Vogue to print alternative Kamala Harris cover following online backlash

Emily Cope
·2-min read
 (Courtesy of Vogue)
(Courtesy of Vogue)

American Vogue will publish a new version of its February issue fronted by a different image of vice president Kamala Harris following widespread criticism that the original was “washed out”.

The limited edition magazine will feature the cover image previously only used online and will be published after the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, when Harris will become the first woman and the first black person to ever be sworn in as vice president.

Vogue announced the release on Instagram, stating: "In celebration of this historic moment, we will be publishing a limited number of special edition #InaugurationDay issues, featuring Vice President-elect @kamalaharris."

The original cover image - taken by Tyler Mitchell - was released earlier this month and showed Harris wearing a black suit with a pair of converse trainers standing in front of a pink curtain with her hands clasped in front of her.

A second digital cover was also released with Harris wearing a powder-blue Michael Kors suit with her arms folded.

However after the first cover was leaked on Twitter it garnered mostly negative reactions, with many questioning why Vogue would choose the image over the more formal second picture.

Critics on social media slammed the casual cover as “disrespectful” to Harris, as well as accusing the magazine cover of being “washed out”, considering Harris’ skin tone.

The original image was accused of being “washed out”Courtesy of Vogue
The original image was accused of being “washed out”Courtesy of Vogue

One user wrote: "Anna Wintour must really not have Black friends and colleagues. I’ll shoot shots of VP Kamala Harris for free using my Samsung and I’m 100 per cent confident it’ll turn out better than this Vogue cover.”

Another added: "Folks who don't get why the Vogue cover of VP-elect Kamala Harris is bad are missing the point. The pic itself isn't terrible as a pic. It's just far, far below the standards of Vogue. They didn't put thought into it. Like homework finished the morning it's due. Disrespectful.”

At the time of the controversy, Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour defended the original cover, telling The New York Times’ Sway podcast: “Obviously we have heard and understood the reaction to the print cover and I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the vice president-elect’s incredible victory.”

The Independent has reached out to Vogue for a comment.

Read More

‘Far below the standards of Vogue’: Kamala Harris cover divides fans