Over the weekend, the Sussex Royals Instagram account posted a picture of Meghan Markle’s guest-edited September Vogue cover. The news was met with delight, by most — but now, Meghan is being accused of copying her Vogue cover from a book she helped produce: The Game Changers, an Australian essay collection originally published in 2016. Apparently, Meghan’s Vogue cover has key similarities to the Game Changers cover art, and the collection’s authors are less than thrilled.
Speaking to Daily Mail, co-author Samantha Brett called Meghan’s Vogue cover “very flattering,” but ultimately thinks the Duchess has crossed a line, given how closely her Vogue cover mirrors that of Brett’s Game Changers. “She obviously likes our concept,” Brett told Daily Mail. “I love Meghan and am a huge fan, but if what people are alerting us to is true, then it’s extremely disappointing.”
In the hours after Meghan posted her Vogue cover to Instagram, Brett claims that people have been reaching out to her and co-author Steph Adams to point out the similarities. Further compounding suspicion is the fact that Meghan was involved in The Game Changers’ creation and approved the cover art at the time. The book features essays from 40 “women at the top,” one of which came from Meghan herself.
For reference, this is the Game Changers cover:
And this is Meghan’s September British Vogue cover:
While these two covers certainly share similarities, it’s questionable whether they’re similar enough to warrant real concern. One cannot trademark using black and white photos or a grid pattern, and it’s notable that the style of photography and affect of the subjects presented are significantly different. As for the similarity in subject matter, Meghan has a long history of supporting female empowerment, and it’s wholly unsurprising that she would focus her Vogue issue around it — particularly given her 2018 comments that fashion is all about empowering women.
It’s unclear whether Brett or Adams are planning further action at this time, or whether this will die down on its own. It’s possible Meghan was inspired by the artwork of the 2016 collection, but it’s equally possible that she and Vogue team landed on this design without ever having Game Changers in mind.