W and British Vogue Team for February Covers Celebrating Hollywood

Courtesy of Instagram/britishvogue

But some readers aren't happy about British Vogue's cover, which stars Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman alongside the cover line, "Why we need to talk about race."

W magazine and British Vogue had readers doing a double take when they each released their February covers this week.

The pair used the same Juergen Teller-lensed image of Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman, who were styled by new British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, for their Hollywood-heavy issues. Additionally, W released five more covers (all "co-produced" with British Vogue and, according to Instagram, French Vanity Fair) as part of their Best Performances portfolio feature. The remaining covers star unlikely pairs Tom Hanks and Mary J. Blige, Saoirse Ronan and Andrew Garfield, Gal Gadot and James Franco, Daniela Vega and Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone.

However, some British Vogue readers are not happy with the glossy's Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman cover. And it's not just the LaCrasia leather evening gloves — which have been referred to as "pastel dishwashing gloves" — that had the public up in arms. 

Fans are calling out the magazine, and specifically Enninful, for featuring two white actresses on the cover alongside the headline, "Why we need to talk about race." 

"Yeah let's talk about race indeed," tweeted fashion blogger Bryan Boy on Wednesday evening after the cover was published. Refinery29's senior features editor Connie Wang also reacted to the cover line by tweeting, "The need is very much there, apparently." 

Several readers expressed that while they have nothing against Kidman and Robbie, two of this awards season's biggest contenders, they were upset regarding the 180 from Enninful's first cover, which featured Adwoa Aboah — a woman of color — and seemed to signal a new, diverse move forward for the publication, which had previously been criticized for being too white under the leadership of Alexandra Shulman.

That being said, considering this is only Enninful's third cover (the January issue cover starred Taylor Swift), and many covers are arranged several months in advance, it is possible that the decision to cast the white actresses on the cover was made prior to his arrival. 

Robbie and Kidman were featured alongside Emma Stone, Saoirse Ronan, Gal Gadot and Hong Chau — the lone nonwhite actress — in the "Hollywood's New Era" feature for British Vogue; however, the full W feature totaled 29 actors, including several more people of color.

Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of W, said that the co-produced images for the Best Performances portfolio are the beginning of a new era for the Conde Nast title. "From now on, each volume of W will be distinct and collectible, centered around a specific theme — in this case, film and fashion," he said in a release. "We have upgraded our paper quality, improved the printing, and redesigned our layouts and typography; more significantly, we are focusing our attention on longer features and glorious visual portfolios."

The collaboration among three international Conde Nast titles is also indicative of major changes underfoot at the publishing powerhouse, which has been looking to shake up its print editions as readership shifts online. Perhaps cross-Conde Nast collaborations are the way of print's future? 

See all six W magazine covers below. 

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