Editor’s Letter: Introducing the 2021 Pop Issue

When we started our discussions about whom to feature on our four fall fashion covers, we knew we wanted to celebrate television actors who were about to have a momentous year. During several editorial meetings, we had talked about putting Beanie Feldstein on the cover, so when we heard that she had been cast as the world’s most famous intern, Monica Lewinsky, in Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment: American Crime Story, we knew that now was the time (“Beanie Feldstein Is More Than Your Bestie”). The brilliant duo Inez & Vinoodh photographed Feldstein in a fabulous style that brings to mind Old Hollywood glamour—she wears, among other things, a strapless Dior gown, a crocheted Chanel cape, and a sparkling Michael Kors dress. (Speaking of, make sure to check out “My Life in Parties: Michael Kors,” in which the designer gives us a glimpse at the most memorable moments of his life, from his teenage years at Studio 54 to the 40th-anniversary celebration of his label.)

When I texted photographer Tim Walker about shooting Emma Corrin, there was not a moment of hesitation before he wrote back, “Yes!” Everyone fell in love with Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown, but that was only the beginning for this budding star, who just finished filming My Policeman, alongside Harry Styles. Walker suggested we have another Brit, Harry Lambert, style the shoot, and so began our text chain on Schiaparelli couture, Prada jumpsuits, and an assortment of amazing new brands that truly had me smiling from ear to ear (“The Education of Emma Corrin”).

Photographer Renell Medrano, who worked with Ozark’s Julia Garner, became fixated on a picture of Catherine Deneuve on Garner’s Instagram, so we immersed ourselves in Deneuve’s starring role in Belle de Jour, and Garner was soon thrilled to embody one of her heroines, with the help of a Giorgio Armani velvet shirt with a Peter Pan collar, an Hermès shearling coat, and a perfect little black dress from Kim Jones’s first ready-to-wear collection at Fendi (“Julia Garner Is Criminally Good”). Garner has a big year ahead, between the final season of Ozark and her role as con artist Anna Sorokin in Inventing Anna. (Proof that great minds think alike: Corrin recently portrayed Sorokin, in a play in London’s West End.)

Thuso Mbedu’s heartbreaking and beautiful star turn in Barry Jenkins’s The Underground Railroad had Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg and Culture Editor Brooke Marine emailing me for weeks, saying, “We have to give her a cover!”—and I’m so glad we did. Photographer Campbell Addy captured Mbedu just days after her 30th birthday, in Nicolas Ghesquière’s white embroidered, sequined bubble dress, straight off his digital runway show for Louis Vuitton (“Thuso Mbedu Is Just Getting Started”). As writer Troy Patterson discovered, Mbedu has great things in store for us—including a performance alongside her idol, Viola Davis, in the forthcoming The Woman King.

In addition to all of our amazing cover stories, we wanted to celebrate the return of fashion! The dream team of Katie Grand and Rafael Pavarotti photographed the greatest looks of the season, with exceptional hair and makeup by Anthony Turner and Chiao Li Hsu (“Birds of a Feather”). The legendary Grace Coddington teamed up with photographer Craig McDean to shoot what Coddington referred to as the new vintage: a perfect wardrobe of clothes that feel familiar, yet completely new at the same time (“Retro Modern”).

For “Glam Goes Green,” Features Editor Andrea Whittle dove deep into how sustainability can be fabulous, introducing us to new designers who are making eco-consciousness central to their design agenda, and finding out what the established brands that we know and love are doing for the environment. Photographer Angelo Pennetta and stylist Claudia Sinclair captured looks that will make you feel like David Bowie while allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint.

And in one of my favorite stories of the issue, we meet the extraordinary Joan Agajanian Quinn, who was a muse to everyone from Andy Warhol to David Hockney. When Executive Editor Armand Limnander told me about Quinn, I knew right away that we needed to feature her—but I also felt like I wanted her to become my new best friend. Senior Visuals Editor Oona Wally worked closely with photographer Max Farago to capture not only Quinn’s art collection—or “accumulation,” as she calls it—which will be the subject of a museum exhibition this fall, but also her family. In a wonderful profile written by Abby Aguirre, we learn that Quinn is as lovable as she is inspiring (“Joan of Art”).

This issue is jam-packed with smiling faces, colorful clothes, and celebrations of joy and larger-than-life ideas. Enjoy!


Sara Moonves

Beanie Feldstein wears a Banana Republic turtleneck; Anna Zuckerman Luxury earrings; Tiffany & Co. necklace; stylist’s own hair bow. Photographed by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Sara Moonves. Sittings Editor: Allia Alliata di Montereale.

Emma Corrin wears a Prada jumpsuit and shoes; Cartier earring. Photographed by Tim Walker and styled by Harry Lambert.

Thuso Mbedu wears a Louis Vuitton dress and boots. Photographed by Campbell Addy and styled by Jessica Willis.

Julia Garner wears a Giorgio Armani jacket and pants; Ellen Christine Couture hat; Bulgari ring. Photographed by Renell Medrano and styled by Sara Moonves. Sittings Editor: Allia Alliata di Montereale.