Even with five full months left in 2019, Claudia Schiffer has already landed four magazine covers so far this year—a number that's all the more impressive given that it's been more than three decades since the 48-year-old began her career as a supermodel. (She went on to become one of Karl Lagerfeld's favorite muses shortly after being discovered at a nightclub in Germany at age 17.) But even in the context of Schiffer's career overall, her latest cover—Vogue Italia's August issue—stands apart. Though the the photographer Collier Schorr "supervised," the shoot, Schiffer was photographed nude by none other than herself.
Like fellow super Stephanie Seymour, another of the issue's solo cover stars, Schiffer technically has two covers. But there's only one piece of clothing—a black blazer by Saint Laurent—between the two of them. In one of them, Schiffer didn't even bother wearing it. Instead, it's one of three Saint Laurent items that a completely nude Schiffer has strategically placed to keep the cover from being entirely NSFW.
To Schiffer, her relationship with Schorr "transported [her] back to the Avedon days." Schorr, on the other hand, had another photography legend in mind: "The concept was to take the framework of some of Helmut Newton’s most seminal studio shoots, especially the 'auto-portraits,'" Schorr told Vogue Italia. "Theoretically, the women in these photographs by Newton were 'making' their own portraits in that very brief moment that they are looking at themselves in mirrors and releasing the camera's shutter with a cable release ... I think this was about Claudia, Stephanie’s and my relationships with our sexualities and bodies, and about being seen as older women."
One of the covers, then, stars Schiffer standing in front of a mirror in control of a self-timer, surrounded by the words "Claudia by Claudia." From the sound of it, that cover line couldn't be more apt: "When you are photographing women such as Stephanie and Claudia, who are literally like the walking lexicons of fashion gesture in photography, there are things they will and will not do," Schorr said. There’s not one thing that you see in these photographs that Claudia didn’t want to do—if she didn’t want to do it, she changed it."
Incidentally, the cover is the second image of herself wearing a black Saint Laurent blazer that Schiffer has shared with her 1.1 million Instagram followers so far this year. She recently posted a throwback to her days of walking the runway for Yves Saint Laurent, in which she's also sans shirt.