As the first issue to be entirely assembled by new style director Edward Enninful, W's September book was hotly anticipated. Chock-full of the industry's top photographers (Mario Sorrenti, Steven Klein, Willy Vanderperre, Mert Alas, and Marcus Piggot) and models (Lara Stone, Raquel Zimmerman, and Freja Beha), the issue seemed like a win for Enninful, except for one fishy thing: Steven Meisel's editorial looked just like one that he'd done for the August issue of Italian Vogue, right down to the same concept and model. Both editorials feature nearly identical black-and-white shots of Raquel Zimmerman, coiffed and dressed-up in one picture and bare-faced and dressed-down in the other. To make matters even more awkward, a picture from the shoot was used for Vogue Italia's cover.
Above, Italian Vogue's version.
When reached this morning, Enninful said that he hadn't seen the Italian Vogue editorial yet and didn't wish to comment. Meanwhile, WWD reported that W editors were grumbling that Italian Vogue's photographs had been taken on W's dime, but a source within W told us this isn't the case. The source noted the story was commissioned by W and styled by Enninful himself, so the logistics of Meisel photographing Zimmerman for Vogue Italia at the same shoot would be impossible (Karl Templer styled the Italian Vogue version). Meanwhile, there are enough differences between the editorials — W's uses more models, for example — that their likeness could also be attributed to Meisel's distinctive photographic style. What's more, this certainly wouldn't be the first time this concept has been used in a fashion magazine.