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The Vanity Fair Trend


It’s a fact: September issues are huge revenue boosters and can secure media budgets for almost a full calendar year.

Princess Diana was recently announced as the September issue cover-girl of Vanity Fair and its contents will include an account of her love affair with a Pakistani heart surgeon, which supposedly occurred over 16 years ago.


When celebrities die, we’re anxious to hear memories from loved ones or never-before-seen photos. However, it seems this is the second late star who has appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair this year. (May’s cover was graced by the late Audrey Hepburn.) In fact, within the past five years at VF, there have been eleven deceased celebrities on the cover including:

  • Audrey Hepburn, May 2013
  • Marilyn Monroe, June 2012
  • Marilyn Monroe, November 2010
  • Grace Kelly, May 2010
  • Jackie O, October 2009
  • Farrah Fawcett & Michael Jackson, September 2009
  • Marilyn Monroe, October 2008
  • Bobby Kennedy, June 2008
  • Jackie O & JFK, November 2007

Magazines with deceased cover stars are regularly among magazines’ best-sellers, which seems to explain why we’ve seen an increase in the trend as magazines and other news publications are still struggling to stay afloat. Are Angelina Jolie, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga unable to nab our attention and sell magazines anymore?

Last year, Vanity Fair’s issue which featured Kate Middleton sold approximately 401,247 copies making it the year’s highest-selling issue… So why not include another September issue of Kate Middleton in the midst of current events and royal baby fever? Are VF readers extremely nostalgic? Will the public interest in the beloved Princess Diana and other deceased celebs ever cease? In my opinion, this glossy trend is here to stay…along with our extreme fascination for celebrities – living and deceased.


-Carolyn Rasley

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