In a critical, if protracted, move towards representation, French Vogue has featured transgender model Valentina Sampaio on the cover of its March issue. A native of Brazil, Sampaio is the first transgender person to appear on the magazine’s cover.
French Vogue did not make this decision haphazardly; rather, they have chosen to broadcast it. “Transgender beauty: How they’re shaking up the world,” reads the cover in bold white font. And they’ve selected the second biggest issue of the year to deliver this statement — only September surpasses March in terms of magnitude.
French Vogue editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt tells American Vogue that they are spotlighting inequities based in gender presentation. “This cover is about the importance of [human] rights, and that we still need to make progress on an awful lot of stuff,” Alt says.
Inside the magazine, Sampaio models the latest spring couture. And on the cover, Sampaio smolders in a metallic dress plunging at the middle.
Your turn, American Vogue. We’ve already taken far too long as it is.