I don’t know if, as some say, Vogue’s raison d’etre is to entertain, to give a few hours of escape to those who browse it.
I know, as we read on page 59, that this newspaper in its more than one hundred years of history has gone through wars, crises, acts of terrorism. And its most noble tradition (perhaps the most shining example of this is Audrey Withers, who directed the English edition under the Nazi bombs) is that of not turning away. Because, as Withers said, being silent means making the status quo go well.
A little less than two weeks ago we were sending a long-planned issue to the press that also involved the Vogue Man in a twin project.
But talking about something else, while people die, doctors and nurses put their lives at risk and the world is changing forever, is not the story of Vogue Italia. So we put the project aside and started over, with three things in mind.
The first: start looking beyond the storm to try to imagine a map of the world that awaits us, hosting qualified points of view and without indulging in self-pity (there is and there will be too much work to do to waste time regretting the past ).
The second, to gather our community. Over forty artists, around the world and in full lockdown, have made themselves available to make at home what in all respects is the first photograph that a public fashion magazine in the new world – all distant, no one alone .
The third and perhaps the most difficult: to decide to print, for the first time in our history, a completely white cover. Not because the images were missing, quite the opposite. But because white is many things together.
White is above all respect.
White is reborn, it is light after dark, the sum of all colors.
It is time and space to think. Also to remain silent (because if we all did a little more silence, who knows how many things we could hear, said the last lines of a nice book published a few years ago).
White is the uniforms of those who saved our lives, putting their own at risk.
White is for those who this space and this empty time is filling it with ideas, thoughts, stories, verses, music, attention for others.
White is like when, after the crisis of ’29, clothes became white – a color chosen to express purity in the present, and hope in the future.
White are the nights of those who worked on this issue, on this and the other side of the ocean, in complicated conditions. My gratitude goes to each of them.
Above all: white is not rendered, rather it is a page to be written, the title page of a new story that is about to begin.
The cover of April, completely white
Here Ferdinando Verderi, creative director of Vogue Italia, explains because the cover is white
Some people say that the raison d’être of Vogue is to entertain – to offer a few hours of divertissement to those who leaf through its pages. I don’t know about that.
What I do know, as you’ll read in this issue, is that in its long history stretching back over a hundred years, this magazine has come through wars, crises, acts of terrorism. I know that its noblest tradition is never to look at the other way (perhaps the most shining example is Audrey Withers, who was editor-in-chief of the British edition during the Nazi air raids). Because, as Withers herself observed, to be passive is to consent to the status quo.
Just under two weeks ago, we were about to print an issue that we had been planning for some time, and which also involved L’Uomo Vogue in a twin project.
But 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. Accordingly, we shelved our project and started from scratch, with the intention of doing three things.
The first is to start looking beyond this turmoil and try to imagine a map of the world that awaits us, publishing expert opinions and without indulging in self-pity (there is and will be too much work to be done to waste time looking back nostalgically on the past).
The second is to muster our community. Over 40 artists, scattered around the world and in full lockdown, have made themselves available in their own homes to create what is effectively the first snapshot that a fashion magazine has published of the new world – everyone far away, nobody alone.
The third is possibly the most difficult: the decision to print a completely white cover for the first time in our history. Not because there was any lack of images – quite the opposite. But because white means many things at the same time.
White is first of all respect.
White is rebirth, the light after darkness, the sum of all colors.
White is the color of the uniforms worn by those who put their own lives on the line to save ours.
It represents space and time to think, as well as to stay silent.
White is for those who are filling this empty time and space with ideas, thoughts, stories, lines of verse, music and care for others.
White recalls 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.
White stands for the sleepless nights of those who worked on this issue, on both sides of the ocean and in complicated conditions. I am grateful to each and every one of them.
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.