Glimpse: On the Cover

A behind-the-scenes look at our cover choice for the April 2013 issue.

Photograph by Annie Liebovitz

For our first cover, we wanted to choose someone who had lots of experience in front of the camera but who also had an interesting story to share. We’re so happy to have found Sara Ziff—a yoga practitioner who is the founder and director of the Model Alliance, an advocacy group aimed at improving labor conditions for women and girls in the fashion industry and co-director of the award-winning film Picture Me, an inside look at life in the glamorous yet grueling world of modeling.

The successful magazine cover is a combination of artistic and commercial aims. The great photographer Annie Liebovitz says her magazine cover work, therefore, is much different than the work she does inside a magazine. A work of art and an advertisement, a cover will be displayed on a rack next to a variety of images you can’t predict, with the aim of capturing a potential reader’s interest in a split second.

Not only that, a cover really teaches you how photography is not a one-to-one representation of reality.  A person’s facial expression, for example, can end up conveying a mood they never intended. The attention to detail required for this medium means that a shoot usually lasts an entire day. It’s so hard to get all the elements just right and arrive at something eye-catching. Our design team enjoyed working with Sara and the results show it.

—James Gimian, Publisher