In Vogues 126-year history, not a single black person has shot a cover of Vogue – until now. With a little help from Beyoncé, 23-year old Tyler Mitchell is set to make history, shooting Beyoncé’s September cover for America Vogue, as Anna Wintour gave her unprecedented control over the shoot.
A source close to Vogue broke the story to HuffPost, suggesting “The reason a 23-year old black photographer is photographing Beyoncé for the cover of Vogue is because Beyoncé used her power and influence to get him that assignment”. Would we have seen a black photographer shooting a cover – let alone the September cover of Vogue otherwise? Considering Anna Wintour has had the reign over Vogue for 30 years, it paints a telling story.
An Atlanta Native, Tyler Graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2017. He was introduced to photography as he became involved in the skateboarding scene, documenting the fashion and youth culture, citing William Eggleston, Viviane Sassen and Clayton Patterson as his influences. While Vogue may be accustomed to choosing from their small list of approved and industry established photographers, Tyler is far from unknown on the fashion scene. Having shot for Marc Jacobs, i-D and Givenchy, Tyler got his big break after publishing a book of photos, El Paquete, in 2015 as part of a documentary. “I depict black people and people of colour in a really real and pure way,” he told The New York Times. “There is an honest gaze to my photos.”