In an interview with The New York Times, the tenured fashion editor released a statement explaining her team’s decision to go with the more casual photo of Harris dressed in a black blazer, black slacks, and a pair of black and white Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. “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,” she says. “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 brought up how both parties—Vogue’s editorial staff and Harris’ team—did not come to a collaborative decision prior to the revealing of the print cover image, one that Harris’ squad was reportedly not expecting.
“There was no formal agreement about what the choice of the cover would be, and 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, which we were in the midst, as we still are, of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute,” she clarified. “We felt to reflect this tragic moment and 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 they’re trying to, and, I’m sure, will achieve.”
Although the initial, underwhelming image was leaked as the official print cover, Vogue revealed the more fitting image of Harris wearing a powder blue suit as a digital cover on Sunday morning (Jan. 10). Tyler Mitchell, the young Black photographer commissioned for the cover shoot, posted this version along with another. According to The Times, Vogue is considering printing the formal version as a second edition.
Meanwhile, many Harris supporters are pushing for every woman to dress casually like the vice president-elect in honor of her on Inauguration Day. “My cousin BeBe @bernadettemarsh sent this to me,” wrote Ms. Tina Knowles-Lawson under her Instagram post. “She asked that every woman dress like this on Inauguration Day to honor Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Jeans, blazer, Converse tennis shoes, pearls. I think it is a great idea! I will do it! What do y’all think ?”
The cover on the left (with the Chuck Ts) had no business being selected or even offered as an option.
This speaks volumes of how you view our Madam Vice President.
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) January 10, 2021