Celebrating Gaga’s Birthday With V99

Never one to be outdone, Gaga’s first goal as guest editor was to break V’s record number of covers for one issue, dedicating each of the 16 to creators, collectors, and collaborators who have inspired her life in fame and fashion.

As Lady Gaga celebrates another trip around the sun, V revisits the icon’s 16 covers from V99, which Gaga guest-edited. Fresh from the archives, Gaga’s creative genius in her takeover of proves like nothing else her gripping legacy on the music, fashion, and art world. From V to one of our most beloved team members, happy birthday!

To see more from the archives of V, check out our Collector’s Club.

A Letter From The Editor

There is something about fashion that is crucial to my existence. Not only by definition significant, essential to my happiness, necessary, yes—but more definitively, fashion is the cross hanging in my church. It is the anchor in my artistic place of worship.

When I first thought of what to write to you, I conjured a vision of my friends as the fashion guard. All of the people who have influenced not only me but the world, for decades and generations. I wanted to line them up in all their glory. This issue would be the royal academy of fashion where I would use V Magazine as a proper love letter to the fashion and art community.

But I cannot abide this concept for the issue because it would leave out too many significant, legendary people that have yet to grace V’s covers. I have not yet even begun to dig into my relationship with Donatella and Allegra Versace and Nicola Formichetti, my collaborations with Hussein Chalayan and Alaïa, the inside of my earliest days as a young girl adoring Marc Jacobs, the rainbow of young designers for whom I have troves of “I knew them when” stories, my funny Anna Wintour encounters, or the secrets I know of the many places I’ve been—nothing juicy or gossipy (well, some are, actually). I only really begin to scratch the surface of what I know with this issue.

So what I had to find within myself was something much bigger than a concept for a single issue. I drove deep into the forest of my heart for the concept of every issue. The manifesto. The place of worship. I wish it to explode the conversation of fashion with the most mind-blowing and controversial approaches: fashion and imagery that aims to sell nothing, a playground for all the greats to flock and break rules, a place where we can feel free to leave the politics of fashion behind.

My coverhumans share something profound in common that I have observed in myself since I was a young child. It’s an ability through our innate sadness as creatives to find a glimmer of fantasy and hope through our art. Every person on our covers exemplifies the artwork or subject of someone who is a master curator of their own life. I choose the word “curator” to imply, also, the curing nature that their medium then takes on. They cure themselves by making it, and then us by sharing it. All the people on my covers have healed me in some way, and I think some real peace was found between all of us in collaborating amidst our elaborate histories. What they gave to me and each other is a unique understanding of loneliness and passion—when you can look directly into the abyss of your own emptiness, like a canvas, and feel delighted. LADY GAGA

Listen to a special remix of Lady Gaga’s hit single, “Stupid Love” by Goons, courtesy of Quadio.



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