The photographer is Dario Calmese
Vanity Fair is accomplishing a new milestone through its July/August issue, as the cover photo will be the first photo taken by a Black photographer in the 106 years since the magazine started getting published. The cover features actress Viola Davis.
For Dario Calmese, the photographer, this will be a personal accomplishment as this will be his first major magazine cover. With the recent happenings in the world, it’s understandable why American fashion has also opted to bring out Black perspectives.
A picture with meaning
The photo had Davis gazing over her left shoulder and exposing her back. When asked about the significance of this pose, Calmese spoke to the New York Times that it was meant to invoke “The Scourged Back”, which was a historic image taken in 1963 of a slave who had a web of scars caused from being whipped on his back.
This makes a powerful statement since civil unrest has been reawakened in the United States as racial injustice has been shown not just to the American citizens, but the rest of the world as well. People are now fighting harder than before to end racial injustice, even when everyone should be practicing social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Vanity Fair Editor in Chief Radhika Jones spoke about bringing diversity to fashion in her editor’s letter inside the issue, and spoke about the new milestone they will be achieving by bringing in Calmese. Jones has published 10 covers so far that features Black personalities ever since she took the job in December 2017.
Rolling Stone got to publish their first cover in its 50-year history in 2019 where Dana Scruggs photographed Travis Scott for the January 2019 issue.
(Cover: The Shade Room)