Anna Wintour definitely broke the mold in 1988 when she put denim on the November cover of Vogue. Peter Lindbergh photographed Israeli stunner Michaela Bercu in a Christian Lacroix couture jacket and stonewashed jeans by Guess. It caused quite a stir at the time, and still remains an iconic piece of Vogue history. To celebrate the mag’s 120th anniversary and the all-important September issue, Wintour is spilling the real reason she put Mercu in denim.
Wintour wrote a very nostalgic love letter about her debut cover as editor in chief:
“Working on this September’s 120th anniversary cover of a Marc Jacobs–clad Lady Gaga made me think about my very first cover as the editor of Vogue. It was so unlike the studied and elegant close-ups that were typical of Vogue’s covers back then, with tons of makeup and major jewelry. This one broke all the rules. Michaela wasn’t looking at you, and worse, she had her eyes almost closed. Her hair was blowing across her face. It looked easy, casual, a moment that had been snapped on the street, which it had been, and which was the whole point. Afterwards, in the way that these things can happen, people applied all sorts of interpretations: It was about mixing high and low, Michaela was pregnant, it was a religious statement. But none of these things was true. I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can’t ask for more from a cover image than that.”
It sounds very lovely indeed, but here’s the real reason she put Bercu in jeans:
“The jacket was actually part of a suit, but the skirt didn’t fit Michaela; she had been on vacation back home in Israel and had gained a little weight.”