Italian Vogue will not publish photos in latest issue in bid to protect environment

The issue comes packaged in eight different covers, each depicting a model wearing Gucci, though the covers vary in style from collage painting to Japanese fantasy-meets-Italian renaissance.
The issue comes packaged in eight different covers, each depicting a model wearing Gucci, though the covers vary in style from collage painting to Japanese fantasy-meets-Italian renaissance.PHOTOS: NYTIMES

ROME (NYTimes) - What is a fashion magazine without photo shoots? Without those glossy images of models, photographed in glamorous locales and produced by a small army of hairstylists, makeup artists, editors and assistants?

It is a more environmentally friendly magazine, for one. Or so says Italian Vogue, which aims to make a statement about sustainability this month by omitting photo shoots.

In his January 2020 note to readers, Mr Emanuele Farneti, the editor-in-chief, described what it takes to fill one issue of his magazine (in this example, the traditionally thick September issue) with original photographs.

"One hundred and fifty people involved. About 20 flights and a dozen or so train journeys.

"Forty cars on standby. Sixty international deliveries. Lights switched on for at least 10 hours non-stop, partly powered by gasoline-fuelled generators.

"Food waste from the catering services. Plastic to wrap the garments.

"Electricity to recharge phones, cameras ."

Owning up to this pollution was important to Mr Farneti, particularly after he and the 25 other international Vogue editors made a pledge in December to help "preserve our planet for future generations" and show respect "for our natural environment".

But "declarations are not enough", Mr Farneti said.

"It's very important that you actually act."

His act: replacing photos with illustrations, hiring artists to "show clothes without photographing them" as he described in his editor's note.

 
 

The issue, on newsstands on Jan 7, comes packaged in eight different covers.

Each depicts a model wearing Gucci, though the covers vary in style from collage painting to Japanese fantasy-meets-Italian renaissance.

All feature a single phrase: "No photo shoot production was required in the making of this issue."

The money saved from skipping photo shoots will be donated to a cultural centre and library in Venice that was damaged in November by the city's high-tide floods.