Virgil Abloh's use of quotation marks caused a stir on social media.
GQ announced yesterday that Serena Williams was the "Woman Of The Year" and one of four honorees to be featured on the cover of GQ’s 23rd-annual Men of the Year issue. However, the magazine's cover has sparked a controversy on social media, as critics have questioned why "Woman" was in quotes.
But people trying to create an outrage over the cover failed to realize that the typography was handwritten by Virgil Abloh, who frequently uses quotation marks in his work. Even after this was pointed out, some were still offended by the cover.
“That context definitely helps - it’s definitely off putting especially for an athlete who has been critiqued for not being womanly/not a real woman in all sorts of racist and problematic ways,” one twitter user wrote (H/T Fox).
Another tweeted: “I can’t believe no one at GQ thought perhaps with misogynistic and violent trans insults that Serena (and Venus) have dealt with for the last almost 20 years, to not put woman in quotation marks. Editorial rooms are a f------ disaster, all over this country. I’m offended for her.”
Williams shares the honor with Director of the Year, Jonah Hill, as well as actors Henry Golding (Star of the Year) and Michael B. Jordan (Leader of the Year).
Per GQ: "No matter how you cut it, Serena Williams had a remarkable year. Jeanne-Marie Laskas visits the G.O.A.T. at her Florida home to hear about the U.S. Open moment heard around the world, along with Serena's plans for the future, her thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court appointment, and what it's like to be a black woman in America in 2018. All that, plus GQ worked up a special surprise cover collaboration with Virgil Abloh—the Off-White designer behind her coolest on-court looks in 2018—featuring his signature quotation marks in his own handwriting."
GQ will roll out the four cover stories throughout the week, starting with "Michael B. Jordan Will Be King," followed by Golding's on Tuesday, Hill's on Wednesday and concluding with Serena's on Thursday.