Alicia Vikander/VOGUE

Alicia Vikander/VOGUE

Vogue magazine has always been known as the ultimate fashion and style guide. And now it wants to be known as the destination for diversity.

Starting with the January 2016 issue, the high fashion publication, under the direction of Conde Nast’s artistic director and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, will begin efforts to expand its reach to be more inclusive. It’s one of the first times the fashion bible has outright declared a stance on diversity.

“All of the many progressive societal changes that we have experienced recently are pointing us to a place of far greater inclusiveness, tolerance and diversity…” writes Wintour in January’s issue. “So instead of our typical January portfolio defining the new season’s direction, we decided to do something completely different this year, something that reflects not only the spring 2016 runways but the shifting times we live in.”

The January cover, which features Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, includes a spread entitled “Be Yourself,” containing a few dozen musicians, athletes, artists, writers, dancers and models from various backgrounds. The subjects include a diverse array of ethnicities, from Beasts of No Nation’s Abraham Attah to French tennis player Alize Lim. Readers can also expect to see a wider range of body shapes and sizes.

“It’s January, the start of a new year and start of 2016, an election year,” Mark Holgate,Vogue fashion news director, told Mashable. “It’s also coming off of seeing the spring 2016 collections. The strong message that came from them was that designers were embracing individuality and diversity with a strong point of view.”

“Beyond that, Vogue fashion is not divorced to the reality of life,” he says. “We’re in a moment of real change, and it’s real progressive change. We all want to have a progressive idea to shape our lives. Whoever we photograph in the first story of the spring 2016 season, it has to reflect that.”

2015 was probably one of the most inclusive years in fashion in a long time but the major publications like VOGUE still have a very long way to go before they’re known as the destination for all things fashionably diverse.

What are your thoughts on the mag’s declaration?

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