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FREE FOR ALL: Condé Nast Britain is hoping to light up the dark days of quarantine by unlocking content, and offering free digital access to the May issues of its glossy titles, WWD has learned.

Readers will be able to swipe and read the British digital editions of Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Tatler, House & Garden, World of Interiors, Wired, Glamour and Condé Nast Traveller for free, and access them from each brand’s web site. The titles will start dropping on April 2 with Tatler and Condé Nast Traveller, followed by Vogue a day later and the other titles to follow.

Albert Read, managing director of Condé Nast Britain, said with free digital editions of the May issues, the company “is looking to give our readers something extra that will entertain, inspire, lift spirits, and move them during the days ahead.”

British Vogue is also set to reveal its May cover: Rihanna. She is wearing a durag, and it’s the first time the headscarf has appeared on the cover of Vogue. The durag was designed by Stephen Jones Millinery.

Rihanna on the May 2020 issue of British VogueSteven Klein/Courtesy of British Vogue

In his editor’s letter, Edward Enninful says: “Did I ever imagine…that I would see a durag on the cover of Vogue? No, reader, I did not. Although this potent symbol of black life — of self-preservation, resistance and authenticity — has an important place in popular culture, it is rarely viewed through the prism of high fashion.

“Yet here we have the most fabulous, aspirational and beautiful durag. How exciting. It takes a person of extraordinary charisma to pull off such a moment. Step forward Rihanna, a woman I am lucky enough to count among my closest creative collaborators, and who I could also call my ultimate muse.”

Rihanna was last on the cover of British Vogue in 2018, and it was the second most successful newsstand cover after last September’s edition of the title, which was co-edited by Meghan Markle.

Rihanna wears the black durag for both covers of the May Vogue, and both were shot by Steven Klein. On the newsstand cover, she’s wearing a white Burberry ensemble, and feather boa by MacCulloch & Wallis. On the subscriber cover she has a gothic style “truth” tattoo stamped across her eyes and is wearing a Maison Margiela Artisanal by John Galliano jacket, and necklaces by Chrome Hearts and Laura Cantu.

According to Enninful, the durag was Rihanna’s suggestion, while the shoot was inspired by Buffalo style — Ray Petri’s Eighties British fashion movement. The name referenced Bob Marley’s song “Buffalo Soldier.”

Earlier this month, Condé Nast Italy announced it was offering digital copies of all its titles for free for the next three months. Starting from March 13, readers have been able to access Condé Nast’s content and browse the digital pages of titles including Vogue, GQ, Wired, AD, La Cucina Italiana and Condé Nast Traveller.

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