Glamour has three models — Alessandra Ambrosio, Brooklyn Decker, and Crystal Renn — on the cover of its June issue. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair has two foreign soccer players with names most Americans don’t know on the cover of its June issue. Where are the actresses promoting movies or pop stars promoting albums? Editors are getting tired of them for two reasons, according to the Daily Beast. One, Hollywood doesn’t produce megafamous actresses, like Angelina Jolie, anymore. Second, of the biggest major actresses still out there, there’s nothing new to know about them.
Or as Samir Husni, the magazine industry pundit, put it, “What else do you really want to know about Angelina Jolie? With a lot of these celebrities, there’s nothing left to show unless they actually take their clothes off. We’ve covered them from every shape, every corner. We’ve shown them with their kids, and with their boyfriends and with their girlfriends, so that’s why you’re starting to see semi-naked soccer players and a semi-naked Tiger Woods. That’s what it takes to survive in a digital age.”
Oh sure, blame the Internet. But we’re not complaining. We can’t remember buying a magazine because we were just dying to know what an actress had to say about her latest movie.
Glamour’s editor Cindi Leive agrees:, “I think what you’re seeing in the magazine world is a certain amount of fatigue with the same old, same old faces. One reason we had a nice sale with Taylor Swift was that you hadn’t seen her on a million magazine covers before and there was actually the hope that ‘Oh my God! I might actually learn something new.’ I think taking risks is serving people well right now.”
The fashion industry as a whole seems to be tiring of celebrities. Not only is Madonna the last one standing in major fashion campaigns, a territory non-model stars used to dominate, but designers don’t think they need celebrities around all the time for publicity. It’s that other common way of explaining cultural shifts nowadays: the recession.
Robert Burke, a prominent consultant in the fashion business whose clients include Bulgari, Vera Wang, and Dunhill, notes, “There was a time not too long ago when celebrities were paid a lot of money to show up at a party and today people are really looking at the R.O.I and going, ‘Do we really need this person here?’ Paying people to appear at a fashion show is a bit passé.”
It probably doesn’t help that it’s getting harder to find celebrities that don’t have clothing lines than those that do. It’s like Alber Elbaz said, designers aren’t trying to insert themselves in other professions. They’re not crossing over into acting or singing or dancing. But maybe this is a vicious cycle, and without their covers celebrities feel like they have to launch toxic jewelry lines, or what have you, to get noticed.
The Celebrity Cover Backlash [Daily Beast]