For Vogue‘s 120th anniversary, which the mag is celebrating with the *biggest September issue ever,* Anna Wintour took a trip down memory lane and shared the story behind her first ever Vogue cover from November 1988, for which a bejeweled Christian Lacroix jacket was paired with jeans because the model Michaela Bercu couldn’t fit into the matching skirt. Wintour writes,
The jacket was actually part of a suit, but the skirt didn’t fit Michaela; she had been on vacation back home in Israel and had gained a little weight.
Thus, jeans made their first ever appearance on the cover of Vogue and fashion history was made. Imagine that: a Vogue cover was revolutionary because a model was too fat. So fat, in fact, people apparently thought she was pregnant:
Afterwards, in the way that these things can happen, people applied all sorts of interpretations: It was about mixing high and low, Michaela was pregnant, it was a religious statement. But none of these things was true. I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can’t ask for more from a cover image than that.
Judging by the 14 photos Wintour chose for a slideshow of her “favorite images from Vogue,” it was all downhill from there. Granted, the slideshow was likely supposed to encompass all 120 years of the magazine’s history. However, the majority of the photos were taken before she came on as EIC and the few taken after were from between 1989 and 1991. Most of them are black and white and of models and none of them really represent the celebrity-filled covers and pages of the Vogue we know today. Which makes us wonder: Does Wintour secretly hate the trend she created of putting celebrities on magazine covers? Does she long for more models on magazines as much as we do, but sacrifice her own creative vision for better newsstand sales? No wonder she’s so difficult to please.