Conde Nast's Vanity Fair has released the cover of its July issue, featuring Bruce Jenner in his new identity as Caitlyn, via social media more than a week before print copies go on sale June 9.
The cover photo, shot by Annie Leibovitz, shows the newly revealed Ms. Jenner in shoulder-length wavy hair and a white corset, accompanied by the cover line "'Call me Caitlyn.'" Author and sports journalist Buzz Bissinger interviewed Ms. Jenner for the feature.
As recently as 2006, when Vanity Fair nabbed the rights to show Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes with their new baby Suri, magazines hyped big cover stories on TV talk shows and through other print media outlets. But images of the covers themselves were largely ephemeral (on TV) or smaller-than-life (in print coverage), driving consumers to actually go to the newsstand to buy a copy if they wanted a good look. More recently, magazines have pushed out their covers on social media, hoping to garner digital buzz.
Vanity Fair released the cover on its Twitter feed and Facebook page Monday morning. It also turned the cover line into a hashtag: #CallMeCaitlyn. "Caitlyn Jenner" was the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter as of 1:30 p.m. on Monday.
In April, Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer for an extensive interview in which he explained his decision to transition to a woman. But he didn't reveal his name or what he would look like as a woman, saving that reveal, apparently, for Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair's total paid and verified circulation through the last six months of 2014 was 1.2 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, which tracks magazine and newspaper circulation. Single-copy sales comprised 16% of its circulation during that time, selling an average of 193,107 copies at the newsstand per issue.
Caitlyn Jenner isn't the only member of the Kardashian clan to appear on a Conde Nast cover this month. Kim Kardashian appears on the July cover of Glamour.
Glamour July 2015 Cover 📷 Patrick Demarchelier pic.twitter.com/Y9F9Gub8fF— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 1, 2015
Last year, Paper magazine explicitly sought to "break the internet" with its provocative Kim Kardashian cover: