For many men and women, magazine covers are part of what helps shape our popular understanding of beauty. The wind-blown hair, effortlessly styled, multi-thousand dollar outfits, and of course, those photoshopped to perfection rock-hard bodies. Often times, however, those lovely faces we see gazing back at us from the front page of all those glossies can begin to look a little one note. But now, Harper’s Bazaar India is helping to redefine our mainstream conception of beauty, featuring nine models on the cover of their new issue, including for the first time in the international publication’s history two transgender women, Tracey Africa Norman and Geena Rocero.
You may remember pioneering transgender model Tracey Africa Norman who made a name for herself in the industry back in the late 70s/early 80s shooting with Irving Penn for Italian Vogue, doing spreads for Essence, and becoming the face of Clairol, a role she recently reprised. And now the model is finally getting her turn as a cover girl, landing a spot amongst eight other legendary and up-and-coming faces, including fellow transgender model Geena Rocero (who you might recognize from her viral TED Talk), Soo Joo Park, Hind Sahli, Pyper and Daisy America, Emanuela de Paula, Cora Emmanuel, Hannelore Knuts, and of course, the master of smize, Tyra Banks.
In the cover series titled “The Nine Wonders of the World,” each model wears their own unique headpiece commissioned by the magazine from American artist Isaac Aden who is represented by Ethan Cohen Gallery in NYC where these images were taken by photographer Stockton Johnson. The shots were styled by KC Jones using predominately Chanel and Roberto Cavalli who were huge supporters of this endeavor from the very beginning.
Harper’s Bazaar India Editor Nonita Kalra, said of the new covers, “Diversity has always been the DNA of Harper’s Bazaar. The Indian edition is delighted to follow in such illustrious steps.” Her colleague, Art Director and Executive Producer Christopher Sollinger added, “Showcasing white woman after white woman on covers does not work anymore, we need to show the women of the world that is of now. The world is changing and with this story we want to be apart of that global revolution.”
Norman also thanked the magazine profusely for this opportunity, gushing, “This cover means the world to me and for me to represent my community, it is such a humbling experience for me.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
What do you think of the magazine’s latest round of covers? Sound off below!