The 9 ways Vanity Fair kept the Caitlyn Jenner cover secret – USA TODAY
ButÂ somehow,Â Vanity Fair kept one of the yearâ€™s biggest stories, with an instant-classic cover, under wraps: Caitlyn Jennerâ€™s public introduction.
How did they do it? Since the coverâ€™s reveal on Monday, more details have emerged about how VF protected the issue from leaks, via an impressive combination of secret shoots and complete avoidance of the Internet.
Hereâ€™s how VF pulled off the cover of the year:
1. They claimed they were dressing Barbara Streisand.
Genius. In an interview with the New York Times, VFâ€˜s veteran fashion and style director Jessica Diehl revealed that, except for a select few people, the magazineâ€™s crew all thought Barbara Streisand was shooting that day.
2. They worked with a tiny crew.
Only a â€œskeleton crewâ€ of around 10 staffers knew the real identity of the magazineâ€™s next covergirl.
3. They had to shoot on the Jenner compound.
A photoshoot anywhere else wouldâ€™ve been impossible. Instead of their usual lavish sets, the VF crew shot Jenner at her Malibu home over the course of several days. The absence of VFâ€™s usual props wasnâ€™t an issue.Â â€œLuckily, she has some pretty fierce cars, just in the driveway,â€ Diehl said. â€œWe didnâ€™t have to go anywhere.â€
4. Security confiscated all cellphones on the shoot.
A tweeted picture or Instagram wouldâ€™ve blown Caitlynâ€™s cover â€” and ruinedÂ that unlucky crewmemberâ€™s careerÂ . To prevent any on-set leaks, security was present at the shoot, with all cellphones confiscated in a box during the shoot.
5.Â They wouldnâ€™tÂ borrow clothes from designers.
Normally, designersÂ send VF clothing for specific shoots. Since the magazine couldnâ€™t reveal who exactly they were dressing, Diehl bought the clothes Jenner wore, corresponding with Zac Posen and Donna Karan to track down items of clothing without revealing whoâ€™d be wearing them.
Posen was surprised to see Jenner in his off-the-shoulder black gown on Monday, andÂ told the NYT thatÂ he wasÂ â€œvery proud to be included in the roster of chosen designers for such a historic moment.â€
6.Â CaitlynÂ didnâ€™t have a normal fitting
Fitting a woman Jennerâ€™s size had its own challenges for Diehl.Â â€œCaitlynâ€™s proportions are fashion proportions, really. Sheâ€™s tall, slim, narrow hipped: kind of ideal to dress,â€ she said.
But Jennerâ€™s size presented a potential issue. â€œWe all know that a tall woman at 6â€™2â€³ is not sample size,â€ she said, while stayingÂ mum on Jennerâ€™s actual size. (Classy move!)
Diehl used Jennerâ€™s measurements to buy some garments online, and met with the star the day before the shoot to try everything on, a risky move. Luckily, everything fit. â€œThe physique is really extraordinary,â€ Diehl said. â€œWe should all be decathletes.â€
7. The story was built on an offline computer.
Once the photos were shot, a new challenge arose: keeping VFâ€˜s computersÂ from getting hacked. The Jenner story and photos were produced on a computer disconnected from the internet, which were deleted every night and moved to a flash drive, Mashable reported.
8. The storyÂ was hand-delivered to the printer.
You know itâ€™s serious when the magazine wonâ€™t even send the spread to the printer. Impressive!
9. The Kardashian klanÂ was on VFâ€˜s side.
Depending on what you think about the Kardashians, itâ€™s either a wonder that the Kardashian/Jenner clan didnâ€™t spill the beans to get more attention, or itâ€™s the least surprising thing in the world. We agree with the latter â€” this is a family expertly versed in handling the media, and ruining Caitlynâ€™sÂ big announcement wouldnâ€™t have helped anyone in the long run.
Most or all of the family mustâ€™ve known about Caitlynâ€™s VF spread, and yet not one sneak-peek photo was Instagrammed. Weâ€™d say we were impressed â€” but that wouldnâ€™t be giving Krisâ€™ clan enough credit.