It’s been a crazy year for magazines. Glamour ditched print in favor of digital. Porter cut back on issues (but the mag’s set to make a biannual comeback in Spring 2020) and the U.K. edition of Marie Claire shut down completely. There were also lots of staff changes, like Justine Picardie leaving British Harper’s Bazaar and Anne Fulenwider departing American Marie Claire. But 2019 wasn’t all doom and gloom. Back in March, we witnessed the relaunch of Vogue Greece and Vogue Hong Kong made its highly-anticipated debut. Sara Moonves made some welcome changes over at W, Radhika Jones finally started creating newsworthy covers of Vanity Fair and Edward Enninful continued to impress at the helm of British Vogue.
Of course, it’s the magazine’s front cover that can either make or break an issue. From Allure to Vogue Paris to American ELLE, we’ve reviewed everything the biggest titles had to offer this year. See below which magazine covers stood out from the rest, for all the right and wrong reasons.
HIT: Vogue Mexico January 2019 Yalitza Aparicio by Santiago & Mauricio
Vogue Mexico got 2019 off to a brilliant and historic start by making Yalitza Aparicio its January cover star, becoming the magazine’s first-ever indigenous cover subject.
MISS: Vogue March 2019 Hailey and Justin Bieber by Annie Leibovitz
With the mag’s Kimye cover still on our minds, it felt like déjà vu when newlyweds Hailey and Justin Bieber popped up on Vogue‘s March cover.
HIT: Tatler May 2019 Joan Collins by Luc Braquet
It’s not often someone over the age of 80 greets us down at the newsstand so when Tatler gave Hollywood icon Joan Collins its May cover, we were a happy bunch. Photographed by Luc Braquet, Joan proved “divas are forever” in the glamorous cover shot.
MISS: Allure March 2019 Kendall Jenner by Cass Bird
One bad element can ruin a cover and Kendall Jenner’s blue eyebrows basically torpedoed Allure‘s March edition. Shot by Cass Bird, not even Kendall’s pretty face could save the cover from scrutiny.
HIT: WSJ. Magazine May 2019 Rebecca Leigh Longendyke by Lachlan Bailey
WSJ. Magazine‘s reputation for creating beautiful covers is unsurpassed and the mag didn’t disappoint in May, transporting Rebecca Leigh Longendyke and us to New Zealand. Captured by Lachlan Bailey.
MISS: Vogue Germany April 2019 Gisele Bündchen by Luigi & Iango
This year marked the mag’s 40th anniversary, but not many of its offerings hit the spot. Perhaps the most disappointing was its April cover featuring Gisele Bündchen photographed by Luigi & Iango on location in Costa Rica.
HIT: Vogue Greece April 2019 Bella Hadid by Txema Yeste
This year also marked the return of Vogue Greece and the team pulled out ALL the stops with this truly remarkable Bella Hadid cover. Bella served major face in the striking image shot by Txema Yeste.
MISS: Tatler June 2019 Anne Hathaway by Jack Waterlot
We can spot a Photoshop disaster a mile away. Tatler‘s June cover did Anne Hathaway a disservice by making the actress practically unrecognizable.
HIT: InStyle June 2019 The Cast of Big Little Lies by Pamela Hanson
Laura Brown has been making big moves over at InStyle and showed her competitors how to do multi-covers with these stellar shots of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley.
MISS: Vogue Spain June 2019 Bella Hadid by Zoey Grossman
Bella Hadid can be newsstand gold, but let us down with this cover of Vogue Spain. But it wasn’t really Bella’s fault. Photographer Zoey Grossman chose a really awkward angle for the shot.
HIT: UK Harper’s Bazaar June 2019 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley by Alexi Lubomirski
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and British Harper’s Bazaar are a dream team, just like Kate Moss and British Vogue. Rosie’s sixth appearance on U.K Bazaar resulted in two simply stunning covers.
MISS: Vogue Paris August 2019 Kate Moss by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
Kate Moss’ 21st Vogue Paris appearance felt pretty predictable and to add insult to injury, the cover was an absolute eyesore. Photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, the supermodel’s Andy Warhol-esque cover shot was a total flop.
HIT: ELLE June 2019 Indya Moore by Zoey Grossman
We’re huge advocates for diversity so we were thrilled to see Indya Moore land a major glossy cover. American ELLE‘s first transgender cover star was shot by Zoey Grossman producing the gorgeous image.
MISS: UK Vogue September 2019 Forces for Change by Peter Lindbergh
We’ve been huge supporters of Edward Enninful since he took the helm of British Vogue, but when he asked Meghan Markle to guest edit the all-important September issue. The collage layout felt juvenile and not even Peter Lindbergh’s black and white photographs could save it.
HIT: Vogue Arabia September 2019 Kim Kardashian by Txema Yeste
We did not expect Kim Kardashian to swoop in and save September, but she did just that with a trio of terrific covers for Vogue Arabia. Photographed by Txema Yeste in the middle of the Californian desert under the supervision of legendary designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, the images were absolutely amazing.
MISS: Vogue Japan October 2019 Alicia Vikander by Collier Schorr
Poor Alicia Vikander can’t catch a break and has the worst track record when it comes to magazine covers. Vogue Japan’s October cover starring the Swedish actress and Louis Vuitton brand ambassador felt more like an advertising campaign, especially with the brand’s campaign photographer in on the action.
HIT: Vogue November 2019 Rihanna by Ethan James Green
In November, Vogue welcomed back Rihanna to its cover for a sixth time with stunning results. Captured by Ethan James Green, the superstar, decked out in her own luxury label, delivered one of the mag’s most beautiful and serene covers to date.
MISS: Harper’s Bazaar October 2019 Demi Moore by Mariano Vivanco
American Harper’s Bazaar hasn’t exactly been our go-to this year and as refreshing as it was to see Demi Moore for October, the Hollywood icon posing nude poolside for photographer Mariano Vivanco came across as cheesy.
HIT: Vanity Fair Holiday 2019/2020 RuPaul by Annie Leibovitz
Every holiday season all we ask for is pure festive glamour and Radhika Jones delivered with Vanity Fair‘s annual holiday edition. The epic RuPaul cover shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz felt like a real celebratory moment down at the newsstand.
MISS: Vogue Italia November 2019 Florence Hutchings by David Sims
This year hasn’t exactly been a banner one for Vogue Italia. Take November’s seriously questionable cover featuring Florence Hutchings. Photographed by David Sims, the model’s lifeless expression in the awkward cover shot left us (almost) speechless.