marie claire coverHere is Marie Claire‘s November subscriber cover, proving that Autumn has truly arrived. But it also shows how to present the biggest pop star in the world.

Forbes have named Taylor Swift as the richest celebrity in the world under 30. She has 35m Facebook likes, 14m Twitter followers and 120m visits to her MySpace page. She has 100 awards worldwide, 6 Grammys and her latest single is the fastest single to reach number one on iTunes of all time. She’s 22 years old, and she’s now dating a Kennedy.

Rihanna, Gaga, and Bieber don’t even come close.

Succesful celebrities have such a strong sense of their own image, that it can be very hard for editorial to create a new look for them. But this is the genius of Fashion Director Jayne Pickering and her work. Not only is she a great stylist, but she can gain the trust of people like Taylor to tell her story.

This is what Marie Claire is all about. The scale and ambition of the brand just putting a fashion icon on the cover is not enough. They have to use true superstars and make them look really fashionable and keep them feeling genuinely approachable.

There’s much to admire in this picture. The hair is great, the makeup is strong, yet wearable, and the styling is both aspirational and accessible. Photographer David Roemer has managed to create a lovely balance between a backlit, natural feel and a punchy, engaging composition.

The absence of eye contact puts the styling front and centre, yet the floorboards and dado rail retain a feeling of intimacy with the star. It’s a genuine moment. One we want to be part of.

The design is understated, as it needs to be. But Art Director Lottie Berridge has still made a massive statement with both the logo colour and the coverline typeface. Both are vital in letting the Marie Claire brand have real ownership over the image, without denting the fashion credentials.

If you’re interested, the rest of the shoot is just as good, you can see it online here.