Vogue Italia’s new issue swaps cover stars for children’s drawings

Following on from its blank white cover that arrived as the world began to lockdown, Vogue Italia’s new issue is both dedicated to and designed by children all over the world

From frontline workers turned cover stars in British Vogue’s latest issue to David Hockney’s powerful iPad painting of ‘a new dawn’ for the Telegraph, the current crop of magazine covers are unlike anything we’re used to seeing in normal times.

Vogue Italia is one of the titles that has been using coronavirus as an opportunity to rethink its creative approach. In the midst of one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, the magazine’s April issue featured a blank white cover – a symbol of rebirth and, as Emanuele Farneti wrote in his editor’s letter, “the title page of a new story that is about to begin”.

The magazine’s new issue takes a similar tone but with wildly different results; for the first time in its 55-year history it has commissioned children to design eight special edition covers.

“There’s a simple and fundamental reason why this issue of Vogue Italia is dedicated to children, to their new world. It’s because we think they are the most overlooked and least obvious victims of the pandemic that is affecting us all,” says Farneti.

It’s not the first time that the mag has ditched glossy photoshoots for more unusual methods; earlier this year it signalled its commitment to sustainability by commissioning various illustrators to produce all of the visuals for its January issue.

Its latest issue is the result of asking 100 children aged between two and ten to pick up their crayons and ‘redesign’ the looks that are in this season. The eight cover artists include Thomas W, four years old, New York; Nori T, five years old, Amsterdam; Tadzio DM, six years old, Paris; Violetta T, five years old, Milan; Camilla C, two years old, Dakar; Rachele T, five years old, Bologna; Pietro R, six years old, Milan, and Giorgio P, ten years old, Parma.

The intergenerational theme is also carried through to the rest of the issue, which features everything from an exchange of letters between designer Giorgio Armani and eight-year-old Luca, who proposes a collection of outfits equipped with superpowers, and an editorial piece by photographer Steven Klein and his four-year-old son Ace, shot during lockdown at their ranch near New York.

Read our piece on how magazines are responding to coronavirus here; vogue.it