Ocean wears a Prada jacket.
Photograph by Tim Walker. Hair by Nat Bury for Mo Better Cutz; Grooming by Celia Burton at JAQ Management; Manicure by Loui-Marie Ebanks at JAQ Management. Produced by Jeff Delich at Padbury Production; Production Manager: Lauren Sakioka at Padbury Production; Photography Assistants: Sarah Lloyd, Tony Ivanov; Lighting Director: David Gilbey; Retouching: Graeme Bulcraig at Touch Digital; Fashion Assistants: Allia Alliata di Montereale, Philip smith, Sandra Blazinskaite, Harry Bradbury; Production Assistants: Charlotte Norman, Harry Hose; Tailor: Alina Gencaite.
I have loved magazines for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, my bedroom walls were plastered with pages from Vogue, Italian Vogue, Interview, and W. When I applied to New York University, instead of sending in the customary college application essay, I made a mini magazine; after graduating, I was lucky enough to work at actual magazines. Now, writing my editor’s letter as the first female Editor in Chief of W, I feel incredibly honored to have worked for some of the smartest and most boundary-pushing women throughout my career, learning how to make fashion pictures, commission stories, and find my own point of view.
When we started putting together this issue, we knew from the beginning that it should revolve around the idea of originality. Going through the archives of the 47 years of W, the theme that stood out through every era was the celebration of individuality. For this issue, the first of another era, we chose two stars who are deeply true to themselves: Frank Ocean and Rosalía.
I have been a fan of Ocean’s from the first time I heard Nostalgia, Ultra, and I knew that the only person who could capture his uniqueness was the brilliant Tim Walker. His pictures, paired with an insightful interview by Diane Solway, give us a peek into the world of the fiercely private musician.
Since our Contributing Fashion Editor Katie Grand and the photographer Willy Vanderperre beautifully captured Rosalía in London, her star has shot across the sky. Our Editor at Large, Lynn Hirschberg, who is always in the know, first introduced me to the Spanish flamenco-influenced singer, and after reading Hirschberg’s wonderful profile, I knew that we had captured this major talent on the brink of something incredible.
For our “One of a Kind” portfolio, the entire team at W chose individuals we judged to be Originals and asked them questions about their personal and distinctive style. In addition, the writer Alex Hawgood spoke with Kacey Musgraves, arguably the most original country star of her generation. Musgraves is completely redefining, along with many of her contemporaries, what it means to be a country singer today.
Finally, in “Everyone Is Welcome," we photographed a cast of characters who are defined by what is happening in the world right now. The fashion landscape is changing, and magazines, like all media, are becoming increasingly digital. But in the end it all comes down to creativity. This story and—I hope—the entire issue capture that new spirit.
Many thanks to the amazing and incredibly hardworking team at W for spending their summer making sure our ideas came to life. We hope you enjoy reading the magazine as much as we did making it.