It should be a shining moment for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, but her Vogue cover has soured after a backlash.
Two images have been shared. In one, Harris looks poised in a powder blue power suit with a gold background. The other shows her in Converse sneakers, with a crumpled pink and green background and a far more casual pose.
Harris is the first Black woman elected vice president, and her team are said to be unhappy with the photo choice. Her team were reportedly unaware that the cover photo had been switched from the blue suit, until images leaked late Saturday. The source is a person involved in the negotiations over how Harris would be featured on the cover.
According to Fortune: “Harris’ office declined comment and the person spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity.”
Vogue released a statement saying it went with the more informal image of Harris because the photo captured her “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.”
They added that both images were released as digital magazine covers to “respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward.”
The background colours were chosen as a nod to her sorority.
Readers are not happy with the choice, tweeting: “Y’all are supposed to know about fashion and someone made the decision to go with the photo on the left?”
Another added: “Delete the chucks picture and change the cover to the blue suit MVP agreed to…this is disrespectful.”
The photographer for the cover shoot was Tyler Mitchell, who is renowned for previous photoshoots including Beyonce and Harry Styles.
It’s worth noting that Tyler himself has only shared the powder blue suit images, instead of the picture that was chosen for the cover.
Social Media Backlash
Many people are unimpressed with the decision.
However, some people like the alternative version.
It’s not the first time that Vogue has had issues.
Last year, Editor Anna Wintour apologized to staff members in a letter. She wrote about “mistakes” publishing photographs and articles seen as insensitive to minorities.
“Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate or give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers, and other creators. We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I want to take full responsibility for those mistakes.”
Vogue has denied lightening Harris’s skin to the New York Post. They quoted a Vogue source as saying “Our approach to working with Vice President-elect Harris and her team was to capture her as a leader and as a person, and as she was most comfortable, and so we collaborated closely on all creative decisions, including that she would dress and style herself for the shoot,”
In the Vogue interview, Harris says they plan to focus on the pandemic. “We think about the first 100 days in terms of what we need to do to support mayors and governors and local officials around their distribution and their public-health systems.”
“When we get control of this pandemic, that’s going to be a critical factor in being able to reopen our economy.”
Which picture do you prefer?
Image via Alamy