'She had gained a little weight': Anna Wintour on how daring decision to put jeans on debut Vogue cover was because model was too big for couture
The U.S. Vogue editor unveiled her debut issue of the magazine in November, 1988
It had featured Israeli model Michaela Bercu in a pair of jeans, an item of clothing that had never been worn on a fashion magazine cover previously
22:00 GMT, 15 August 2012
Anna Wintour shocked the fashion world in 1988 when she put a model on the cover of U.S. Vogue in jeans.
It was her debut issue as editor of the fashion title and it was bold move to team casual wear with haute couture.
Now, Ms Wintour, 62, has revealed that the unlikely look came about because Israeli model Michaela Bercu had been too chubby to fit into the Christian Lacroix skirt that matched the top in the photo.
Unique: Anna Wintour's famous 1988 Vogue cover (above) featured the first cover model to wear jeans. The editor has revealed that she only put Israeli model Michaela Bercu in jeans because she couldn't fit into a skirt
The editor, who served as the unofficial inspiration behind the The Devil Wears Prada, wrote on the magazine's blog yesterday: 'Michaela was wearing an haute couture
Christian Lacroix jacket with a beaded cross, all very “Like a Prayer,” and stonewashed Guess jeans.
'The jacket was actually part of a suit, but
the skirt didn't fit Michaela; she had been on vacation back home in
Israel and had gained a little weight.'
She added that it didn't matter that the stunning model, who is now aged 45, did not fit into the skirt.
Stylish: The editor, seen above in New York on May 7, said that the 1998 cover broke all the rules
'In fact, it only served to reinforce the idea to
take couture's haughty grandeur and playfully throw it headlong into
real life and see what happened,' Ms Wintour wrote.
The ever-impeccable editor admitted that the magazine's printers at the time had questioned her creative judgement.
They had 'called up and asked with some consternation, “Has there been a mistake”
She added that the cover image was so 'unlike the studied and elegant close-ups that were typical of Vogue's covers back then, with tons of makeup and major jewelry'.
'I couldn't blame them,' she wrote. 'This one broke all the rules.'
She continued: 'Michaela wasn't looking at you, and
worse, she had her eyes almost closed. Her hair was blowing across her
'It looked easy, casual, a moment that had been snapped on the
street, which it had been, and which was the whole point.'
Vogue has just released its enormous September issue with Lady Gaga on the cover, which celebrates the magazine's 120 years in the publishing industry.
Ms Wintour said that working on the new issue helped conjure up past memories of the controversial cover that helped cement her place of power within the industry.
She added that the cover was interpreted in all sorts of ways at the time.
'It was about mixing high and low, Michaela was pregnant, it was a religious statement,' she wrote. 'But none of these things was true.'
She continued: 'I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can't ask for more from a cover image than that.'
The editor is said to be working with Sarah Jessica Parker in selecting the actress' wardrobe when she guest stars on the forthcoming season of Glee.
The pair were spotted lunching in New York together just days after the announcement was made.
Ms Jessica Parker will play an editor of Vogue.com in the hit show's fourth season, which premieres on September 13.