For New York’s October 15–28, 2018, issue, the magazine devoted 61 pages in print to the theme of women and power, talking to over 70 powerful women about winning power, wielding it, losing it, fighting for it, holding onto it. With an introduction by Hanna Rosin, the package includes Nancy Pelosi on being the boss of her party; Anita Hill on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the hierarchy of who is believed; Samantha Bee on the freedom of being a woman over 40 on TV; Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman on walking away from the Spotted Pig; Barbra Streisand on singing out about her feelings; Stormy Daniels on the pressure of being in charge of saving the world; Lena Dunham on how her relationship to power has come full circle; and many more.
Since the scope of this feature couldn’t be encapsulated by a single cover, this issue of New York has 12 covers — 8 in print, and 4 digital-only. The women featured on these covers include actress Glenda Jackson; Nancy Pelosi and Ilhan Omar, the Somali-American politician elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives; Anita Hill; Barbra Streisand and 11-year-old gun violence activist Naomi Wadler; Lena Waithe and retired United States Air Force General Lori Robinson; Stormy Daniels; Nicole Kidman and activist Ai-jen Poo; screenwriter and director Dee Rees; Nikki Haley; chef Gabrielle Hamilton; 8-year-old actress Brooklynn Prince; and activist Lilly Ledbetter. Each of the covers was shot by Amanda Demme, who photographed 37 total women for the issue. The package also includes original videos produced with Laverne Cox, Stormy Daniels, and Lauren Simmons, the only full-time woman trader at the New York Stock Exchange.
“It was really about trying to get interesting combinations of people from different backgrounds together so that a single issue could project an idea of the diversity of women we were going after,” New York photography director Jody Quon says when asked how the magazine chose its cover subjects. The inspiration behind the aesthetic of the photographs was strength, Quon explains, referring to the way in which each shot highlights the individual with simple, stark backgrounds. “Just super-simple and very present.”