A previously unreleased portrait of the Purple One, legendary pop star Prince, is now the newest cover of Carine Roitfeld’s CR Men’s Book Issue 5. The photo, which was shot by Steven Klein in 1989 at Paisley Park and is being shown publicly for the first time ever on Billboard Style, captures the singer’s beautifully androgynous essence at a time when gender roles and sexuality were caught in the throngs of a pop culture on the verge of a new millennium.
The four different covers for the 11th edition of CR Fashion Book are all photos icons with ties to 1999 as well. Lily-Rose Depp, one of fashion’s most interesting talents, was born in 1999. Lara Stone, one of Roitfeld’s biggest inspirations, entered the Elite Model Look competition that same year, instantly becoming known for her now-ubiquitous toothy pout. Alek Wek was breaking down barriers in the industry with her unique beauty and, according to Roitfeld, Cara Taylor “simply channels the stripped-down mood of late 90’s fashion” that the fashion editor-in-chief loves.
The year 1999 was chosen as the theme for all 5 CR Fashion Book covers because Roitfled believes the late 90s was a defining turning point in “freedom, creativity, and fashion.”
“To me,1999 was the last moment when fashion felt naïve and innocent and free,” Roitfeld told Billboard. “1999 is about a spirit of independence, and there are very few independent thinkers left today. I think right now a lot of people are looking back to this period of time, not only to find references or get ideas, but to see who they were–how good they were–and hopefully see who they can be again.”
CR Men’s Book 5 is out on newsstands September 7.