On Tuesday, Vogue Italia teased the cover of its upcoming April 2020 issue, slated to drop on Friday (April 10), on social media. But instead of a model or a celebrity posing against a seamless, there was no one, no image. It was intentionally left blank.
"In its long history stretching back over a hundred years, Vogue has come through wars, crises, acts of terrorism. Its noblest tradition is never to look the other way," editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti wrote in his editor's letter, which was also published in part as the caption on Instagram.
He explained how, as of just two weeks ago, Vogue Italia had been working on an issue to be released in tandem with L'Uomo Vogue. But as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to spread, both globally and within Italy, the team decided to start over.
"To speak of anything else — while people are dying, doctors and nurses are risking their lives and the world is changing forever — is not the DNA of Vogue Italia," Farneti continued.
The visual of a blank cover is meant to evoke the many symbols the color white represents — "respect;" "rebirth, the light after darkness, the sum of all colors;" "the color of the uniforms worn by those who put their own lives on the line to save ours;" "space and time to think, as well as to stay silent;" the opportunity to create; a callback to "when, after the crisis of 1929, this immaculate color was adopted for clothes as an expression of purity in the present and of hope in the future."
"Above all: White is not surrender, but a blank sheet waiting to be written, the title page of a new story that is about to begin," Farneti wrote.
Vanity Fair Italia — which has been publishing topical issues, including its #IoSonoMilano, #ILoveItalia and #IoCiSono editions, in response to the pandemic — also released a new cover this week, featuring a canvas painted with the tricolors of the Italian flag with a slash down the middle, by artist Francesco Vezzoli in the style of Lucio Fontana.
This issue of Vanity Fair Italia will be on newsstands on Wednesday (April 8).