Did someone break Beyoncé's notoriously strict NDA policy? On Monday, The Huffington Post reported that the performer is set to cover the September 2018 issue of Vogue magazine — or what's rumoured to be Anna Wintour's swan song as editor-in-chief. While rumours of the alleged shoot have been surfacing on the Internet for days now, sources tell The Huffington Post that the issue features a series of firsts for the magazine.
The September 2018 issue will reportedly be the first time a Black photographer has shot the cover in the magazine's 126-year history (yes really). Beyoncé allegedly selected 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell, who has worked with Marc Jacobs, Converse, and i-D. “The reason a 23-year-old Black photographer is photographing Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue is because Beyoncé used her power and influence to get him that assignment,” a source told The Huffington Post.
The publication also notes that this will also be the first time Vogue has relinquished all creative and editorial control to the subject, though it's certainly not surprising, given the fact that 1) Beyoncé is a perfectionist, and 2) the last time she covered Vogue in 2015 she didn't even give an interview. According to Huff Po: "[Vogue] is contractually obligated to give Beyoncé full control over the cover, the photos of her inside the magazine and the captions, which she has written herself and are in long-form, according to two sources who are familiar with the agreement between Vogue and Beyoncé but aren’t authorised to speak to the press."
Though this choice — not to feature Beyoncé, but to give up such control — seems un-Wintour-like, that may be the point. While Condé Nast has repeatedly said that there is "zero truth" to the rumours that Wintour would soon be stepping down after 30 years at Vogue, this move could be the first step in ushering the legacy fashion publication into a new era. With some of its top long-term talent, including Tonne Goodman and Phyllis Posnick, exiting the magazine over the past few months, a changing of the guard may be inevitable. And frankly, we can't wait.