Marcus Rashford is British Vogue‘s latest cover star for the magazine’s “Activism Now” issue.
The Manchester United striker prompted a government U-turn after writing an open letter on the granting of free food vouchers for the poorest British families over the summer.
Rashford poses on the cover alongside model and mental health campaigner Adwoa Aboah as photographed by Misan Harriman, who is the first black male photographer to shoot any cover of British Vogue in the publication’s 104-year history.
The photoshoot was also conducted with a predominantly black team on set.
In addition to Rashford and Aboah, the magazine features a special fold-out cover featuring a group of activists, authors, and changemakers.
The activists involved include Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, and Reni Eddo-Lodge, the bestselling author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
Additionally, Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, American political activist Angela Davis, and the Justice4Grenfell campaigner Yvette Williams. all feature inside the special issue.
To accompany the activism issue, British Vogue has launched two roundtable talks, the first of which, hosted by Aboah, discusses activism within the context of community.
The second roundtable will be hosted by Enninful and discuss activism alongside actor Jesse Williams, Off-White designer Virgil Abloh, and social justice activist Tamika Mallory, among others.
The September issue of Vogue is usually viewed as the most prestigious of the year.
This year all 26 international editions Vogues are dedicating their issues to the theme of hope, marking the first time that all of the worldwide editions of the magazine have come together in this way.
Edward Enninful, who has been editor-in-chief at British Vogue since 2017, commented: “At its core, British Vogue’s September Issue is our show of thanks, as well as a rallying cry for the future.
“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. One thing is for certain. The future starts now.”
Rashford added: “I’m by no means a politician but I had a voice and a platform that could be used to at least ask the questions.
“If I didn’t put myself out there and say, ‘This is not OK and it needs to change,’ I would have failed my 10-year-old self.”
Harriman said the September issue has “has Edward Enninful written all over it”.
“His ability to force change whilst empowering others is a lesson to us all. He knows that there are many talented people from a diverse background who have never had a fair chance, finally the door is ajar,” he added.
The special issue comes after Enninful recently spoke out about being “racially profiled” by a security guard at work.
Last month, the editor revealed that when entering Vogue‘s London headquarters, he was told to “use the loading bay”.
“Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was,” he tweeted at the time. “Change needs to happen now.”