Beyonce excels at understanding the enormity of her platform, and using it to elevate the work of Black artists. First, in 2018, she made then-23-year old Tyler Mitchell the first Black photographer to land Vogue, and now 21-year old Kennedi Carter is the youngest photographer ever to shoot one. I cannot imagine how life-changing this sort of thing can be, on an individual level for Carter (and Mitchell), but also in terms of elevating more and more young artists of color so that no publication can make excuses about not working with more of them.
Bey talked at length in the cover interview with Edward Enninful about her creative process for Black Is King, which is fascinating and detailed, and some of which probably applies to her approach to this shoot as well:
“Not everyone has the opportunity to be hired to work at Vogue or to direct a film or create a clothing line, and that is attributed to the lack of diversity in the room. I’ve been focused on changing that mentality with my projects. I’ve invested 100 per cent of my earnings into making sure we had the best people and production on the film because I know that the level of quality any production needs can be found in a diverse crew. You and I know it exists.”
As a side note: Enninful’s editor’s letter notes that the issue includes an interview with Prince Charles, and he gives Chaz props for his lifelong commitment to sustainability and the environment: “‘Buy better, buy less’ was his mantra many decades before it became a buzz phrase of our times. He really was an oracle then, and he remains just as passionate today – as well as being a very stylish man in his own right.” Indeed. All hail a well-chosen pocket square.