shoot dressed in a custom Xscape blue Swarovski crystal-adorned gown
with sheer cutouts and Leviev earrings.
On her dream for the O, The Oprah Magazine:
“For the past 15 years, we’ve been able to fulfill on a monthly basis,
the original dream for this magazine. The original dream is that it
would be a manual or a guide to meet women exactly where they are in
their lives and to help them elevate and exalt their lives in such a way
that they could literally live their best lives.”
On past cover shoots: “The covers are always great
experiences. I remember being in a waterfall in Puerto Rico with my
hair wet and my clothes wet and I remember feeling like, ‘Oh! So this is
the glamorous life of doing magazine covers.”
On how proud she is of the magazine: “I just don’t
know a magazine that better fits women where they are in their lives
without the expectation that they have to be anything other than who
they really are. Our magazine is really about enhancing who you are,
not saying you have to be like or do like anybody else.”
FYI: Oprah is wearing an Xscape dress customized with Swarovski crystals along with Leviev earrings on the cover.
For more from Oprah Winfrey, visit Oprah.com!
It’s hard to believe that O, The Oprah Magazine is 15 years old!
Winfrey celebrated the momentous occasion with, what else, a cover
shoot showing her looking possibly more stunning than ever before.
incomparable Ms. O donned a custom Xscape blue Swarovski
crystal-adorned gown with sheer cutouts, Leviev earrings and sultry
smoky eye that made her famous features pop.
The media mogul wanted to go full-blown glam for the special anniversary cover, and she did just that!
the past 15 years, we’ve been able to fulfill on a monthly basis, the
original dream for this magazine. The original dream is that it would be
a manual or a guide to meet women exactly where they are in their lives
and to help them elevate and exalt their lives in such a way that they
could literally live their best lives,” she told the mag.
don’t know a magazine that better fits woman where they are in their
lives without the expectation that they have to be anything other than
who they really are. Our magazine is really about enhancing who you are,
not saying you have to be like or do like anybody else.”
61-year-old also dished about her favorite cover shoots over the years,
saying, “The covers are always great experiences. I remember being in a
waterfall in Puerto Rico with my hair wet and my clothes wet and I
remember feeling like, ‘Oh! So this is the glamorous life of doing
And it makes perfect sense that the
anniversary cover would feature none other than the founder herself, but
even she joked, “I wonder who’s on it!” Luckily for us, it’s Oprah.
A small group of photographers, editors and other
creative types huddled around a large cardboard rectangle propped up on
an easel, waiting for Oprah Winfrey to emerge from her green room,
following a daylong shoot at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, during which
she posed for three covers of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Adam Glassman, O’s creative director, began pouring Champagne and
sparkling rosé into flutes, once a plainly clothed Winfrey quietly
appeared on the scene, wearing a bright orange sweater with white
piping, dark blue jeans and off-white sneakers bearing sparkles on the
The occasion was the unveiling of O’s May cover, which marks the
Hearst Magazines-owned title’s 15th year. The crew huddled around
Winfrey, who gave a brief thank you toast, and then said: “I won’t say
15 more [years]. Fifteen more of dragging me out, I don’t think so.”
She was then handed a drink and directed to look at the shrouded cardboard depicting the cover.
“I wonder who’s on it,” Winfrey gasped, feigning surprise, as the
sheet was lifted. Glassman revealed a black and white image of Winfrey,
wearing a black dress adorned with crystals. The cover’s “O” logo was
also encrusted with crystals. (For those sensing a theme, crystals mark a
15th wedding anniversary.)
Fifteen premier members of O’s Circle of Friends could win a copy of
the magazine, which would both be signed by Winfrey and adorned with
actual Swarovski crystals — more than 1,500 an issue to be exact. In
order for those members, who pay an annual fee of $199 to be part of the
premier Circle, to be selected, they must write a short paragraph on
“what makes you shine.” O’s editorial staff will decide the winners.
The issue, which hits newsstands on April 14, includes 15 chapters or
mini-sections that play on some of Winfrey’s mantras. For instance, one
chapter is called “It’s Never Too Late,” and explores the career
changes of successful women. L’Oréal bought the double ad flap for its
Lancôme brand that opens the cover. The issue, which had a 50 percent
increase in revenue, also features a 12-page hair guide sponsored by the
L’Oréal brands Carol’s Daughter and Softsheen, as well as ads from
Dior, J.C. Penney and Dove.
But back to Winfrey, who alluded to a topic that is front of mind of
any reader who picks up the magazine: What will happen when she stops
appearing on the cover and, more pointedly, can it survive without her?
“I do not see myself on the cover for the next 15 years. We actually
seriously considered it. We made the decision not to do it now,” Winfrey
said, referring to her self-imposed slow-fade from appearing on the
magazine’s monthly cover.
Lucy Kaylin, O editor in chief, said there’s already a cover model
succession plan in the works, but wouldn’t provide a timeline.
“Oprah is all in,” Kaylin said, explaining that Winfrey would still
be in the magazine, just not always on the cover. “She’s in love with
this magazine. She’s here for us. It’s only human and appropriate for
magazines to change it up, so she doesn’t have to be on the cover for
the end of time.”
At 61, Winfrey is in a different chapter in her media career with her
television network, OWN, beginning to rebound recently with strong
ratings from Tyler Perry’s shows “The Haves and The Have Nots” and “If
Loving You Is Wrong,” and her film career as a producer developing at a
faster clip. But Winfrey emphasized that the magazine still plays a
vital role in the building of what people at Hearst call her “super
Still, at a time when print isn’t exactly the most vibrant element of
the brand — O’s newsstand sales in 2014 totaled 298,980, down 49.8
percent since 2010, and its total paid and verified circulation slid 2.9
percent in four years to 2.4 million — Winfrey is sticking to her guns.
“We’ve seen the advertising sales landscape, the financial landscape
change for everybody actually, in the business. But our number-one
intention is being connected to the reader, which is really the force
behind the reason why I started the magazine,” she said, adding that
Hearst editorial director Ellen Levine was instrumental in getting her
on board 15 years ago.
Levine’s pitch was simple: there’s a pass-along readership for women
with magazines that isn’t as common for books, which Winfrey loves.
“With print, you have a keepsake. We had to convince her that there
was a reason this was important,” said Levine, who almost evangelized
Winfrey for her “inspiring, authentic” manner. “She had the TV show and
25 million viewers. When she went off screen, it felt like you lost
That aside, Levine had also keenly observed that whenever she put
Winfrey on the cover of Hearst’s Good Housekeeping magazine, it would
sell out every time.
Michael Clinton, Hearst Magazines’ president, marketing and
publishing director, noticed as well, adding that over 15 years, the
magazine has pulled in $1 billion in consumer revenue from subscriptions
and newsstand sales.
“There’s only one Oprah Winfrey, which is by nature a differentiator.
Oprah was always a big presence in culture,” said Clinton, who
acknowledged that when the talk show went off the air in 2011, the
magazine dropped 19.5 percent to 479,763, according to the Alliance for
Audited Media. The newsstand never fully rebounded from that, although
circulation did level off. For growth, Clinton and his team at Hearst
are hoping to tap into “all things Oprah,” meaning Winfrey’s diverse
But Winfrey’s relevance to a younger generation is also key in
determining how the magazine will grow, to which Clinton responded:
“It’s less about age with Oprah and more about the message she has.”
Back in her green room, Winfrey — who rested her feet on a coffee
table as she reclined on a black leather sofa — tackled the question of
her magazine’s reach and relevance to the younger generation. “I think
we do speak to all ages, but the emphasis is, unlike everybody else who
is chasing the Millennials, we are not chasing the Millennials,” she
offered. “I think we try to speak to the heart of the woman who we know
is interested in growing into herself. Obviously, I think that, the idea
of reaching young girls that are in college is something that we are
strongly open to because who better wants to know how to live a more
purposeful life than people who are starting out? But what we really try
to concentrate on is the heart of our reader.”
covers over the years below…