Vanity Fair has had a number of editors since its revival in March 1983, but British tabloid alum Tina Brown (1984-1992) and its present editor, Graydon Carter, who took over for Brown, perfected the art of the magazine cover. With a roster of superstar photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino and Helmut Newton, its covers can truly be described as iconic.
The world was reminded on Monday, with the magazine's Caitlyn Jenner cover, that Vanity Fair still knows how to get buzz -- as if to show Paper magazine, with its "break the Internet" Kim Kardashian cover, how it's really done.
Here's a walk through some of the most memorable Vanity Fair covers of the last 32 years.
Just a year after its debut, controversial fashion photographer Helmut Newton photographed Daryl Hannah on the cover and inside the pages of its April, 1984 issue, titled "Blonde Ambition."Photo: Vanity Fair
Elizabeth Taylor blooms in full 1980s glory on the December 1985 issue photographed again, by Helmut Newton.Photo: Vanity Fair
Michael Jackson's December 1989 cover photographed by Annie Leibovitz was voted the best Vanity Fair cover of all time by VF readers in a poll conducted by the magazine in 2013.Photo: Vanity Fair
In December, 1991, when Demi Moore was pregnant with Scout Willis, Annie Leibovitz launched a thousand "baby bump" images with her cover of the actress naked and covering up her breasts.Photo: Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair knew a good thing when it saw it, and seeing how popular Moore's pregnancy cover was, they put her on their August 1992 cover naked again. This time, body paint in the form of a tux made it look as if she was dressed. Photograph? Annie Leibovitz again.Photo: Vanity Fair
Annie Leibovitz captured Sylvester Stallone in all his naked glory on the November 1993 cover.Photo: Vanity Fair
Herb Ritts got racy with a cover featuring bombshell supermodel Cindy Crawford and alt-country singer and out lesbian K.D.Lang for its August, 1993 issue.Photo: Vanity Fair
Madonna photographed by Herb Ritts December, 1996. She would be on the cover many, many other times.Photo: Vanity Fair
Jennifer Aniston finally speaks about the Hollywood scandal of the decade, photographed by Mario Testino for the September 2005 cover. About her ex-husband Brad Pitt running off with Angelina Jolie, she famously said, "[With Brad] there's a sensitivity chip that's missing."Photo: Vanity Fair
Miley Cyrus shed her "Hannah Montana" childhood with the help of Annie Leibovitz on this June 2008 cover. It's hard to believe a time when Cyrus, tongue out, was not a wild child. But her rebranding launch as a bad girl happened here.Photo: Vanity Fair
Jay Z talks moguldom, Beyoncé, and Blue Ivy in the October 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, photographed by Mario Testino. Photo: Vanity Fair