Kamala Harris' Team 'Blindsided' by Change to Planned Vogue Cover

Cover photo in issue sent to subscribers is reportedly not the one agreed upon between the magazine and the VP-elect’s team

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will grace the cover of Vogue’s February issue, but the photo used for the issue that subscribers will receive this week is reportedly not the one agreed upon by the magazine and the politician’s team.

On Saturday, Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali reported on Twitter that Harris’ team and the Vogue team, headed by Anna Wintour, had mutually agreed upon a waist-up image of Harris in a powder-blue suit with an orange background. While that image will be used as the cover for the digital version of the issue, the one selected for the print edition is a full-body image of Harris in a black blazer and jeans with Converse sneakers. Ali notes that it is standard for fashion magazines to mutually agree with their subjects upon which photos will be used for print and that members of Harris’ team “feel blindsided.”

 

Representatives for Vogue and Harris did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.

Ali also reported that former Conde Nast and Vogue employees have told him that Wintour, the longtime editor-in-chief of Vogue and one of fashion’s biggest tastemakers, “does not truly respect Black women and most of her editorial decisions around Black women certainly reflect that sentiment.” Wintour has faced significant criticism since the resurgence of Black Lives Matter last summer over Vogue’s depictions of Black women, including poorly-lit photos of Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles. A New York Times report last fall included interviews from former Vogue employees who accused Wintour of “tokenizing” Black employees. In addition, former Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley wrote in his 2020 memoir that Wintour suddenly ostracized him after the two enjoyed a strong personal and professional relationship for years.

“Anna now treats me as a former employee. Like any ruthless individual, she maintains her sang-froid at all times,” Talley, who is Black, wrote. “I believe she is immune to anyone other than the powerful and famous people who populate the pages of Vogue. She has mercilessly made her best friends the people highest in their fields…I am no longer of value to her.”

In June, Wintour apologized for not including Black voices in the staff and pages of her magazine: “I want to say this especially to the black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.”

But Ali’s report that Vogue did not choose to publish their issue with the agreed-upon photo of the first black woman elected as Vice President of the United States has led to renewed public backlash against its longtime chief, who last month was promoted by Conde Nast to be its worldwide chief content officer.

 

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