogue India

Vogue India, a well-known face in probably the most various class, forged 100% fashions of coloration (17 out of 17). Marie Claire U.S. additionally had 100% variety with three out of three fashions of coloration earlier than the print journal folded. Vogue Taiwan, which beforehand forged 100% fashions of coloration for six straight years, was down this 12 months with 91 p.c fashions of coloration (10 out of 11).

Dazed had 90 p.c fashions of coloration (9 out of 10), adopted by Vogue Arabia at 89 p.c (17 out of 19) and Vogue Singapore at 86 p.c (six out of seven). Interview at 83 p.c (5 out of six), Attract at 82 p.c (9 out of 11) and Vogue China at 80 p.c (12 out of 15) spherical out the listing.

2021 magazine covers

Vogue Czechoslovakia July/August 2021 by Cameron Postforoosh; Picture: Vogue Czechoslovakia

When it got here to the least various magazines of 2021, a number of worldwide editions of Vogue topped this less-than-desirable listing. Vogue Czechoslovakia was the least various of the bunch with a disappointing 0 p.c (0 out of 14). Adopted by Vogue Turkey at 10 p.c (1 out of 10), Vogue Greece at 18 p.c (2 out of 11) and Vogue Portugal at 19 p.c (4 out of 21).


2021 magazine covers

Harper’s Bazaar Could 2021 by Renell Medrano; Picture: Harper’s Bazaar

Plus-size mannequin appearances additionally received a small enhance coming in at 24 or 3.50 p.c of whole cowl appearances. This was a rise from 2020 which noticed 21 castings at 2.66 p.c. It was probably the most plus-size mannequin appearances since we began preserving monitor. Additionally of be aware, 16 of the aforementioned 24 plus-size appearances went to fashions of coloration.

2021 magazine covers

Variety of plus-size, over 50 and transgender fashions on journal covers

Treasured Lee landed six covers: Harper’s Bazaar U.S., i-D, Vogue Brazil, British Vogue, American Vogue and Vogue Arabia. Jill Kortleve graced the covers of 4 worldwide Vogue editions (Spain, Russia, Hong Kong and Italia), whereas Paloma Elsesser landed three Vogue covers (Spain, U.S. and Poland).

2021 magazine covers

Vogue Russia November 2021 by Sonia Szóstak; Picture: Vogue Russia


2021 magazine covers

W Journal Quantity #5 2021 by Concord Korine; Picture: W Journal

Ladies over 50 had been down from 2020’s report, which was due largely to the 100 covers Vogue Italia produced for its September difficulty final 12 months. These covers featured quite a lot of over-50 girls making 2020 an exceptionally age-diverse 12 months.

In 2021, there have been 47 aged mannequin appearances or 6.86 p.c. Whereas this was a lower from final 12 months, it’s nonetheless increased than earlier years. (Like 2019 and 2018 when there have been solely 41.) Everybody from make-up artist Pat McGrath to dressmaker Anna Sui to iconic supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Iman earned covers this 12 months.

Campbell appeared on three covers: i-D, Interview and V Journal. Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek additionally every scored three covers this 12 months. They each nabbed separate covers of ELLE U.S. and InStyle, whereas Lopez additionally appeared on Attract and Hayek graced Vogue India.

2021 magazine covers

Harper’s Bazaar April 2021 by Mario Sorrenti; Picture: Harper’s Bazaar

Viola Davis, Halle Berry, Rita Moreno, Dolly Parton and Madonna every nabbed particular person covers. And after the November 2020 election, each Kamala Harris and Dr. Jill Biden appeared on separate covers of American Vogue.


2021 magazine covers

British ELLE June 2021 by Damon Baker; Picture: British ELLE

Gender variety noticed a tiny bump this 12 months. In 2020 there have been 12 cowl appearances for a complete of 1.52 p.c, whereas 2021 noticed 13 cowl appearances for a complete of 1.90 p.c. Whereas this improve was nearly imperceptible, it was probably the most cowl appearances on this class since we began preserving monitor. Plus, 11 out of the 13 appearances on this class had been fashions of coloration.

2021 magazine covers

V Journal Subject #129 Spring/Summer time 2021 by Adrienne Raquel; Picture: V Journal

Indya Moore led the best way with two covers: Dazed and V Journal. Vogue Thailand, in the meantime, featured three transgender fashions — Blossom, MJ and Sunshine — on its June 2021 cowl to have fun Delight Month.


2021 magazine covers

CR Style E-book Subject 18 by Daniel Regan; Picture: CR Style E-book

Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Treasured Lee tied for the highest spot, every touchdown six cowl appearances. Bieber coated V Journal, Vogue Brazil, Vogue Paris, ELLE U.S., CR Style E-book and Harper’s Bazaar U.S., whereas Jenner popped up on V Journal, ELLE U.S. and Vogue’s China, Spain, Germany and Hong Kong editions. Lee appeared on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar U.S., i-D, Vogue Brazil, British Vogue, American Vogue and Vogue Arabia.

2021 magazine covers

ELLE August 2021 by Zoey Grossman; Picture: ELLE

Adut Akech, Anya Taylor-Pleasure, Awkwafina, Billie Eilish, Mica Argañaraz, Mona Tougaard and Zendaya all had sturdy showings touchdown 5 covers apiece.

Out of the highest 10 cowl fashions of 2021, six had been girls of coloration with one additionally being plus-size. As per ordinary, age and gender variety had been absent from the highest mannequin rankings.


In 2020, we had been nervous there could be a steep decline in variety in 2021 and that final 12 months was only a fluke attributable to present occasions. Though the positive aspects had been smaller this 12 months, we’re happy there was nonetheless a rise in variety and never a drop-off like we anticipated when it got here to the 2021 journal covers. In truth, for the primary time since we’ve been preserving monitor, greater than 50 p.c of canopy appearances went to fashions of coloration.

Whereas dimension and gender numbers had been increased than in earlier years, they’re nonetheless fairly meager. What’s extra, the variety of girls over 50 who appeared on journal covers disappointingly declined between 2020 and 2021.

In 2022, we hope the general upward pattern of variety continues. We’d prefer to see much more racial variety on journal covers subsequent 12 months (can we hit 60 p.c and even 70 p.c?). To not point out extra important variety positive aspects throughout dimension, gender and age. Let’s maintain this ahead momentum and make lasting progress.

With further reporting by Mark E.

For the aim of this report, “mannequin” is anybody who seems on a canopy, even when modeling isn’t their career. Fashions of coloration are categorized as those that are nonwhite or of blended backgrounds.


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