Though Graydon Carter announced that he was stepping down as editor of Vanity Fair in September, and did so formally in December, he still stayed on board to supervise the planning of Vanity Fair's 23rd annual Hollywood Issue. That issue, technically for February 2018, was revealed on Thursday, and readers noticed that Annie Leibovitz had captured a familiar coif on the publication's cover foldout.
Indeed, that's Carter himself sandwiched between cinematic and cultural treasures Gal Gadot and Robert De Niro. Elsewhere on the cover are their fellow entertainment icons Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Michael B. Jordan, Zendaya, Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Michael Shannon and Harrison Ford, staggered in various swathes of eveningwear and posed in classic Vanity Fair group fashion.
Inside the issue, Carter discusses his fondest memories from 25 years at the magazine, which, as he writes, include "Washington scandals, Wall Street scandals, Hollywood scandals, Silicon Valley scandals, Westminster scandals and Kremlin scandals," plus "Deep Throat and Caitlyn Jenner." But he devotes a majority of his allotted word count to praising his staff, past and present, be they contributors or full-time employees. Radhika Jones, Carter's successor, is only mentioned once, and is done so in regards to Dan Adler, her assistant.
Carter has been an unquestionable force within the magazine community, and this truly being his final issue, a quarter-of-a-century-long chapter closes to open a new one with Jones. And after four long months of lead-up that The New York Times's Katie Rosman tweeted are "beginning to resemble Bill Clinton at the airport hangar on the day of GWB's inauguration," we look forward to seeing what that looks like.
The 2018 Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue is available on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles (and on the iPhone, Kindle and other devices) starting Thursday and nationally on Tuesday, Feb. 6.