As the decade comes to a close, New York Magazine’s November 25–December 8, 2019, issue cover story features six conversations about the 2010s with the people who made it (and were made by it), including Ta-Nehisi Coates on “Obama’s decade,” Kim Kardashian West on fame, Kevin Systrom on creating Instagram, DeRay Mckesson on Black Lives Matter and racial justice, and Margaret Atwood on our current dystopia. “We wanted to talk to the makers of our current culture, the people who helped define the way we see the world now,” New York Magazine features director Genevieve Smith says of the package.
Closing out the 2010s, Kim Kardashian West has transcended the television show that made her famous, becoming an advocate for criminal-justice reform as she studies to become a lawyer. In capturing her for the magazine’s cover — shot by Colombian-American photographer Ruven Afanador, known for his graphic, black-and-white portraits — the aim was to highlight Kim’s piercing gaze and confidence by keeping the styling and set decor as minimal as possible. “We wanted a statuesque portrait of Kim as the iconic symbol of this decade,” says New York photography director Jody Quon.