As we were finalizing this issue of W, we wanted to make the point that a publication is only as strong as the sum of its parts. Nowadays, ideas are everywhere, and creativity is all about collaboration. The issue you hold in your hands came into existence after many hours of meetings and countless proposals from all of our editors. We felt it was important to recognize everyone equally, and that is why we are celebrating here the entirety of W’s editorial staff.
Our starting point was the question “What is fashion now?” To be sure, we covered some of the big trends of the season, including superhero-worthy outerwear (“Caped Crusaders”), and the seductive silhouettes that seemed to blossom on every runway (“The Botany of Desire”). In “The Clash,” the photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott brought together punk, New Wave, and grunge to create a look that is anything but retro. But a central and more important point was, who are the women that embody a modern sense of style? Our four cover stars helped us answer that question.
Laura Harrier has appeared in films as varied as Spider-Man: Homecoming and BlacKkKlansman, and recently wrapped Bios, alongside Tom Hanks. It’s a list of projects that could overwhelm any actor, but Harrier is thinking three steps ahead, concentrating on how to expand the presence of women of color in Hollywood. “I want to make a great romantic comedy where race isn’t the focus—where it’s just people being people,” she says in “She’s a Natural.” “It doesn’t have to be a story about blackness to have black people onscreen.” Lily-Rose Depp, meanwhile, is no stranger to fashion or the limelight; after all, she’s been modeling for Chanel for years, and is the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. But the actress, who is playing roles as diverse as a ravaged drug addict in the film Dreamland and Catherine de Valois in the historical drama The King, a miniseries, is determined to stand on her own (“A Rose by Any Other Name”). The same can be said of Margaret Qualley, who seems to have inherited the stage presence that made her mother, Andie MacDowell, an American icon. Qualley started out with roles that played up her ethereal looks, but she is now moving on to more serious fare, starring as one of Quentin Tarantino’s Manson girls in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (“Flower Child”). Finally, we featured Anok Yai on our cover as a way of signaling the growing influence that models are exerting on culture. Yai, the Egyptian-born, American-raised daughter of Sudanese refugees, has been on the runways for just a couple of years, but she is already using her popularity to advocate for greater diversity in the fashion and beauty industries.
As these women look to the future, it’s important to acknowledge those who paved the way for them. In “Lady of the House,” the writer Alice Rawsthorn examines the legacy of Charlotte Perriand, one of the most important architects and designers of the 20th century, and the subject of a major retrospective that opens in October at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, in Paris. Perriand shattered gender stereotypes in an era when women were practically banned from male-dominated professions, and many of her primary concerns, such as sensitivity to the environment, were decades ahead of her time. Her heyday may have been more than 50 years ago, but her spirit is absolutely of today.
We hope you will enjoy the issue.
Love, The Editors