Timothee Chalamet Is Our Only Heartthrob. And the First Male Solo Cover of British Vogue
The people's prince just made history as the first solo man on the cover of British Vogue. Incredible, innit?
Run to your local magazine store! Timothee Chalamet just became the first man to appear solo on a print cover for British Vogue.
Inspired by his latest movie Bones & All, this British Vogue cover will no doubt be an instant classic. I’m calling it now. A cover for the ages. History-making, yes. But it’s already making its way around Instagram and, surely, Pinterest boards — as it will for years to come.
At this point, I’m not surprised. If you asked me to guess who the first male cover star of Vogue.co.uk would be, I’d have said: “I don’t know … Timmy, probably?” He’s the face of daring male fashion. From the streets of New York to the Red Carpet. Timothee Chalamet never misses. And this history-making milestone solidifies his place in the fashion zeitgeist. And the shifting lenses of fashion and gender.
Harry Styles became the first man to appear on the cover of American Vogue in December 2020 — sparking controversy for wearing a dress. In the past two years, fashion has only gotten weirder and more experimental — especially for men.
No one personifies that shift more than my dear Timmy. Check his recent Venice Film Festival fits as proof. One day, he wore camo shorts and combat boots — styled with a Celine cardigan, of course. The following day, he wore a crimson halter top. He has the range! He’s co-chaired a Met Gala. He’s starred in indie cult classics (Call Me By Your Name, Beautiful Boy) and Box Office knockouts (Dune, Don’t Look Up). And now, to promote his upcoming film Bones & All, a sweet little British Vogue cover for the girls.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: British Vogue covers have surpassed those of their American counterpart. Edward Enniful knows what the people want. And it’s not Annie Lebowitz, I fear (sorry, Anna Wintour). Enniful’s covers are inventive, interesting, and always exquisite.
Timmy’s turn is no exception.
Under the discerning, tasteful eye of creative director Edward Enniful — who styled the shoot himself — this cover reflects what makes fashion riveting right. This. Very. Moment. That would be androgyny, playfulness, and vintage influences.
Enniful unveiled the feature by penning a thoughtful note on his decision to cast Chalamet — one that has always proven the right choice. “Forever conscious of Vogue being a space that celebrates women first, I didn’t want it to be a stunt or a statement. Are men in dire need of more places to dazzle on their own, I pondered. The answer, of course, is no,” Edward Enniful wrote in the announcement for the cover.
So, after pondering this question for a while, what actually made him choose Timmy? Both the times and the boy, himself, says Enniful. “It increasingly felt to me that there was something at best old-fashioned, at worst dangerously retro, about these tired old gender boxes … Sex and fashion these days is no longer about va-va-voom dressing, it’s about expression and personal ease. It’s about politics and playfulness. It’s about dressing to make yourself feel good. So a man on the print cover? Perhaps I was waiting for the right man. Certainly, I was waiting for us all to evolve a little further, for the moment to feel right, to have it feel like less of a “thing.” I wanted it to feel effortless. And then, one day, it… did.”
Timothee Chalamet, the epitome of effortlessDavid Fisher/Shutterstock
No prizes for guessing that the cover is both beautiful, like an art piece, and ineffably cool. Just like Timmy’s street-style snaps. “The Timothée Effect,” as the British Vogue profile defines his unfailing charm. And in his life, as much as his acting, the profile asserts that “he’s carved out a new genre of man.”
“If this person can make playing a teenage drifter cannibal move your soul,” Enniful posits, “then I figured he was certainly ready for the chameleonic journey of a Vogue cover shoot.”
To accompany the cover, the two also filmed a Q&A video for Youtube. It’s delightful. It’s revealing. I wish it were an hour long.
Timothée Chalamet On 'Adultifying', Being Back Home in NYC and His Style Icons | In Conversationwww.youtube.com
When Enniful says that Timmy is part of the zeitgeist, meaning leaders in fashion who are defining a generation, Chalamet’s eyes go wide. “That’s scary as fuck,” he laughs. But it’s true. Just by embracing his playful side in fashion — especially since so often his acting is thoughtful and serious — he’s become the face (and hair) of a generation.
“I’m trying to go where it’s not obvious to go,” says Timmy. This cover certainly fits the bill.
And as for his upcoming projects, he’s been busy. Bones & All premieres this fall. Wonka — the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory prequel — is slated for this winter. And Dune 2 — with repeat co-stars Zendaya and Florence Pugh — is currently filming. I’m eagerly awaiting that press tour.
As for what else he’s working on, he keeps his cards close to his chest. He’s “wary of vanity projects,” he tells Enniful. His choices are intentional. Surprisingly, he’s never done a brand campaign for fear of looking like he was “cashing in” on his success. And he’s following advice Leonardo DiCaprio gave him in 2018: “No hard drugs and no superhero movies.”
But fashion? “Fashion’s fun,” he says. Our Timmy’s certainly proof of that.