MILAN — Madonna, soccer mom?
This is the latest transformation of the artist, whose life in Lisbon takes center stage in the August issue of Vogue Italia, with an interview focused on her children, her passion for music and horses, as well as the projects for her charity Raising Malawi, flanked by a fashion shoot photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
The magazine initially planned to mark Madonna’s 60th birthday in August with a celebration of her career and accomplishments, but it turned out she had a very different plan. “She doesn’t want to talk about the past,” Vogue Italia creative director Giovanni Bianco told WWD in an exclusive interview with editor in chief Emanuele Farneti.
“It’s the tale of a new life, her move to Portugal to help her son David play soccer — it’s incredible to think of Madonna as a soccer mom,” Farneti said with a smile, shaking his head slightly. “She proposed the Lisbon angle and it turned out to be a very personal interview, more interesting than doing a retrospective of the artist or a story on her African projects, which have already been explored,” he explained.
Bianco is an important link with Madonna, as he has worked for 12 years with her on four album covers, several tours and countless editorials.
“She is an incredibly hard worker, I have learned so much from her intensity and dedication, but I think there is a distinction between her popular image and the day-by-day, normal person,” observed Bianco. “In this shoot, you see more of her maternal side; she is fascinating with her children and friends — she is an example.”
Madonna is living in Portugal with four of her six children: David Banda, 12; Mercy James, 12, and twins Stella and Estere, 5. “She is very happy and romantic at the moment, and you can see it in the photos, where she poses with all that she loves the most,” Bianco said.
The shoot is called “Just One Day Out of Life,” and Madonna on the two available covers and posters wears all-black Saint Laurent looks, posing at the Herdade do Perú estate, which dates back to the 18th century, and is located in the national Park of Arrábida, about 19 miles from Lisbon.
“She is a friend, but I am also a fan, and my thoughts went straight to the collectible poster,” Bianco said gleefully. On both covers, Madonna strikes graphic and bold poses, either lying on one side on the grass, or looking up at the cloudy skies.
Madonna is also photographed out on the streets in Lisbon and at her favorite Tejo bar, where she regularly goes to listen to Portuguese and African music. “She knows the musicians there, it’s like a laboratory, there’s music from Cabo Verde and she loves fado [a Lisbon-based music genre],” Bianco said. Madonna is working on her next album and it’s safe to say that this music will infuse her work, added Farneti.
Designer brands included in the shoot range from Dsquared2, Dior, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana to Fendi, Rochas, Alberta Ferretti, Miu Miu, Blumarine and Peter Dundas, among others.
This being Madonna, “she basically did her own styling,” Bianco admitted.
The interview by Xerxes Cook is accompanied by stories and anecdotes on Madonna by the likes of Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, Riccardo Tisci, Kate Moss, Stella McCartney, her go-to stylist Arianne Phillips, Jean Paul Gaultier and Cristiano Ronaldo, to name a few.
The issue hits newsstands on Aug. 3.