Last year, Vogue Paris kicked off the season with a June cover that was indulgently summery: supermodel Gisele Bunchen on a beautiful blue-skied beach, wearing nothing but a skimpy bikini bottom supplemented with a generous pat of butt sand. For the June/July cover this year, editor Emmanuelle Alt took a similar approach. Mario Sorrenti photographed Andreea Diaconu against the impossibly dreamy waters of St Barts. Echoing the 2012 cover, the Romanian model is wearing almost nothing (a seashell necklace) and some body sand. A lot of body sand. Vogue Paris probably had their Chief Body Sand Styling Artist on location for the shoot.
If you'd never heard of Diaconu before now, you've got plenty of company. The Bucharest-born model has been working in relative high fashion obscurity for a few years. Represented by IMG, Diaconu has been fairly active on runways and featured in some campaigns for brands like Ralph Lauren and MaxMara — even a one-off for Target. She was featured on the cover of ELLE Romania once, ELLE Russia twice; she landed the supplement cover for Vogue Brazil last year. Diaconu has also appeared in editorial stories for several international editions of Vogue — Brazil, US, Germany, Italia, Japan. She was first included in Vogue Paris only in February, making this June cover for the high-profile glossy a total surprise.
As reported by one of our Forum Buzz editors, Pilar Meier, tFS members welcomed seeing the new model:
"WERQ, Andreea! Not gonna lie, I thought Gisele's beach cover from last year was perfection, but this comes quite close to being up to par. Just glad Andreea is finally getting the recognition. Total beach babe here," said LagerfeldBoy.
Bertrando3 also applauded the model choice: "This reminds me of Gisele's cover but finally: someone new!!! However it's not very creative, it's just fresh."
Thefrenchy didn't share the excitement over the cover image and said, "That girl is pretty but what a bore, we have ELLE for covers like that!"
Valentine27 also had mixed feelings about Alt going not all-out in delivering something new. "It feels refreshing to see a new model on a VP cover. This is not breathtaking but it still remains a gorgeous cover. I can't stop thinking about Gisele's cover from last year though, and I think it was executed better, but Andreea looks stunning here," she stated.
"Finally Alt is trying new things, with new models! I can't say it's all that inspiring or exciting, but I still am pleased with it and find it lovely," summarized HeatherAnne.
Pilar notes: "After all the criticism that Alt received for being too safe with her cover choices, it's been pleasant to see some surprising cover subjects in recent months — Suvi Koponen in March, Freja Beha [Erichsen] in May — but clearly tFS members need Vogue Paris to be more than just a showcase for new faces. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful cover and congratulations to Andreea, who started out as a model several years ago and was under the radar for so long, for scoring her first major magazine cover!"