Harper's Bazaar (USA)
What Makes a HOME
Our November issue is dedicated to the idea of home—not just the architecture and interiors that compose a physical one but what home means to different people, the homes we find and seek out, and the homes we create for ourselves and for others.
When I think about home, I don’t think about a place. Instead, I have come to find my home with people who make me feel safe. That’s why it felt right to have Tracee Ellis Ross on our cover. Long before she became the CEO of her own hair-care line (Pattern) and an actor who would break the mold for portrayals of Blackness on TV (including on Black-ish), we were interns together back in 1995 at the now-shuttered fashion magazine Mirabella. In the years since, Tracee has become one of my closest friends, part of a group of women who represent home to me. The qualities that she brings to our friendship—her warmth, curiosity, humor, and wisdom—are captured so beautifully in the cover story by our features director, Kaitlyn Greenidge. I also think it’s clear from the images, shot by Renell Medrano at the Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson River Valley, that Tracee never really left fashion, as she revels in some of the season’s most exquisite couture gowns.
Elsewhere, two women who once called the fashion industry home—former Barneys New York women’s fashion director Amanda Brooks and onetime Garage creative director and Prada muse Shala Monroque—grant us generous looks at the new homes they’ve created. For Brooks, it’s an 1820s farmhouse with a garden and a boutique in the English countryside. For Monroque, it’s a farm and retreat in her native Saint Lucia. Both left the fashion world after the breakneck pace and always-on lifestyle wore them down physically and mentally; now they are coming back to fashion on their own terms.
Some never know the security or safety of home; it is important to remember what a privilege it is to have one. In our Voices section, the dissident artist and activist Ai Weiwei speaks with our contributing editor at large, Stephen Mooallem, about how his upbringing in China, marked by upheaval, surveillance, and violence, has informed his work, sense of mission, and concept of family and home. (He wrote his memoir, 1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows, so his son, Ai Lao, will know his story.) And Sarah Miller explores the apparent futility of home in a darkly humorous essay about her decision to renovate a kitchen in her Northern California house, which is in the direct path of catastrophic and worsening wildfires.
This issue marks the one-year anniversary of my first issue at Harper’s Bazaar. In these pages, on our website, and across our social platforms, my team and I are hoping to create a kind of home too—one where you feel engaged and seen and discover the best in fashion as it intersects with our wider world. Welcome home!