Sally Singer first heard about her new cover girl, jazz singer Esperanza Spalding, at a poetry slam at the White House. “If he [President Barack Obama] had a favorite jazz musician, it would be her,” said Singer. “I knew she was going to be that person, the one we would put on the cover. She’s a celebrity for all the right reasons and at the top of her game, in her artistic medium.” If Spalding’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you might remember her in this context: she beat out Justin Bieber, Florence and the Machine, Drake and Mumford & Sons earlier this year to win the Grammy for Best New Artist.

Inside the new issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, which comes out Sunday, Singer calls the story about famed dentist Bernard Touati, “one of my favorite pieces ever.” Touati is the dentist to celebrities and politicians including Vladimir Putin, Diane von Furstenberg and Valentino. “I met him because we go to the same gym in Paris, when I go during the collections,” said Singer. “We’re the only two people in Paris who go at the crack of dawn.”

The magazine also features photography from Hedi Slimane, who went to Los Angeles and shot women willing to chop off most of their hair. There’s also a piece on model coeds, featuring Lily Cole at Cambridge and Cameron Russell at Columbia University.

Singer said the audience for T is not that dissimilar to her old stomping grounds at Vogue. But there is one major difference. “There’s a lot of freedom with the cover, that we put whoever we think is the most interesting person and it doesn’t have to be tested and we don’t have to worry about how it sells,” Singer noted.

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