WILMINGTON, Del. — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has landed on the cover of the February issue of Vogue magazine, but her team says there’s a problem: the shot of the country’s soon-to-be No. 2 leader isn’t what both sides had agreed upon, her team says.
Instead of the powder blue power suit Harris wore for her cover shoot, the first African American and Indian American woman elected vice president is instead seen in more casual attire and wearing Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, which she sometimes wore on the campaign trail.
Harris’ team was unaware that the cover photo had been switched until images leaked late Jan. 9, according to a person involved in the negotiations over how Harris would be featured on the cover. Harris’ office declined comment and the person spoke Jan. 10 on condition of anonymity.
In a statement, Vogue said it went with the more informal image of Harris for the cover because the photo captured her “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.”
But the magazine said it released both images as digital magazine covers to “respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward.”
Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent, posed in a light blue suit in front of a gold backdrop for the magazine’s cover. She also posed, more casually dressed in slacks, a blazer and sneakers in front of a pink and green background, for photos that were planned for inside the magazine, the person said. Pink and green are the colors of Harris’ college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Vogue has released both images online, but the photo of a sneaker-clad Harris is the one that will grace the cover of the fashion bible’s print edition.
The person with knowledge of the negotiations said Harris’ team has expressed to Vogue its disappointment over the magazine’s decision.
The cover also generated outrage on social media as posters expressed disappointment in how the magazine decided to present the nation’s first female vice president on its cover.
Harris is set to be sworn in as vice president on Jan. 20.
IANS adds from New York: The Vogue team points out that the casual picture featuring Harris in a Donald Deal blazer – "styling choices that were her own" – are a "tribute to a formative chapter of Harris's life: her time as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc's Alpha chapter at Howard University.”
In a short article that introduces the cover photograph, Vogue explains that the concept was to honor "Harris' college days and the powerful women who comprise the ranks of sororities like Alpha Kappa Alpha."
In both the images, taken by Black photographer Tyler Mitchell, Harris is standing with her hands crossed, looking straight into the camera and smiling. Mitchell posted just one of the covers to Instagram – the one of Harris in a blue Michael Kors suit.
Some critics have hit the choice of the casual picture on the cover of the fashion bible as "washed out,” "poor quality,” "too familiar.”
"The cover did not give Kamala D. Harris due respect. It was overly familiar. It was a cover image that, in effect, called Harris by her first name without invitation," wrote Washington Post columnist Robin Givhan.
"In using the more informal image for the print edition of the magazine, Vogue robbed Harris of her roses."
For Harris' immediate circle of family, it's all good, whether in pink or blue. "Sobbing,” Harris' niece Meena Harris tweeted, in a photo tweet with the Vogue cover and a screenshot of a text excerpt from the cover story.
In a related story, AP adds from Toledo, Ohio: An appointee to the Ohio Arts Council resigned Jan. 8 after making a vulgar comment on social media about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris that also supported President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the election.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said he accepted Susan Allan Block’s resignation a day after his office issued a statement saying her comments were highly offensive.
Block, of Toledo, posted the all-caps comments Jan. 6 after a pro-Trump mob overran the U.S. Capitol.
In her resignation letter, Block said she was asked to step down by DeWine. She also adamantly stood by her comments.