WWD – The Vice President-elect is also featured in a lengthy profile by Alexis Okeowo, which is understandably heavy on Harris’ experience and White House objectives, and scarce on fashion references.
The controversy around the story centers on the choice of photography, more specifically the cover image of Harris wearing a Donald Deal jacket and Converse sneakers with a backdrop of colors that are emblematic of her sorority at Howard University, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Some social media critics questioned the decision to feature the first female vice president as well as the first Black and Asian American to be elected to that role wearing sneakers — even though she regularly wears them with her outfits, including on the campaign trail.
They described the photo as “disrespectful,” “poor quality” and “a washed-out mess.”
Lensman Tyler Mitchell photographed Harris. (In 2018, Mitchell became the first African American photographer to land a Vogue cover, which was the September one.)
In addition, politicking of a different kind can often happen with magazine covers, as in certain designers and advertisers carry more weight than others, and the cover star’s team may want to control the narrative.
Harris’ Vogue cover generated a social media debate that claimed that a photo of her wearing a powder blue suit by Michael Kors, which is featured with the interview, was the image that was agreed upon by both parties.
Some on social media speculated that the more flattering photo of Harris wearing Kors would have been the better cover choice.
A Vogue spokeswoman said,
“The team at Vogue loved the images Tyler Mitchell shot and felt the more informal image captured Vice President-elect Harris’ authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the Biden/Harris administration.
“To respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forwards, we’re celebrating both images of her as covers digitally … ”
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