ETI takes a look at the 25 times Rihanna slayed the cover of Vogue

From 2009 to 2019, Rihanna has fronted various editions of Vogue an incredible 25 times, including a record-breaking six US Vogue covers and three September issues.

Rihanna now has more US solo covers than any other black woman in history.

So, to celebrate her covergirl status, I guess it’s time for a little trip down memory lane. From then to now, here are the 25 covers in all their glory…

Vogue Italia, September 2009

Rihanna’s first Vogue cover was unveiled a decade ago when she graced the front of the Italian September issue. Aside from one picture, the Steven Klein photoshoot was done entirely in black and white and bore a close resemblance to the aesthetic for her then-upcoming album, Rated R, which was released two months later.

You can see the photoshoot here.

US Vogue, April 2011

Less than two years later, and after famously dyeing her hair red during the Loud era, Rihanna fronted US Vogue for the first time. Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz was behind the beachside shoot.

At the time, a 23-year-old Rihanna had just landed her first movie role as an ammunitions specialist in Battleship. “There were all these people, cameras, and huge cranes out in the middle of the ocean,” she told Vogue of filming the movie. “I got to do some stunts, which was incredible. I loved it — especially diving into the ocean.”

You can read the interview here.

British Vogue, November 2011

Later in 2011, Rihanna made her debut on the cover of British Vogue. However, it was marred by controversy when a blogger tweeted: “What’s with British Vogue turning Riri into a white person?”

In response to claims that the publication had lightened the singer’s skin, then-British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman said: “The reality is that the pictures that were published came in exactly how they have been published — with absolutely no skin lightening. If her skin does look pale it is probably because of the very strong sunlight in LA that day. We worked with her chosen hair and make-up team to present her in the way she was most comfortable with.”

You can see the photoshoot here.

US Vogue, November 2012

Proving early on that no two Vogue covers would ever be the same, Rihanna debuted a bold pixie crop for her next appearance on the fashion bible. In the interview, Rih said it was a “spur of the moment” decision, adding: “My hair was supposed to be down to my ass tonight.”

Similar to her previous US Vogue cover, this November 2012 issue was also shot by Annie Leibovitz and coincided with the release of her seventh studio album, Unapologetic.

You can read the full interview here.

US Vogue, March 2014

Then 26 years old, Rihanna landed her third US Vogue cover and it was all about fashion. The interview took place in Alexander Wang’s New York store and Rih was tasked with making over Vogue writer Plum Sykes.

At one point in the profile, Rihanna revealed that she wanted to start her own fashion label. “Fashion is a clear indication, a way to express your attitude, your mood,” she said. If only she knew she’d be heading up her own fashion house in 2019…

You can read the full interview here.

Vogue (Met Gala special edition), May 2014

Rihanna has long been Queen of the Met — even when she’s not there, she still reigns supreme. Following her outing at the 2014 event, Rihanna was put on the cover of Vogue’s special edition magazine alongside fellow queen Beyoncé.

Vogue Brazil, May 2014

Rihanna’s next Vogue cover, this time for the May issue of Vogue Brazil, actually ended up flying under the radar after being overshadowed by a separate controversy. Rihanna had posed topless on the cover of French magazine Lui around the same time and, after posting the picture to social media, her Instagram account was suspended. This led to beef between Rih and Instagram, and she didn’t start posting from her account again until November.

You can see the photoshoot here.

Vogue (Met Gala special edition), May 2015

Once again, Rihanna was placed front and centre on the Vogue Met Gala special edition cover, this time in 2015 when she invented the color yellow and wore that badass ensemble.

US Vogue, April 2016

Following the release of her 2016 album Anti in January, Rihanna graced the cover of US Vogue for the fourth time. Speaking about the album and how it differed in genre to what she’d tried before, Rihanna said: “It might not be some automatic record that will be Top 40. But I felt like I earned the right to do that now.”

As of September 2019, almost four years after its release, Anti has broken the record for the longest-charting album by a black female on the Billboard 200.

You can read the full interview here.

British Vogue, April 2016

Not content with just one April issue cover in 2016, Rihanna also fronted British Vogue in the same month. This time, she was promoting her footwear collaboration with Manolo Blahnik.

In an interview with the designer, Rihanna said: “The day I see a woman in the street wearing my shoes…I am sorry for that woman because I’m going to literally run after her, shouting, ‘Stop! Selfie! Who are you? Where did you get them?’ I’m going to have a moment!”

You can see the photoshoot and read a snippet of the interview here.

Vogue Arabia, November 2017

Just before Rihanna shot the cover for Vogue Arabia, she shook the beauty industry table by dropping her makeup line Fenty Beauty, which included a foundation that came in 40 different shades.

Speaking to Vogue at the time, Rihanna said: “I wanted things that girls of all skin tones could fall in love with. In every product, I was like, ‘There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl, there needs to be something for the really pale girl.'”

You can see the photoshoot here.

Vogue Paris, December 2017

Rihanna not only appeared on three covers for the December issue of Vogue Paris — she also acted as guest editor. In the magazine, she shared personal photos and stories, as well as noting some of her inspirations, such as Whitney Houston and Bob Marley.

Talking about Princess Diana and her “revenge dress” in the issue, Rihanna said: “Every time a man cheats on you or treats you badly, you need a revenge dress. Every woman knows that. But whether her choice of this knockdown dress was conscious or not, I am touched by the idea that even Princess Diana could suffer like any ordinary woman. This Diana Bad Bitch moment blew me away.”

You can read a snippet of the interview here.

US Vogue, June 2018

Just before starring as a weed-smoking hacker in the summer blockbuster Ocean’s 8, and after expanding her empire to include lingerie brand Savage X Fenty, Rihanna landed her fifth US Vogue cover. In the accompanying interview, she got real about body image, turning 30, and even helped the interviewer with swiping on Tinder.

You can read the full interview here.

Vogue (Met Gala special edition), May 2018

Boosting her special edition front covers to three, Rihanna took centre stage once more after the 2018 Met Gala, where she took inspiration from the actual Pope to fit the religious theme. This Met Gala was arguably the most important to Rihanna, as she also co-chaired the event alongside Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace.

British Vogue, September 2018

Later in the year, Rih took the coveted spot of September issue cover star when she graced the front of British Vogue. This marked Edward Enniful’s first September issue with the publication after becoming editor-in-chief.

Speaking about choosing Rihanna for the cover, Edward said: “I always knew it had to be Rihanna. A fearless music-industry icon and businesswoman, when it comes to that potent mix of fashion and celebrity, nobody does it quite like her.”

You can see the photoshoot and read a snippet of the interview here.

Vogue Australia, May 2019

So far this year, Rihanna has fronted various editions of Vogue a total of five times, starting with an Australian cover which was unveiled in April.

You can see the photoshoot here.

Vogue Hong Kong, September 2019

No stranger to a September issue, Rihanna then dropped three different covers for Vogue Hong Kong.

You can see the photoshoot here.

US Vogue, November 2019

And finally, for her 25th Vogue cover and a decade after fronting the magazine for the first time, Rihanna took centre stage once more, posing for a record-breaking sixth US Vogue cover. At this point in her career, Rihanna has a lot to talk about — from her ever-expanding beauty empire to a diverse and inclusive lingerie line that appears to have taken the mantle from Victoria’s Secret when it comes to putting on a spectacle. On top of all that, Rih is also leading a fashion house, Fenty, in collaboration with LVMH. So, it’s fair to say that she’s busy. But will there be new music on the horizon anytime soon?

Well, we’re still waiting, so I guess we’ll just have to wait some more.

You can read the full interview here.

So, there you have it — all 25 Vogue covers. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to 25 more.


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