“We’re living in unprecedented times” might be something of a coronavirus cliché, but with more than 200,000 lives lost across the globe, one million job cuts in Australia alone, and a cloud of uncertainty lingering overhead, it’s true. And in times of upheaval, we’re moved to reassess what really matters.
For marie claire, that meant reconsidering our role amid a global pandemic. The team got together and brainstormed (via Zoom), and decided our mission would be to cover the news as it unfolded, but also offer a sense of comfort and connection, and zone in on stories of positivity and kindness across the globe.
And so, The Unity Issue was born, an ode to the solidarity seen from Sydney to Seville, and everywhere in-between, since COVID-19 changed the world we once knew.
We spoke to female healthcare workers on the frontline and humanitarians doing heartwarming work, plus scientists racing to develop a vaccine. Their stories are utterly awe-inspiring, mixed in with more relatable tales about #iso life – including some from our very own staff, and models photographed at home via video link. Perhaps a little less relatable but equally readable are our first-person accounts of love in lockdown (“We moved in after two dates” and “I’m isolating with my girlfriend … and her other boyfriend.”)
To mark this special June issue, we tasked three artists with creating digital covers, including one subscribers’ cover by illustrator Michelle Pereira.
Says marie claire editor Nicky Briger: “Even though we’re all in isolation, the world has never been so connected. With this in mind, we wanted to produce a keepsake cover for our loyal subscribers that reflected those feelings of unity, strength and resilience in these testing times.”
Pereira masterfully conveyed those feelings through her art. “We need to work together as a society to combat this crisis, and I hope it leads people to re-evaluate what is important.”
Jessica Cruickshank’s digital cover, a vision of vivid hues, is a reminder that beauty and joy still exist. “I want to give the world a big nurturing hug,” she said.
Finally, Maxwell Burnstein created an exquisite collage of tiny flowers, a symbol of life and resurgence. “The world has never been more united,” he said.
The issue also features all the regular marie claire sections and plenty of escapism, with an undercurrent of hope for the future.
Says editor Nicky Briger, “I’m confident we’ll step out from this dystopian nightmare of illness, unemployment and isolation into a brave new world brimming with fresh opportunities and (I hope) a little more gratitude for the things we take for granted.”
marie claire’s June issue is on sale from May 7. Our digital covers are also on display on our Instagram page @marieclaireau.