fashion

A midwife, a train driver and a store worker are British Vogue's latest cover stars

Updated 2nd June 2020
Credit: Jamie Hawkesworth/British Vogue
A midwife, a train driver and a store worker are British Vogue's latest cover stars
Written by Amy Woodyatt, CNNLondon
British Vogue readers might be more familiar seeing supermodels or celebrities gracing its front cover, but July's issue will look a little different, featuring key workers helping provide essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.
A community midwife, a train driver and a supermarket worker will instead be the stars of the latest edition.
In a statement posted to Instagram Monday, British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful explained that the magazine decided to profile the women -- all key workers -- to pay homage to their "bravery and dedication to helping others."
"This chapter in history has seen a society shift its attention onto some of the people in this country who are not usually afforded the spotlight," Enninful wrote.
He said the frontline workers' commitment during the pandemic "has stunned all of us."
Enninful has been at the helm of the magazine since August 2017. The Ghana-born, London-raised former model is the first male and non-white editor in the magazine's history.
Community midwife Rachel Millar, 24, was featured in the issue.
Community midwife Rachel Millar, 24, was featured in the issue. Credit: Jamie Hawkesworth/British Vogue
"If you had told me at the beginning of the year that @BritishVogue's July cover stars would feature a community midwife, a train driver and supermarket worker, I might not have believed you," he continued on Instagram.
"But, as our nation perseveres against Covid-19, we find ourselves leaning not on the powers that be, but on ordinary people and their extraordinary strength and kindness," Enninful added.
The three women, photographed by Jamie Hawkesworth, are Rachel Millar, a community midwife in east London, Narguis Horsford, a train driver on the London Overground, and Anisa Omar, a supermarket assistant working in London's King's Cross.
Anisa Omar told the magazine that the pandemic had changed the way her job was perceived.
Anisa Omar told the magazine that the pandemic had changed the way her job was perceived. Credit: Jamie Hawkesworth/British Vogue
For the issue, the women told the magazine about some of their reactions to the pandemic, lockdown, and the changes to their daily lives.
"Before the pandemic, my job was not really that big a deal, but now it's like we're important. It's nice," Omar, 21, told the magazine for the issue, titled "The New Front Line."
Meanwhile, Millar, a 24-year-old midwife, spoke of learning to adapt to the challenging times.
"It's a confusing time, it's an anxious time, and we haven't lived through anything like it before so we're learning what to do and how to cope with this situation for the first time," Millar said.
Train driver Horsford told the magazine: "I am no hero, but I'm proud of being a train driver and the essential role we are playing during the coronavirus crisis.
"Our services are vitally important to keep London moving throughout these unprecedented times and maintaining safety, to ensure our key workers can get to where they need to be to provide the services that are required."
Hawkesworth, who took the images over 10 days, said that the project was "truly one of the most meaningful projects I have been fortunate to be part of."
In his post, Enninful described how Hawkesworth "carefully crossed the capital" to capture images of the women whose "bravery has helped so many."
The magazine, featuring the women and their stories, will go on sale June 5.