U.S. Vice President elect Kamala Harris was revealed as the cover star for Vogue‘s February 2021 issue on Sunday with a photograph widely viewed as inappropriately informal given the historic nature of her election.
While Harris’ team allegedly was under the assumption Vogue would select the more formal portrait of her wearing a baby blue Michael Kors suit, anonymous sources told the NY Times there no formal agreement in place on image selection.
On the podcast, Wintour noted that Harris specifically chose to wear her own clothes for the shoot. She explained, “She has a very strong sense of self and what she wants to wear. So she was very clear on what she wanted to wear.
“And on the inside picture, she has a super chic blue pantsuit. And I think it’s very much in character. And I think the fact that the cover itself is so charming and so relaxed, and for me, so surprising and so real. And as I listen to the President-elect and the Vice President-elect talk about empathy, and unity, and bringing people together, to me, this cover symbolizes that. I feel it’s a very welcoming image.”
Following the uproar over the cover, Swisher reached out to Wintour about the reaction. Wintour responded, “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.
“We want nothing but to celebrate Vice President-elect Harris’s amazing victory and the important moment this is in America’s history, and particularly for women of color, all over the world.”
Wintour also reiterated there was no formal agreement about what the cover image would be. Among the staff weighing in on the two images, Wintour claimed there was wide agreement that the less formal portrait of the Vice President-elect better reflected the moment.
“We felt to reflect this tragic moment in global history, a much less formal picture, something that was very, very accessible, and approachable, and real, really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign and everything that they are trying to, and, I’m sure, will achieve,” she noted.
Swisher’s interview with Wintour is available on multiple platforms including Spotify below.