Vogue Italia draws nearer to sustainability with its no-photoshoots issue


When it comes to fashion magazines, loads of high-gloss, glamorous photographs probably pop into your mind. However, Vogue Italia has tossed out this norm for its latest magazine, replacing photographs of all models, make-up and clothing shoots with illustrations for its special January 2020 issue. 

After switching over to photographic images in the late 1930s, Vogue has not used illustrations to this degree since then. So, what has driven Vogue Italia to make such a giant leap? The answer is sustainability, related to the environmental impact from photoshoots.

Emanuele Farneti, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, said that the company is admitting there is a significant environmental impact associated with publishing a fashion magazine. He also said the illustrated covers are an importan first step to make Vogue Italia greener. In the following year, the brand aims to change its packaging to a more sustainable, 100% compostable plastic wrapping as well.

For its first special issue in the new decade, seven well-known artists, including David Salle, Vanessa Beecroft, Cassi Namoda, Milo Manara, Delphine Desane, Paolo Ventura and Yoshitaka Amano were invited to draw a cover for models (including Assa Baradji, Ambar Cristal Zarzuela and Olivia Vinten) wearing Gucci from head to toe. The seven artists have designed covers in a variety of styles, from painting and drawing to graphic design and comic book styles. According to Vogue Italia, they have created these without travelling, shipping entire wardrobes of clothes or polluting in any way.

With the hard work of the team and all artists, the money earned from the issue will be donated to finance the restoration of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice, which was severely damaged during the recent floods.  

There is no doubt Vogue Italia’s decision has led to a lot of controversy in the industry; for one, some sceptical readers question if it is a gimmick. However, as one of the most globally influential fashion and lifestyle magazines, it’s good to see that it has tried to send a strong message to the world, sharing what it has done step by step to reach the goal of sustainability. Cheers to a better world in the new decade! 

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