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Vogue Announces the Global ‘New Beginnings’ Issue

Vogue announced ‘New Beginnings’, the shared theme for the fashion authority’s September 2021 issues—the third such worldwide editorial collaboration for Vogue. The initiative brings together all 27 editions of Vogue, under the ‘New Beginnings’ heading, as a powerful and emotive mark of unity and message of hope for Vogue’s global community, looking ahead to a post-pandemic world.

The project includes themed Vogue September print issues, with covers featuring an interpretation of the sun’s power – a symbol of coming together in unity, before embarking on a new beginning. A first of its kind immersive content series running across digital, video and social will bring together Vogue editors and renowned creatives from around the world to collaborate on multiplatform storytelling, reaching an audience of more than 264 million. This includes an exclusive profile with powerhouses Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons; major fashion stories featuring diverse faces, new cultural voices, and designers from across the globe; while John Galliano and Tomo Koizumi showcase the power of sustainability by reimagining iconic creations.

Given below is an excerpt from Vogue India’s September 2021issue:

THE LONG WAY HOME

After two decades in the movie business, Priyanka Chopra Jonas remains relentlessly productive not just as a trailblazing actor, but as a serial entrepreneur who opened a restaurant and launched a beauty label despite a pandemic. Her next mission: to shine the spotlight on the South Asian experience

Photographed by Sølve Sundsbø

Styled by Nathan Klein

Fashion Direction Priyanka Kapadia

Words by Radhika Seth

When Priyanka Chopra Jonas was in the ninth grade at a school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the kids in her world history class cornered her with questions about India. “Dumb questions,” she clarifies, her voice measured, with only the slightest hint of fury. “Like, ‘Do you ride elephants and cows to school?’ They couldn’t believe that we had cars. I was so mad. I had a project coming up for my final grade and I went home and stayed up all night. I printed out images of modern India: of Mumbai, technology, and all of the cool stuff we have. I remember I got an A on that presentation.” The parallels to today—her resilience, drive, thirst for excellence and desire to represent her country well—aren’t lost on her. “I’ve always felt like I’m an ambassador for India,” she adds. “It’s something I’ll continue doing as long as I can.”

THE UNSTOPPABLE

“When the pandemic started, I was sleeping in, vegetating on the couch, binge-watching, not working out, eating whatever I wanted. I was like, ‘This is going to be a vacation.’ But when there was no end in sight, I understood that people were going to figure out how to work in spite of that.” She certainly did, wrapping up her aforementioned projects, some of which had been months and years in the making, before moving to Berlin to film The Matrix reboot (due December 2021), and then to the British capital for the romantic drama Text For You and the television show she’s now in the midst of shooting. Chopra Jonas admits that the first transition was harder than the second. “I spent six months at home feeling really safe with my family, and then Germany was the first time I left to go work,” she says. “I cried on the plane. I was terrified.”

TAKING THE REINS

Her strategy for world domination doesn’t just revolve around blockbusters. It’s about range. “I’m doing romcoms, action, indie movies,” she explains. “I’ve built a solid career in Hindi movies but I haven’t done that yet in America. In India, I’ve been able to play a variety of roles and work with almost everyone in the film business that I wanted to. I want to see if I can have a career like that here as well.” Those eager to see her back on home turf needn’t worry either. Recently announced as the new chairperson of Jio MAMI, she will soon appear in the much-awaited road trip film, Jee Le Zaraa, by filmmaker Farhan Akhtar alongside Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif.

Beyond that, she’s seeking work “that I can really sink my teeth into, like a drama which challenges me or makes me nervous.” Writing and directing could also be on the horizon. “I’m learning that craft,” she says of the former. “Plus, I’ve been around incredibly talented directors and picked up a lot of what they do. But it’s a very technical job. It’s something that I hope I have the courage to do.” For the moment, her focus behind the camera is on the role she can play as a producer through her company, Purple Pebble Pictures. “We’re developing a bunch of stories based on true stories and a couple of comedies. We’re predominantly telling South Asian or female stories. I’m all about creating franchises around female actors—and that’s not necessarily just me.”

SHIFTING CULTURE

With the help of people like her, does she believe more actors can make the leap from Bollywood to Hollywood too? “That’s my dream,” she replies. “It was so hard to have people take me seriously as a mainstream actor when I first came to America. I’ve seen a big change since then. There are more lead characters that are South Asian. With streaming, entertainment has become much more global. My mum watches Korean dramas all day. This is the time. I’d encourage Indian talent to beat down the door and,

on my end, I’ll tirelessly cast Indian people and create Indian content for the world to watch. South Asians have long been marginalised in entertainment. It’s time we demand representation.”

It’s evident that Chopra Jonas feels a sense of responsibility, but she carries it with the same ease that she brings to her numerous other ventures. When I ask what motivates her to do so much in such little time, she is characteristically frank: “I can juggle multiple things and do them all well. So, why not?”

SPINNING PLATES

What she does know is that she wants to dedicate the next decade to her family and her professional life. “I spent the last 20 years predominantly on this winning racehorse of my career and now I see myself balancing both sides of my life,” she asserts. It won’t be easy—she and her husband are currently many miles apart. “Distance sucks,” she groans. “Not being able to fly back and forth to see each other the way we used to makes it hard. Wherever you go, you quarantine, so it’s difficult to schedule.” But the time they have spent together during the pandemic has been precious. “We moved into our new house, had time to pick cushions and decide what our rug was going to be like, and adopted a dog, Panda. We always have family or friends over. That’s the kind of home I was raised in and that’s how Nick is as well.”

Whatever the challenges, if anyone can live up to that mythical notion of having it all, it’s her: a self-made outsider who somehow carved a path from beauty queen to Bollywood mainstay and Hollywood power player, with a superstar partner in tow. “Are you kidding?” she laughs, “I don’t have everything figured out. I take risks and I enjoy them. I’m constantly spinning 25 plates in the air. That’s not ‘figured out’, it’s playing roulette. I guess I’m just a gambling kind of girl.” And our bets are all on her.

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