Monday, January 18, 2021

‘What the Absolute Hell Is This Cover?’: Twitter Says Kamala Harris’ Vogue Cover is Below Magazine’s Standards (Watch)

*Twitter has overwhelmingly rebuked the lighting, styling and set dressing of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ new cover of Vogue magazine’s February 2021 issue.

It was so bad that people thought the two covers (print and digital versions) tweeted out by Vogue Sunday were “deep fakes.”

In the image for the digital version, Harris stands in front of a pink drape with a pale green background (a nod to the colors of her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority), casually dressed in a two-piece suit and Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. The shoes have become her trademark.

One Twitter user called the entire image “a washed-out mess.”

Much of the criticism accused Vogue editor Anna Wintour of dropping the ball when it comes to styling and photographing Black women, and that Harris’ images are “below the standards of Vogue,” wrote LGBTQ rights activist Carlotte Clymer. “They didn’t put thought into it. Like homework finished the morning it’s due.”

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Kamala Harris covers the February 2021 issue of Vogue

Later Sunday, after absorbing the backlash, Vogue released the above image that featured Harris dressed more formally in a powder blue suit in front of a gold backdrop.

In a statement, Vogue said it chose a more casual look for the print magazine’s cover because it represented the “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.” Vogue also clarified that the clothing hair and makeup styling was made by Harris’ team.

CNN reported a source close to Harris’ team saying they were disappointed with the cover choice and had believed that the more formal image was going to be used for the print version. The team even asked if a new cover could take its place, although the magazine had already gone to print in December, according to CNN.

Both photos were shot by Tyler Mitchell, who gained fame as the first Black photographer to shoot an American Vogue cover in the magazine’s history with his 2018 Beyoncé cover. Mitchell did not directly weigh in on the debate on Sunday, but tweeted the cover of Harris in the powder blue suit that evening.

Wintour, responding to criticism of her covers featuring Black women, acknowledged past “mistakes” in an internal memo earlier this year.

“Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate or give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers, and other creators,” Wintour wrote. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I want to take full responsibility for those mistakes.”

 

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