The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) revealed the finalists for its annual list of best magazine covers. Chosen by the leading names in editorial, art and photography, 50 covers were nominated in total and the winners will be announced at the American Magazine Media Conference on February 2. The top choices may surprise you.
Harper’s Bazaar is nominated twice in the fashion and beauty category, once for the March issue featuring Rihanna and a second time for the May issue with Kendall Jenner. New York makes the cut for its August 10-23 issue with Serena Williams. And two supermodel covers close out the list: Gigi Hadid on the September issue of W Magazine and Karlie Kloss for WSJ. Magazine‘s December/January issue.
The best celebrity and entertainment category includes Vanity Fair‘s July “Call Me Caitlyn” cover, GQ‘s August cover with Amy Schumer, The Hollywood Reporter‘s January 23 Kevin Hart cover, The New York Times Magazine‘s October 11 cover with Nicki Minaj and Adele’s November 19 Rolling Stone cover.
Tess Holliday’s groundbreaking People Magazine cover from June 1 made the best Women’s Lifestyle category. Parents‘s November issue, Redbook‘s September cover, Southern Living‘s July issue and Reese Witherspoon’s December Glamour cover also make the list.
New York Magazine was nominated in the best news and politics category for its groundbreaking “Cosby: The Women” cover (July 27-Aug. 9) alongside Esquire‘s April “Women & Men With Nick Offerman & Chelsea Handler,” The New Yorker‘s “Solidarité” cover on January 19 and “Nine” cover on June 29, and TIME‘s brilliant “America, 1968 2015” cover on May 11.
Serena Williams’ gorgeous Sports Illustrated “Sportsperson of the Year” cover is nominated in the Best Sports and Fitness category beside ESPN The Magazine‘s “Body 2015: Chantae McMillan” from July 20 and the James Harden issue from October 26. Men’s Fitness is also nominated for its October issue and Men’s Health for its November issue.
While there are some predictable appearances (like the New York Magazine ‘Cosby’ Cover), not one Vogue cover makes the list. The Kardashians only appear twice out of the 50 covers listed, once for Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover and again for Kendall Jenner’s Harper’s Bazaar cover. Surprisingly, WWD reports that the ubiquitous family isn’t a big hit on the newsstands. Data from the Alliance for Audited media shows that Cosmopolitan‘s November issue (featuring the family), Allure‘s March issue (Kendall Jenner), GQ‘s May issue (Kendall), Cosmo‘s February issue (Kylie Jenner) and Glamour‘s July issue (Kim Kardashian) all saw a dip in sales for the publications. Even Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out cover of Vanity Fair was reportedly a dud on the newsstand.
Only Kylie’s May Teen Vogue cover, Kim’s Rolling Stone cover and Khloe’s Women’s Health cover outpaced average newsstand sales. Conversely, publications saw a digital boost by featuring the Kardashians online and on social media, no doubt helped by the family promoting those magazines from their personal accounts.
Either we’re all going digital or we’re finally tired of the Kardashians. It will be interesting to see which covers take the crown at the American Magazine Media Conference and if the newsstand numbers measure up.