Vogue India’s October cover is celebrity-packed – all for a good cause

More than 180 celebrities have committed to doing their bit for the cause. For example, Aamir Khan has agreed to spearhead a radio campaign, while AR Rahman has dedicated his new album Raunaq to the campaign.

The October 2014 edition of Vogue India spreads awareness of the VoguEmpower campaign featuring Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar and Kangana Ranaut, among others. Courtesy Vogue India
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They've pulled off the photograph of the decade: Vogue India's October issue commemorates the magazine's seventh anniversary with a host of top Indian personalities on the cover, all pledging to contribute to its campaign for women's empowerment.

Posing in red, black and white and endorsing Vogue Empower – motto: It Starts With You – are the Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranvir Singh and Kangana Ranaut; the filmmaker Karan Johar; the TV journalist Barkha Dutt; the Oscar-winning musician A R Rehman; and the Indian cricketer and cancer survivor Yuvraj Singh, among others. Also in the line-up is Aamir Khan, the film star, producer and social activist.

The features in the edition range from interviews with the activist Gloria Steinem and the media magnate Arianna Huffington to true stories from women who have overcome obstacles to lead fulfilled lives, as well as interviews with the Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin, the Indian social activist Kiran Bedi and the tennis star Maria Sharapova.

More than 180 celebs have committed to doing their bit for the cause. For example, Khan has agreed to spearhead a radio campaign, while Rahman has dedicated his new album Raunaq to the campaign – it includes a special composition, Laadli (cherished girl child).

Also involved in the effort are leading fashion designers and labels, including Gucci – the fashion house has pledged to give Vogue Empower a special space on its Chime for Change website, where people can donate to the initiative. Louis Vuitton, in partnership with the Indian NGO DakshinaChitra, will donate toward women’s education. Celebrity Indian designers such as Anita Dongre, Gaurav Gupta, JJ Valaya, Manish Arora, Manish Malhotra, Monisha Jaising, Raghavendra Rathore, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Suneet Varma and Tarun Tahiliani have each pledged an outfit from their collections, with sale proceeds going to charity.

The Indian filmmakers Homi Adajania, Vikas Bahl and Vinil Mathew have pitched in with special films especially made to promote the cause; they will screen later this month.

Adajania's My Choice, featuring Padukone, opens with a montage of women going through the circle of life, with visuals accompanied by a powerful monologue in Padukone's voice. Mathew's film (the title not revealed yet) focuses on Coco Chanel, the Indian female boxer Mary Kom, and the actress and singer Priyanka Chopra (who starred in a recently released biopic on Kom's life). Bahl's short is titled Going Home, starring the actress Alia Bhatt, about the "collision between the world a woman could live in and the world she does live in".

“The whole idea is to engage with Vogue’s circle of influencers and thought leaders to become our pledge-makers, our agents of change,” said the Vogue India editor Priya Tanna. “We want them to mobilise people to think, talk and act in ways that highlight and draw attention to women’s empowerment.”