The September issue of British Vogue featured a blank rectangle at the request of Duchess Meghan Markle, the first-ever guest editor-in-chief of the famous fashion magazine. She explained the significance of this in her compelling introduction.
The Duchess of Sussex helped to select the collective of 15 women that will grace Vogue's magazine cover for their September issue, titled "Forces for Change."
Markle herself won't be on the cover, but she wanted you, the reader, to have a spot, metaphorically, and know that you are also part of the collective. The blank reflective space making up the 16th spot on the cover does just that.
The 37-year-old previously revealed that she started the Vogue project back in January when she was pregnant with her first child, Archie Harrison, born on May 6.
Markle has been making headlines since before she married Prince Harry, and could easily have taken center stage on the magazine's cover.
However, editor-in-chief Edward Enninful revealed that Markle felt it might be "boastful" to do so in this particular case.
So instead, we're treated to images of actress Jane Fonda, producer and advocate Salma Hayek Pinault, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, actor and producer Laverne Cox, and climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Others featured on the cover are Adwoa Aboah, Adut Akech, Ramla Ali, Sinead Burke, Gemma Chan, Francesca Hayward, Jameela Jamil, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Yara Shahidi, and Christy Turlington.
Speaking of the cover, Markle explained:
"These are our forces for change. And among all of these strong women on the cover, a mirror – a space for you, the reader, to see yourself. Because you, too, are part of this collective."
Hence, the issue, which is typically the magazine's most popular of the year, is unique in the way it attempts to bring inspiration to the reader and compel change.
Enninful further elaborated on the blank spot saying, "The 16th spot on the magazine’s cover represents a mirror, at the request of the Duchess, to include the reader in this unique moment and encourage them to use their own platforms to effect change."
Markle, who made it clear that it was her idea to humbly move aside and shine the light on other trailblazing women in the world, is, therefore, the driving force behind the push for readers to pick up a cause and get something started.
In addition to the highlights on each woman of the cover, Markle interviewed Michelle Obama for the back page Q&A. The former First Lady shared parenting advice with the new mother and it was as timeless as she is. She called motherhood a "masterclass in letting go."
Markle's contribution also includes an interview which her husband Prince Harry did with primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.
The duchess called her collaboration with Vogue "rewarding, educational and inspiring." The September issue will be available in newsstands and for digital download on August 2.