September issues can make or break the year for plenty of magazines, especially those in the fashion buy. Aside from the forests full of pages for fall fashion and advertising, celeb wranglers are fighting for the most high-wattage, newsstand-friendly faces they can find for their covers. So who banked whom for the big September 2008 issues?

As previously reported in WWD, Vogue will have Keira Knightley, shot by Mario Testino. It’s something of a gamble, since Vogue also shot the actress for its June cover last year, but the star was a surprisingly weak newsstand draw. The issue was the second-lowest seller of the half, moving 405,000 newsstand copies. Glamour will have Penélope Cruz for its September cover, shot by Mattias Vriens, while W (which beat Glamour to the punch with Cruz on its August cover) plans to feature Kate Hudson, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In Style will have Uma Thurman, who will star in the upcoming movie “The Accidental Husband.” Sources say Cosmopolitan will have Blake Lively of “Gossip Girl” and Teen Vogue has “High School Musical” actress Vanessa Hudgens, shot by Richard Bush.

Allure shot country music singer Carrie Underwood for its September issue. And Elle will showcase Underwood’s newest musical competitor, Jessica Simpson, who is releasing a country album later this year. Simpson has been a bestseller for Elle in the past — the singer-tabloid fave was on the March 2007 cover and was last year’s single bestseller, besting the likes of Jennifer Garner (January), Jessica Biel (June), Mandy Moore (May) and Lindsay Lohan (September). She also was on its September 2004 issue, Elle’s newsstand bestseller in the past seven years, which sold 483,100 copies.

On the men’s front, GQ will have actor James Franco, while Men’s Health will show soccer superstar-Armani model (and most assuredly ab-appropriate) David Beckham on both the magazine’s front and back cover, wearing — what else? — Armani.

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