The April issue of Vogue Italia was released on Friday, and it doesn't feature a celebrity, model or cover star. Instead, the fashion magazine decided to leave its cover blank white in honor of first responders helping during the coronavirus pandemic.
"In its long history stretching back over a hundred years, Vogue has come through wars, crises, acts of terrorism. Its noblest tradition is never to look the other way," Emanuele Farneti, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, said in his letter from the editor.
Vogue Italia had been ready to print an issue the team had been working on for a while, but changed course two weeks ago as the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic continued to rise in Italy and around the world.
"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," Farneti wrote. "Accordingly, we shelved our project and started from scratch."
While there were plenty of images Vogue Italia could have used, Farneti said they chose the white cover for its symbolism.
"We chose it 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," he said.
White gives people "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," he continued. "White recalls when, after the crisis of 1929, this immaculate color was adopted for clothes as an expression of purity in the present, and of hope in the future. 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.”