There is a longstanding myth that Black women do not sell magazines – a myth the fashion industry has maintained for decades. As magazine sales continue to decline, it was heartening to see some many September issues — arguably the most important issue of the year — feature Black women. Beyoncé landed a historic Vogue cover, as did Rihanna with British Vogue, there was Tiffany Haddish on Glamour, Zendaya on Marie Claire, Lupita Nyong’o on Porter, Tracee Ellis Ross on Elle Canada, Slick Woods on British Elle, Adwoa Aboah and Naomi Campbell on Love, Issa Rae on Ebony, and Lauren Harrier on The Sunday Times. But how did the rest of the year stack up in terms of diversity as a whole?
Fashionista took a look at all of the covers the leading fashion magazines in the US published this year, and found 47.6% featured women of color, a 32.3% increase from 2017. Last year, the website found women of color were on 48 of 153 covers, or 31.4%. In 2018, newsstands saw the biggest jump in diversity, partly due to the September covers. Of the magazine covers reviewed, 60 of 126 featured women of color. InStyle (nine of 12) and Glamour (nine of 14) are leading the way, while Allure clocked in with seven (of 12) non-white cover stars. Cosmopolitan and W featured six (of 13) and seven (of 16), respectively.
Breaking down those stats further, we counted to see how many Black women were lumped into the women-of-color category. Of Allure's seven non-white cover stars, five were Black, Cosmopolitan featured two, Elle, six; Glamour, seven; Harper's Bazaar, two (including a cover of Kanye West and his family); InStyle, six; Marie Claire, three; Vogue, 4, and W featured six. Lupita Nyong'o and Zoë Kravitz each earned three covers each (more than anyone else). Now, that can't be totally a coincidence – and this hopefully busts that Black-women-can’t-sell-magazines myth once and for all.