It hasn’t even been a month since news of Prince’s untimely passing rocked us to our cores. At the time, notable figures from all corners of the music, fashion and entertainment industries took to social media to eulogize one of the most iconic artists ever to have graced us with his powerful, gender-bending presence. Even without these testimonials, the rock god’s influence on the runways, stages and glossy spreads of the world would’ve been undeniable.
Prince was known for his funky, subversive, contradictory style choices. He oozed sexuality, yet referenced prim Victorian-era fashions. His sartorial arsenal included a seemingly endless pool of tight, high-waisted trousers, voluminous blouses and jauntily tailored suits in all manner of sequins, fringe, silk, velvet and lace that somehow accented his muscularity and masculinity.
With posthumous Prince tributes spouting from the mouths of everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Erykah Badu, we knew it was only a matter of time before a fashion bible issued their own cover. Surprisingly, it was the relatively obscure Harper’s Bazaar Serbia that was first out of the gate. Fittingly, the glossy chose a black woman to represent the Purple One.
Chanel Iman, who faded into relative obscurity after her split with rapper and fashion forerunner ASAP Rocky, poses in some of Prince’s most iconic getups for the June 2016 issue of the Eastern European monthly. Photographed by Joshua Jordan with art direction by Christopher Sollinger, the shoot features Iman channeling Prince circa Purple Rain, Dirty Mind and Plectrumelectrum, notably.
In a particularly racy shot that the music legend no doubt would’ve loved, Chanel perches on a motorcycle on set in Jimmy Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, one of Prince’s favorite spots. Iman rocks a curly bouffant, luxurious fur and layers upon layers of alluring, chest-concealing chains (sound familiar?).
Members of our forums are eating up the homage, and Chanel’s triumphant return to cover-girl status:
“Chanel was absolutely one of the best models of her generation. Posing skills were on point and hands down one of the best walkers whenever she was on the runway. It seems that increased competition from other models of color (since the industry was still very much had the ‘there can only be one’ stupid mentality) and a lack of momentum getting campaigns caused her to go down a more commercial route (VS/SI). Even with that focus, Anna Wintour has always been a supporter and we’ve seen her pop up in Vogue every now and then. But Chanel hasn’t really done much modeling lately which is a true shame because she still has the skills and her body is on point. This cover proves that, absolute slam dunk and the prince inspiration is incredible!” wrote an enthusiastic marsnoop2.
“I love. As a tribute to Prince it is well executed,” affirmed nataliaapple.
“I wish this were for a bigger edition, because Chanel is killing it! She looks absolutely spectacular here. Serving such great face and the post is on point too! I hadn’t realized how much I missed her until seeing this shot. Somebody BOOK THIS WOMAN,” an aptly monikered happycanadian added.
“It’s great cover. It’s amazing to see Chanel on the cover again. Kudos HB Serbia,” said an approving narcyza.
Benn98, while somewhat appreciative of the cover, rebuked other publications for dragging their toes: “The only magazine to do a Prince tribute so far? Nothing from Alt or the indies?…The top 4 should hang their heads in shame. I’m not particularly mad about the shot, but kudos to them for doing it right! Casting a black girl for this. I appreciate it even more because it’s such a conceptualized and progressive idea to push in today’s print arena. I always get the feeling that the top tier titles groan when they have to give the cover to a person of colour. Serbia, with zero obligation to toe the diversity line, did it with such effortless bravado! Take note…”
Don’t worry, Benn89, we’re certain there’s more editorial Prince love brewing. Meanwhile, as you wait for issues to hit stands May 21, you can soak in all the sensual, glittery glory in the teaser trailer below.