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Why Vogue Italia is Printing a White Issue

The Vogue Italia April issue is out today and it has no cover image. In a letter to the readers Emanuele Farneti- EIC of Vogue Italia, addresses the plain front cover and explains why they decided to print an issue like this. Read the full Editor's letter below.

"Some people say that the raison d’être of Vogue is to entertain - to offer a few hours of divertissement to those who leaf through its pages. I don't know about that. 

What I do know, as you’ll read in this issue, is that in its long history stretching back over a hundred years, this magazine has come through wars, crises, acts of terrorism. I know that its noblest tradition is never to look the other way (perhaps the most shining example is Audrey Withers, who was editor-in-chief of the British edition during the Nazi air raids). Because, as Withers herself observed, to be passive is to consent to the status quo.

Just under two weeks ago, we were about to print an issue that we had been planning for some time, and which also involved L’Uomo Vogue in a twin project.

But to speak of anything else – while people are dying, doctors and nurses are risking their lives and the world is changing forever – is not the DNA of Vogue Italia. Accordingly, we shelved our project and started from scratch, with the intention of doing three things.

The first is to start looking beyond this turmoil and try to imagine a map of the world that awaits us, publishing expert opinions and without indulging in self-pity (there is and will be too much work to be done to waste time looking back nostalgically on the past).

The second is to muster our community. Over 40 artists, scattered around the world and in full lockdown, have made themselves available in their own homes to create what is effectively the first snapshot that a fashion magazine has published of the new world – everyone far away, nobody alone. The third is possibly the most difficult: the decision to print a completely white cover for the first time in our history. Not because there was any lack of images – quite the opposite. But because white signifies many things at the same time.

White is first of all respect. White is rebirth, the light after darkness, the sum of all colours. White is the colour of the uniforms worn by those who put their own lives on the line to save ours. It represents space and time to think, as well as to stay silent. White is for those who are filling this empty time and space with ideas, thoughts, stories, lines of verse, music and care for others. White recalls when, after the crisis of 1929, this immaculate colour was adopted for clothes as an expression of purity in the present, and of hope in the future. White stands for the sleepless nights of those who have worked on this issue, on both sides of the ocean and in complicated conditions. I am grateful to each and every one of them.

Above all: white is not surrender, but a blank sheet waiting to be written, the title page of a new story that is about to begin."

- Emanuele Farneti

Source: Farneti, Emanuele. 2020. Vogue Italia di aprile: l'editoriale del direttoreVogue Italia. 7/4. (10/4/2020)

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