Supermodels Jill Kortleve, Paloma Elsesser and Precious Lee take the cover of British Vogue Magazine‘s April 2023 edition lensed by fashion photography duo Inez and Vinoodh. In charge of styling was Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, with set design from Jill Nicholls, production by VLM Productions, and digital artwork by StereoHorse. Beauty is work of hair stylist Lacy Redway, makeup artist Diane Kendal, and manicurist Deborah Lippmann. For the covers models are wearing Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.
It’s about more than just a picture – what we’re doing is creating a reference. I always think about the 15-year-old girl sitting in her bedroom in Milwaukee who needs to see someone with boobs or a belly represented. I want her to know we can be chic, beautiful and cool – to see all the possibilities. Even if I threw in the towel tomorrow, I’d know I made a difference. No matter what else happens in our lives, we know that in some small corner of the world we’ve changed something and not just for ourselves. How many people get to say that? – Paloma Elsesser
I grew up in the ’90s, which were arguably the most toxic years in fashion. The only images you’d see – especially in Holland – were of blonde, blue-eyed and incredibly thin people. If that’s all you get exposed to, you start to think that’s the only definition of beauty. I remember during my first seasons I would look at pictures of myself on the runway and think, ‘Why do I look so different from everyone else?’ I was comparing myself to other girls, wondering why I felt out of place, and I realised that it was because I’d never seen anyone who looked like me in those spaces. I had to change the way I looked at things. – Jill Kortleve
My mother called me a supermodel from the beginning. Even when we were sitting in a waiting room at a casting with dozens of other girls, I was her super. Back then, I’d get annoyed with her. ‘Supermodel’ wasn’t a word I’d use to describe myself, even once I started ticking off the boxes. I don’t want to say we’ve come full circle, but we’ve finally reached a place where we can give ourselves the space to see our work and appreciate everything that has led us to this moment. The first time I met Paloma, we were shooting for Target, and yesterday we were shooting this cover for Vogue. How often do girls see a [US] size 16 brown, chocolate girl jumping through the air on a Vogue cover or being called a supermodel? None of us aspired to a title [per se], but inspiring others on this level is powerful. – Precious Lee
Photography © Inez and Vinoodh for British Vogue, read more at vogue.co.uk