Starring on the cover of a British Vogue edition celebrating Black leaders, footballer Marcus Rashford, whose campaigning pushed the government to change policy on free school meals, has won further recognition for his poverty-fighting efforts.
The Manchester United and England forward, 22, appears alongside fashion model and mental health campaigner Adwoa Aboah on the cover of Vogue’s September issue, which features them and other activists including leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rashford and Aboah were photographed by Misan Harriman, who became the first Black man to photograph the cover image in the iconic magazine’s 104-year history. Harriman was asked by British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, to take the pictures for September’s edition after seeing the photographer’s work photographing London’s Black Lives Matter protests in June.
Enninful, now prominent British Vogue’s editor-in-chief, became the magazine’s first Black editor in 2017, announcing that next month’s edition would be “a rallying cry for the future”. All 26 of Vogue’s international editions are dedicating their covers to the theme of hope. Specifically, the September British issue will also include a fold-out page featuring 20 “inspirational faces” in Black Lives Matter such as the movement’s co-founder Patrisse Cullors, BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo and best-selling author Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Meanwhile, the footballer that we will see in Vogue British cover in September emerged recently as an influential anti-poverty voice during Britain’s coronavirus lockdown, successfully campaigning for school food vouchers to be provided over the summer holiday, revealing he had relied on such support as when he was younger.
His efforts also helped raise 20 million pounds to supply meals to struggling families during the pandemic.
“I always swore to my mum that if one day I was in a position to help, then I would, and an opportunity presented itself,” he said in the Vogue interview.
Addressing the issue of race, Rashford declared to the magazine:
“I’m a Black man from a Black family and I will eventually have Black children. I want my children to grow up in a world where regardless of the colour of your skin you have the same opportunities to succeed in life.”
“British Vogue’s September issue is our show of thanks. When all is said and done, it’s clear that 2020 will be remembered as a tough year, but also as a moment of necessary change. The future starts now,” Enninful wrote in an article for the edition.
Black models, stylists and fashion photographers inspired a new wave of diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry by posting on social media their versions of Vogue covers.
Meanwhile, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, has apologised for mistakes made by the magazine in the past that had targeted a niche of predominantly white models and figures.
“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators,” she said in June.