Yr in evaluation: one of the best (and worst!) Journal covers of 2021


It’s no secret that magazines have been hit hard due to the ongoing global health crisis. Despite the best efforts by the editors to keep our favorite glossies afloat, there have been a few changes. What was reflected in historical moments on the kiosks when it came to the front pages of 2021.

Condé Nast optimized the processes. Issues of Vogue are now sharing content as a cost-cutting measure, resulting in some being unable to produce localized content. Nonetheless, we encountered successive British Vogue covers photographed by forum favorite Steven Meisel. Anna Wintour also seems to be shaking things up at American Vogue, as 14 of the magazine’s 20 cover stars have never graced the fashion bible before. Not to mention that Emmanuelle Alt is leaving Vogue Paris with great success with the unveiling of the landmark 100th anniversary edition of the title.

Meanwhile, Samira Nasr continues to find a foothold in the American Harper’s Bazaar. Laura Brown’s InStyle remains one of the most exciting releases. Michelle Lee helped Allure celebrate its 30th anniversary in print. At iD, Alastair McKimm’s mission to re-establish the magazine as one of the most modern publications seems to be working.

From the overuse of Photoshop on Madonna’s cover of V Magazine, to Iman gracing UK Harper’s Bazaar, to variety top on UK Vogue, here are the best and worst magazine covers of 2021.

  • HIT: British Harper’s Bazaar February 2021 Iman by Paola Kudacki

    For most fashion titles, diversity isn’t always on the agenda. But British Harper’s Bazaar really delivered back in February, dropping a stellar line of covers with model icon Iman that looked sensational on both the newsstand cover and the subscriber alternative.

  • MISS: Vogue February 2021 Kamala Harris by Tyler Mitchell

    American Vogue didn’t do Kamala Harris justice by showing her in a poorly fitting blazer and Converse sneakers.

  • HIT: Allure March 2021 Jennifer Lopez by Daniella Midenge

    To celebrate her 30th printing anniversary, Michelle Lee pulled out all the stops for the anniversary edition of Allure. The magazine presented us with none other than Jennifer Lopez with a great cover that made us rush to the kiosk.

  • MISS: Vogue Italia February 2021 The Everyday Issue by Carlos Nazario

    During Emanuele Farneti’s reign at Vogue Italia, we were forced to endure our fair share of thematic issues. The magazine hit a new low, however, when it presented us with an issue with pedestrian covers dedicated to everyday life.

  • HIT: iD spring 2021 Naomi Campbell by Luis Alberto Rodriguez

    Naomi Campbell’s cover for iD Spring 2021 was really the standout of the eight options on offer. The legendary supermodel transported us to Kenya and posed topless on the beach and wore an ostrich feather headdress.

  • MISS: Vogue Japan March 2021 Shanelle Nyasiase, Natasha Poly, Kayako Higuchi, He Cong and Edita Vilkeviciute from Luigi & Iango

    We’re usually head over heels in a Vogue Japan by Luigi & Iango collaboration. But even the top models decked out in Prada couldn’t save the mediocre cover picture.

  • HIT: British Vogue April 2021 Achenrin Madit, Janaye Furman, Mona Tougaard and Precious Lee by Steven Meisel

    The holidays came earlier this year and Edward Enninful gave us a quartet of groundbreaking British Vogue covers for April 2021 starring Achenrin Madit, Janaye Furman, Mona Tougaard and Precious Lee. Diversity? Check. Shine? Check. Steven Meisel? Check. An enthusiastic bunch of forum members? Check.

  • MISS: Vogue Spain March 2021 Bella Hadid by Micaiah Carter

    Most of the time, Bella delivers Hadid. Due to the questionable styling efforts of Patti Wilson and the boring photography of Micaiah Carter, Vogue Spain’s March 2021 offer was declared a failure.

  • HIT: WSJ. Magazine May 2021 Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy and Shalom Harlow of Lachlan Bailey

    Modeling on magazine covers is always a good idea. Especially when it comes to supermodels from the 90s. WSJ. The May 2021 magazine cover was absolutely standout thanks to Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, and Shalom Harlow.

  • MISS: Vogue Germany April 2021 Edie Campbell from Giampaolo Sgura

    Vogue Germany is simply no longer the magazine it used to be. Take this extremely weird cover of Edie Campbell that looks pretty demonic in front of Giampaolo Sgura’s lens.

  • HIT: InStyle June 2021 Andra Day by Chrisean Rose

    One word describes this cover – wonderful! As the InStyle cover star in June 2021, Andra Day served nothing but face and effortless beauty in a flawless portrait.

  • MISS: Interview spring 2021 Naomi Campbell by Hugo Comte

    Interview, Naomi Campbell and Hugo Comte should have been a heavenly match, but the publication’s outing in spring 2021 turned out to be less than desirable.

  • HIT: Vogue Paris June / July 2021 Imaan Hammam by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

    During the summer months, we can always count on Vogue Paris for covers that get us to book a one-way ticket to a tropical location. Dutch beauty Imaan Hammam made her long-awaited debut in the French fashion bible, which was recorded on location in Mexico.

  • MISS: Harper’s Bazaar August 2021 Gigi Hadid from Collier Schorr

    Samira Nasr produced a plethora of boring and depressing covers during her time at American Harper’s Bazaar. Though the August issue of the publication felt even more depressing than usual when Gigi Hadid stared lifelessly into Collier Schorr’s lens.

  • HIT: Vogue China September 2021 Jinghan fan of Hailun Ma

    Margaret Zhang made her official editor debut with the September cover of Vogue China. Jinghan Fan posed on the majestic mountains of Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, resulting in a stunning shot.

  • MISS: Vogue September 2021 Kaia Gerber, Anok Yai, Precious Lee, Bella Hadid, Sherry Shi, Ariel Nicholson, Yumi Nu and Lourdes Leon by Ethan James Green

    Models on September covers will forever have a special place in our hearts. Though we couldn’t be more dissatisfied with the cluttered September cover of American Vogue lensed by Ethan James Green.

  • HIT: British ELLE October / November 2021 Michaela Coel by Danny Kasirye

    Farrah Storr has done wonderful things with UK ELLE, but she really outdid herself with the double issue of the magazine in October / November with Michaela Coel who channels Grace Jones.

  • MISS: W Magazine Volume # 5 2021 Dolly Parton by Harmony Korine

    An icon like Dolly Parton deserves a lot better than this cover. Where’s Steven Meisel when you need him?

  • HIT: British Vogue November 2021 Adele by Steven Meisel

    Both the US and UK editions of Vogue shared the same cover star in November, but the latter really hit the jackpot with Adele with voluminous hair, winged eyeliner and a Vivienne Westwood corset.

  • MISS: V Magazine V133 Winter 2021 Madonna by Steven Klein

    Madonna, who pays homage to the equally legendary Marilyn Monroe for the highly anticipated winter 2021 issue of V Magazine, should stand out. But the cumbersome use of Photoshop made Madonna almost unrecognizable.

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