In the photograph, shot by Annie Leibovitz, Rihanna shows off her new pixie cut (which she tells the magazine was a “spur-of-the-moment” decision) and a macramé strapless red Valentino dress while sitting on the hay-strewn desert floor of Tejon Ranch in Lebec, Calif. Inside the pages, the star works more gorgeous looks by Marc Jacobs, Dior Haute Couture, Michael Kors and more.
Flashback to April 2011: Rihanna lands her first Vogue cover. For her Anna Wintour-approved debut (which was also shot by Leibovitz), the star went by sea (instead of land) wearing a plunging sheer floral Chanel gown, which was offset by her fire-engine red hair.
The latest shoot is rather raw and natural, compared to the previous glam Little Mermaid-inspired look. And other than the fact that she dons a red lip in both photos, the only similarity is in her pose.
But according to Rihanna, it’s not just the covers that are different — she believes she’s changed as a person since the first shoot. “I’ve gotten a lot more fearless, a lot free-er, a lot more comfortable with who I am,” she says in a behind-the-scenes video. “I’ve changed and grew up. I just started to embrace that — and I started to infuse that in my fashion, as well as my music.”
To read Rihanna’s interview and see more photos, click over to Vogue.com or pick up the November issue, on newsstands Oct. 23. Tell us: Which Vogue cover do you prefer: the first or second? Vote below!