Taylor Swift covers the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar. And the work here is pretty interesting. As we saw with the release of reputation, Taylor changed her media strategy. You might say she borrowed a little from Beyoncé in that she scaled wayyyyyy back on traditional promotion. There were no major interviews. She wasn’t talking. As she said:
There will be no further explanation.
There will just be reputation.
What, then, is the approach here for Harper’s? How do you do the magazine without compromising the “no further explanation” thing? Her solution? Participate by interviewing someone else. And I’m calling it HER solution because, according to the magazine’s entertainment director, it was her idea:
This happened because, as Taylor explains in the introduction to the interview with Pattie Boyd, she’d been reading Pattie’s memoir, Wonderful Tonight. Pattie, of course, was the inspiration for George Harrison’s “Something” and Eric Clapton’s “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight”. Taylor, then, is diving into the experience of being a muse because, of course, as a songwriter herself, she comes at the experience from the other side. It’s a very smart way to show her work – because we see her here, prepared and curious, as storytellers must be (a good songwriter is a storyteller, after all) and processing the answers through the lens of her own observation so that insights are shared both ways, which is the goal of any true conversation even though, and this is key, she gets to control it. Because she’s the one asking the questions.
It’s my favourite version of Taylor Swift: the strategist and the tactician because there 100% is strategy and tactical procedure happening but that doesn’t mean it isn’t accompanied by empathy and charm. This is when she’s at her best. So what we get here is a solid read between two beguiling women of different generations, coming together to see where they intersect. Taylor, remember, has her own muses. She’s in love with her most recent muse. She is processing Pattie’s answers through how her muse might be processing his life with her. At the same time, she is reminding us of her skill, of the title she always puts first behind her name: songwriter.
Which brings us to the ultimate genius move here: she just placed herself as a songwriter in a discussion about two legendary songwriters, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. She just subtly dropped herself and her work and her songwriting into their category without compromising the “no explanation” mantra of reputation
That is GREAT f-cking work. She may not be your favourite (and she’s not mine) but that’s a boss f-cking move. Did you see what she just did? Barely. You BARELY saw what she just did because it was that f-cking deft.
I can’t hate her for this. Taylor Swift just gave me a work boner.
And she looks amazing too.
LOVE the way they’ve styled her here with the 60s vibe. Like… Sienna Miller in Alfie. All the shots are good but I particularly like this one:
Note the photographer too - Alex Lubomirski who just came off Prince Harry and Royal Meghan’s wedding. So. If Taylor’s in the mood to start friend-collecting again, the Duchess of Sussex could be her next target.