With so much somber news dominating headlines in 2020, glossy covers pivoted that year to center around messages of hope. Fashion was used as a tool to communicate changes happening industry-wide. So it’s hardly any surprise that, in 2021, magazines were ready to party again: The more color, the more glam, the more OTT styling, it seemed, the better. Of course, the best covers carried over that spirit of change from 2020, combining it with full-out fantasy to create something unforgettable.
Whether it was Rihanna‘s Essence cover in collaboration with artist Lorna Simpson or Lady Gaga‘s international Vogue takeover lensed by Steven Meisel, every month brought new eye candy to our inboxes (and, for those of us who still love print, our literal mailboxes).
Check out the most memorable magazine covers of 2021 in the gallery below: