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British Vogue Dedicates Five Covers to Disability Activists

British Vogue highlights notable people with disabilities in its May 2023 issue as a way to further important conversations around disability in the media and society.

The “Reframing Fashion: Dynamic, Daring & Disabled issue will have five different covers, starring Sinéad Burke, actor Selma Blair, sign language performer Justina Miles and models Aaron Rose Philip and Ellie Goldstein.

The magazine will also feature 19 disabled talents from the world of fashion, sports, the arts and activism. The five covers are the latest in a series of “agenda-setting” decisions made by Enninful, who became editor-in-chief in 2017.

The May 2023 issue will discuss how the fashion industry can increase inclusivity and adapt to better support people with disabilities. 

“Making this issue was a necessary and overdue education for all – and taught us many lessons we will carry forward into the future,” British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful wrote in a note introducing the magazine. “Ultimately, these covers and portfolio ask a question: we all engage in fashion, but does fashion engage with all of us?”

The five trailblazers featured on the May 2023 cover are: 

Sinéad Burke, a writer, disability activist and consulting editor of accessibility consultancy Tilting the Lens, which collaborated with British Vogue to produce the issue. 

Selma Blair, an actor known for her film “Cruel Intentions”, has opened up about her experience with multiple sclerosis after being diagnosed in 2018.

Justina Miles, an ASL performer who wowed audiences when she interpreted Rihanna’s performance at the 2023 Super Bowl.

Aaron Rose Philip, the first Black, transgender and disabled model to be represented by a renowned modeling agency.

And finally, Ellie Goldstein, a model with Down syndrome who starred in a Gucci beauty campaign that was featured in Italian Vogue.

In addition to interviewing these five changemakers, the British Vogue team also participated in a digital accessibility workshop.

For the first time, this edition of British Vogue and all issues for the next year will be available in audio format and for Braille readers in physical and digital formats. This is in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People. 

Enninful has said the issue has given British Vogue the opportunity to address its own accessibility issues. He added that the company has reviewed elevator and ramp access at its photo studios in London and has included alt text features on its website and social media as well as improved audio descriptions in videos. 

“”With its cultural relevance, highlighting and honoring the disabled community in the pages of British Vogue creates a call to action for the much-needed change in other parts of the fashion industry, and beyond,” said Burke of the “Reframing Fashion” issue. “Accessibility and disability inclusion are everyone’s responsibility and opportunity — this is a movement, not a moment.”


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