In a landmark moment for Vogue Italia, the September issue features not one, but two, pro-LBTQ covers — sealed with a kiss. Following the example set by the late, great, Franca Sozzani who frequently dedicated entire issues to underrepresented minorities in fashion, like plus-size and women of color, new editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti has chosen to celebrate fashion's biggest month with models locking lips. Lily Aldridge and Vittoria Ceretti on one cover, real-life couple Edoardo Velicskov and Pablo Rousson on another, and yet a third one features Maria Carla Boscono and Federico Spinas.
Shot by photographer duo Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, reactions to the cover — which has been dubbed its "Italian Issue" — include hashtags like "#italiansdoitbetter" (they kind of do) to "such an important message for my country," from the shoot's casting director, Piergiorgio Del Moro. And he's right. In 2016, after much protest and debate, Italy gave legal recognition to same-sex civil unions, making them the last founding country of the European Union to do so. The covers do much to translate the message of unconditional love, and to continue the legacy of Vogue Italia pushing the boundaries of cultures across the globe.
While this cover is bellisimo, it's hard to look at it without wishing that our own American version pushed boundaries in the same way. Earlier this year Vogue Paris featured a transgender model on it's cover and meanwhile its attempt at a "gender fluid" cover featuring heterosexual and cisgender cover stars Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik failed magnificently. The same cannot be said for Teen Vogue, who, as of recent, has consistently featured a diverse cast of actors, models, and musiciams on its cover that defy its white-washed, heteronormative past.
During a time when the nation's political climate seems at its darkest, and the Trump Administration continues to disavow virtually everyone outside of it, the need for covers like Vogue Italia's latest are more crucial than ever. Because, when the aforementioned statistics are so dismal, why not show those at the top what we really stand for?