New Delhi: After being embroiled in a controversy for weeks regarding its February issue featuring US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, fashion magazine Vogue has announced it will release a “limited-edition run of its much-preferred digital cover”— with changes.
A Vogue spokesperson said, “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 inauguration issues.”
The new cover features Harris sporting a powder blue suit in front of a gold backdrop. The cover will be released after the inauguration ceremony Wednesday where Harris will be sworn in as the first person of Black and South-Asian descent as the Vice President of the United States of America.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, explained that the original cover — photographed by Tyler Mitchell, who became the first African-American photographer to shoot a US Vogue cover in 2018 — “was chosen for its accessibility and approachability.” However, the cover came in for considerable criticism and Wintour said she took note of it.
“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,” Wintour told the New York Times.
Controversy over original cover
In the original cover, Harris is seen wearing Converse sneakers and a casual two-piece suit which left many on social media angry — they thought it lacked respect for the Vice President-elect. Others questioned the use of lighting that made Harris’ skin tone look different.
“Vogue robbed Harris of her roses. A bit of awe would have served the magazine well in its cover decisions. Nothing about the cover said, ‘Wow.’ And sometimes, that’s all Black women want, an admiring and celebratory ‘wow’ over what they have accomplished,” The Washington Post’s fashion critic Robin Givhan wrote.
This isn’t the first time Vogue has been accused of manipulating skin tone —its August 2019 issue featuring black American gymnast Simone Biles had also raised similar questions.