• Rihanna in British Vogue's September issue. (Vogue)Source: Vogue
Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said the decision to pick Rihanna for the cover was motivated by desire to make his first September issue "something special".
Sarah Malik

1 Aug 2018 - 10:29 AM  UPDATED 1 Aug 2018 - 10:47 AM

American popstar Rihanna is set to become the first black woman to grace the coveted September issue of British Vogue.

Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said the decision to pick Rihanna for the 400-page September book, the "largest and lavish" of the fashion season was motivated by desire to make his first September issue at the helm of the magazine "something special".

"September issues are important in the fashion world, our largest and most lavish of the year and a real statement about what the coming months will bring. With this one being my first as editor-in-chief, I was determined it would be something special," he told readers.  

"As for the cover? I always knew it had to be Rihanna. A fearless music-industry icon and businesswoman, when it comes to that potent mix of fashion and celebrity, nobody does it quite like her."

Enninful took over from departing Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman in December last year.

Shulman, who lead the fashion bible for 25 years was criticised for the lack of diversity in the fashion magazine.

In contrast, the Ghana-born editor has been a champion of diversity, unafraid to make bold political statements and promote diverse models in the iconic magazine. 

British Vogue's May issue, labelled 'New Frontiers', made headlines for featuring nine models of diverse backgrounds.

“I want to see the marginalized normalized. I want the new generation to look at an image and think, ‘A gay couple, what’s the big deal?’ ‘A mixed couple, what’s the big deal?’ It’s very important that I show images that make the world think it is normal to be who you are,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. 

“Until we’re not talking about diversity [and] it’s just a given, that’s what I’m trying to work for.”

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"Do and say and be who you are because, no matter what happens, you are loved unconditionally.”