• Billy Porter continues to shake up the fashion industry. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
"In all of its 29 years and 345 issues, Allure has never featured a man on its cover - until today."
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

10 Jan 2020 - 10:08 AM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2020 - 10:35 AM

Billy Porter continues to turn the fashion world upside-down, becoming the first male-identifying person to grace the cover of Allure magazine.

It's no secret that Porter has had a huge couple of years. Despite being an industry veteran, well-recognised for his roles in Broadway productions including Kinky Boots, Porter has only recently hit the cultural mainstream. Last year he won an Emmy for his role as Pray Tell on FX series Pose - and he's currently starring in new feature film Like A Boss (he's only an Oscar away from an EGOT).

But throughout it all, it's been Porter's extravagant and unapologetic approach to fashion - both on the red carpet and in everyday life - that has made headlines.

In her editor's letter, Allure editor-in-chief Michelle Lee explained why she chose Porter to front the cover of the magazine's Art of Beauty issue.

"Great art connects emotionally. It makes you think. It takes risks," she wrote.

"One person who seems like the living embodiment of that is our cover star, Billy Porter. In all of its 29 years and 345 issues, Allure has never featured a man on its cover - until today. So I'm thrilled to have the Pose star as our first."

Lee continued: "After decades of performing, the trailblazing actor is now a household name at age 50, and finally being recognized far and wide for his talent (in 2019, he became the first openly gay man to win an Emmy for leading actor in a drama)."

Still, Lee made sure she emphasised that Porter wasn't chosen because of his gender.

 "Although he's been a face for the growing number of famous men branching outside the red carpet's typical tux-and-tie, he - like all of us - can't be defined by one facet," she explained.

"In fact, we've had many conversations in our office about the so-called trend of 'genderless' beauty. But a trend implies a flash-in-the-pan birth and death. Plus, beauty (and beauty products) have never had a gender.

"The LGBTIQ+ community has a long, rich history of artistry and experimentation, often using hair and makeup and clothing as their tools."

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