I met the photographer Colin Dodgson 10 years ago in New York City. We were starting our careers and quickly became friends, doing lo-fi shoots at friends’ apartments around the city or at my mom’s house in Los Angeles. Once, when I was moving apartments, Colin used the empty space to stage a show of his work the day before I had to turn in the keys. In many ways, we grew up together in the fashion industry.
When the team at W started thinking about who could shoot three of the biggest actresses in the world for our cover, Colin was the first person who came to mind. We wanted to do something unexpected with Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie, and I knew Colin’s pictures would present these celebrated women in a new light. Capturing all three of them in one great picture would have been a daunting challenge for any photographer, but Colin quickly said yes. I’d had the privilege of collaborating with Nicole and Margot for W in the past (Nicole wore Comme des Garçons and Margot was painted pink!), but this was my first time meeting Charlize, who was as brilliant and beautiful as I had hoped. In fact, the shoot was full of laughter and camaraderie, and ended with the three actresses gamely posing with Colin for a superb contributor’s photo.
For this issue, we thought a lot about families and clans, as you often do during the holidays. In Christopher Bagley’s piece “Mothers of Invention,” we are introduced to a group of women changing what motherhood looks like today. The photographer Max Farago, who is married to one of the moms in the story, Clara Cullen, captured the spirit and community that these women have formed, supporting each other and highlighting the important role that an extended family of friends plays in their lives.
Our gift guide also features an eclectic assortment of families—both the ones we are born into and the ones we create for ourselves. They include, among others, the always creative Clementes, the US Open winner Bianca Andreescu at home with her parents, and the singer Kilo Kish with her best friend, J.Scott. All of them give us some insight into the gifts they are giving and hoping to receive, which range from perfect red square-toe ballet flats from the Row to the Celine perfumes recently launched by Hedi Slimane to a T-shirt benefiting Equal Means Equal, a movement fighting for women’s rights. (This holiday season I will be supporting This Is About Humanity, an organization cofounded by Zoe Winkler Reinis in 2018 to help families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Zoe, who is part of my own extended family, has been taking volunteers to Tijuana each month to build shelters and facilities, and to donate supplies to those in need.)
Family can mean many different things to many different people—whether it’s being related by blood, friendship, work, or the spirit of giving. From everyone here at W, we wish you a happy holiday season. See you in 2020!