Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was reportedly “blindsided” after Vogue editor Anna Wintour opted to use a cover photo that was not their mutually agreed upon selection. The picture used has not been received well on social media, with many calling it “ugly” and suggesting that the noted editor-in-chief has yet again shown racial insensitivity in her decision-making.
The brouhaha over the matter began late Saturday night, when a Twitter user posted a leaked image of the Vogue issue that featured the former California senator. Reaction to the picture, which showed Harris out-of-focus and in a drab setting of olive and pink drapery, was immediately negative. In fact, the outcry was so overwhelming that many commenters believed the original tweet was fake.
However, Huffington Post reporter Yashar Ali was able to confirm not only that the cover photo was not a hoax, but also that the decision deviated from the original one that had been mutually decided on by the magazine and Harris’s team.
Some fashion magazine news….
1. The February Vogue cover featuring VP-elect Kamala Harris has been widely criticized on social media this evening
But according to a source familiar with the publication plans, this is not the cover that the Vice President-elect's team expected pic.twitter.com/lBC9DnfYNC
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) January 10, 2021
In another tweet, Ali claimed that Harris had originally believed she would be pictured wearing a powder blue suit instead of the black jeans, Converse sneakers, and open blazer seen above.
“Folks feel blindsided this evening,” he concluded in his thread.
Meanwhile, those reacting to the image expressed anger and dismay that Harris was given such an unflattering portrait.
“Vogue Magazine did Kamala dirty with that ugly cover,” tweeted one user.
“Wait that Kamala Vogue cover is real?! I thought it was fake—that’s how bad it is,” a second tweeted.
Many users also noted that the lighting had appeared to make Harris — who is the first Black person to hold the position of vice president — appear paler than usual.
After the tweet went viral, the magazine’s official account published both the leaked cover and the photo of Harris in the blue suit. It is unclear whether the outlet had always intended to release both images or whether it was damage control. The leaked image will be the one used on newsstands and sent to subscribers, and the second one will be given to digital subscribers.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the February Cover of Vogue. pic.twitter.com/yvNZ2khIKR
— IAMFASHION (@IAMFASHlON) January 10, 2021
In addition, the incident has caused many critics to highlight the fact that Wintour has been accused in the past of ignoring or mishandling racial issues.
“Anyone shocked by the poor quality of Kamala’s Vogue cover hasn’t paid attention to Anna Wintour’s bullsh*t with people of color. It spans decades. Team Kamala should’ve known better,” tweeted a user.
In addition, several former staffers of color have accused the Vogue editor-in-chief of fostering a racist work environment, as was covered by Business Insider.