The Pop History Dig

“One Good Shot…”
Gisele’s Covers

Supermodel & Brazil native Gisele Bündchen graces inaugural issue of ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ Brazil, Nov 2011.
Supermodel & Brazil native Gisele Bündchen graces inaugural issue of ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ Brazil, Nov 2011.
     Sometimes in publishing, one good photo can go a long way.  Take, for example, the magazine cover shot of Brazilian beauty and internationally acclaimed supermodel Gisele Bündchen at right.  This striking cover shot, taken by photographer Terry Richardson, was used for the inaugural November 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Brazil.  But the same photo soon found its way to the covers of several other magazines.  More on that in a moment.

     Harper’s Bazaar is an American-based women’s fashion magazine published by the Hearst media organization which also publishes magazines such as Elle, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, O-The Oprah Magazine, and  300 others around the world.

     Harper’s is focused on readers in upper and upper-middle classes.  It was first published in 1867.  The magazine considers itself to be the style resource for female fashion trend-setters, and on a monthly basis, its photographers, designers and writers seek to deliver a “sophisticated” perspective on the world of fashion, beauty and popular culture.

Gisele Bündchen, cover photo, “Harper’s Bazaar Korea,” February 2012.
Gisele Bündchen, cover photo, “Harper’s Bazaar Korea,” February 2012.
Gisele Bündchen, cover photo, “Vogue Mexico,” March 2012.
Gisele Bündchen, cover photo, “Vogue Mexico,” March 2012.
Gisele Bündchen on cover of “1st Magazine” of Austria, June 2012.
Gisele Bündchen on cover of “1st Magazine” of Austria, June 2012.
Gisele Bündchen, cover photo, “Harper’s Bazaar Greece,” August 2012.
Gisele Bündchen, cover photo, “Harper’s Bazaar Greece,” August 2012.

     In 2011, the Harper’s Bazaar  franchise was in the process of expanding its international range, as it then published 25 international editions in total, but only two in South America.  Brazil needed its own Harper’s Bazaar edition, and Brazil native, Gisele Bündchen, proved to be exactly the right model for the launch of the new edition. 

     In the magazine cover shot for that inaugural issue of Harper’s Bazaar Brazil, shown above,  Bündchen is attired in a Chanel bodysuit and accessories. 

     Apparently, however, this cover shot was so good that in the months that followed,  it soon found its way onto several other fashion magazine covers in other countries.

     Harper’s Bazaar Korea used the same photo in a reverse print on a white background for its February 2012 issue — shown in cover photo No.1 at left.

     Vogue Mexico also used the photo of Bündchen in her original pose,  also on a white backgound, for its March 2012 issue — shown in cover photo No. 2 at left. 

     That was followed by another cover use of the same Bündchen shot by Austria’s First Magazine in June 2012 with a somewhat brighter yellow background – shown in cover photo No. 3, lower left. 

     And finally, Harper’s Bazaar Greece used the same photo, in a reverse print on a white background, for its August 2012 issue — shown in cover photo No. 4, lower left.  And there may well have been other such uses.

     In any case, one observer, seeing the August 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Greece, was moved to comment on the web: “Such a disappointment for Greek fashion magazines using reprints from other magazines.  Like they cant make their own?!”

     Other critics have long lamented the homogenizing of culture – and especially that of American and Western cultural encroachment throughout the world – whether of film, fashion, or music.

     Gisele Bündchen is a special beauty, no question.  Yet surely there are equally beautiful ladies to be found in Korea, Mexico, Austria and Greece who could grace the covers of their home country mags with beauty, style, and fashion.

     To be sure, some of the “one-good-shot” dictim/duplicity is driven by economics.  It’s obviously cheaper to buy and pay for an existing photo, no doubt, than it is to go to the expense and trouble of hiring all the folks needed to do an original photo shoot.  And in the case of Gisele, editors would likely conclude, why not use her photograph? She’s the world’s top model with a proven track record of boosting sales.

     In 2011-2012 Gisele Bündchen was ranked as the world’s No.1 or No. 2 top model.  She has had no shortage of magazine covers, and in recent years has she has done plenty of covers at Harper’s, Vogue and others.  Her work at Harper’s stretches back to at least 1999, and at Vogue she has done at least 11 covers in that same time frame.

     Among her recent Vogue covers have been those for Vogue Brazil — October 2010, cover photo by Jacques Dequeker; Vogue Brazil’s July 2011 issue; and Vogue Brazil’s July 2012, cover photo by Patrick Demarchelier.  For the November 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Brazil, celebrating its one year anniversary, Gisele was again the editor’s cover choice.

     Gisele, in any case, must love the multiple uses of her cover shots, as presumably the royalties roll in for each such use.  To date, Bündchen has appeared on more than 600 covers worldwide, a total thought to be surpassed only by the late Princess Diana of Wales.  In 2011 Gisele Bündchen was reported to be on course to becoming the world’s first billionaire model.

     See also at this website a longer piece on Gisele Bündchen’s modeling career at “The Most Beautiful Girl, 1993-2012.” 

     For other stories at this website on the impact of magazine cover art on popular culture, see: “Empire Newhouse” (includes cover art history at Vanity Fair, Glamour, Vogue, and other Newhouse magazines); “U.S. Post Office” (magazine cover art from the 1950s); “Rockwell & Race” ( includes related magazine cover art history); and, “FDR & Vanity Fair ( 1930s political cover art).  Thanks for visiting. - Jack Doyle

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Date Posted: 11 January 2013
Last Update: 11 January 2013
Comments to: jdoyle@pophistorydig.com

Article Citation:
Jack Doyle, “One Good Shot…Gisele’s Covers,”
2011-2012, PopHistoryDig.com, January 11, 2013.

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Sources, Links & Additional Information

Gisele Bündchen on the cover of the September 14, 2000 issue of “Rolling Stone,” then named“the most beautiful girl in the world.” Click for related story at this website.
Gisele Bündchen on the cover of the September 14, 2000 issue of “Rolling Stone,” then named“the most beautiful girl in the world.” Click for related story at this website.
Ellie Krupnick, “Gisele Covers Harper’s Bazaar Brazil’s Inaugural Issue,”The Huffington Post, October 27, 2011.

Ellie Krupnick, “Gisele Covers Vogue UK’s December Issue In Bright Pants,” The Huffington Post, October 24, 2011.

Patricia Munster,”Gisele Bündchen for Harper’s Bazaar Greece,” Fashion & Art, Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

“Fashion’s Familiar Faces: The Women Who Have Most Often Graced the Cover of Vogue,” Vogue.com, visited, November 2012.

“Gisele Bundchen, Biography,”Vogue.co.uk.

Gisele Bündchen profile, “The World’s Most Powerful Women,” Forbes, August 2011.

Gisele Bündchen Website.

“Gisele Bündchen,” Wikipedia.org.

“Terry Richardson,” Wikipedia.org.

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