Vogue Magazine will print a “limited edition” of its February issue with a variant cover following a week-long battle with Vice President Kamala Harris’ team over why an informal cover shot was chosen over a formal one.
“American Vogue will publish a new version of its February issue, fronted by a different image of Kamala Harris after the original cover photo was criticized for appearing casual and ‘washed out,'” CNN reported. “The widely preferred alternative cover, which features Vice President-elect in a light blue suit against a gold background, was originally created for the magazine’s digital edition, but will now appear in a limited print run, Vogue announced Tuesday.”
The solution ends an ongoing conflict between Vogue’s editorial staff and Kamala Harris’ team — a conflict that ignited last week after Vogue Magazine revealed that Harris would appear on the cover of its February issue in a causal blazer, pants, and a pair of Converse sneakers. Harris’ team claimed that when they’d spoken to Vogue about the cover shot, the two sides had agreed that Vogue would use a more formal photo, with Harris in a powder-blue pantsuit, photographed in front of a background that looked vaguely like the Oval Office.
“[A]ccording to a source familiar with the publication plans, this is not the cover that the Vice President-elect’s team expected,” journalist Yashar Ali added on social media, as The Daily Wire noted last week. “In the cover that they expected, Vice President-elect Harris was wearing a powder blue suit. That was the cover that the Vice President-elect’s team and the Vogue team, including Anna Wintour, mutually agreed upon…which is standard for fashion magazines.”
Vogue’s editorial team later agreed to make the more formal shot the cover of its digital edition. Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, even stepped in to defend the decision, telling The New York Times that she and her team were clear that they reserved the right to select the final cover shot.
“When the two images arrived at Vogue, all of us felt very, very strongly that the less formal portrait of the Vice President-elect really reflected the moment that we were living in,” Wintour said in her statement, according to CNN. “We are in the midst…of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute, and we felt to reflect this tragic moment in global history, a much less formal picture, something that was very, very accessible, and approachable, and really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign …”
The conflict, though, saw Vogue — and Wintour herself — accused of racism, with left-leaning commentators dredging up what they believed to be examples of “racist” behavior at Vogue, and Wintour’s tendency to feature mostly slim, white women as cover models, reinforcing what critics called a problematic standard of beauty.
Vogue finally gave in Tuesday, releasing a statement announcing the variant cover.
“In recognition of the enormous interest in the digital cover, and in celebration of this historic moment, we will be publishing a limited number of special edition inaugural issues,” the magazine said.
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