Vogue released its second of four January 2020 covers on Friday morning, starring none other than Ashley Graham. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz and clothed in a gilded Oscar de la Renta caftan, the model — who is pregnant — posed for her first solo cover for the U.S. edition of the fashion publication.
In the accompanying interview with Jonathan Van Meter, Graham discusses how pregnancy has become pop culture (read: social media's "baby bump" obsession) and what she's learned about impending motherhood from famous friends like Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams; she also opens up about finding support during this time of rapid change.
"I've always had control over my body — when everyone else wanted to dictate what it should be, I took full control over it — but I had this life inside of me saying, 'It's not yours anymore, it's mine,'" says Graham. "I was gaining weight rapidly. And I felt alone. And the one piece of advice that my stylist, Jordan Foster, gave me was, 'Make pregnant friends.' None of my friends were in relationships, let alone pregnant. And now I have nine pregnant friends."
The cover story highlights how Graham's authenticity has landed her contracts with Revlon, Marina Rinaldi, Swimsuits for All and Addition Elle. (Amy Schumer is quoted calling her "a goddamn fire starter.")
"I think in this generation, authenticity is everything. It's gold," says Graham. "There's nothing sexier than being your true, honest self. And the more you are, the more accepted you are, and the easier it is to navigate through success. I don't have a persona. This is it. Just be yourself!"
The January 2020 issue of Vogue will be available on newsstands in New York City and Los Angeles on Dec. 10, as well as nationwide on Dec. 17. To see more photos from Graham's photo shoot, styled by fashion editor Tonne Goodman, and to read her full interview, visit Vogue.com.