Anna Wintour, who has been publicly attacked by the Trump White House for what they consider her indifference to covering them, recently swerved around questions about the style of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
Instead, the longtime Vogue editor-in-chief talked about former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Obama, Wintour continued, “supported young American designers. She supported designers, indeed, from all over the world. She was the best ambassador that this country could possibly have in many ways, obviously, way beyond fashion.”
“Melania … I think very consciously wanted to see herself as an ambassador for British fashion, in this case, or a transatlantic ambassador. Do you value that?” host Anne McElvoy asked. “Or would you just rather stay away from the Trumps?”
After Wintour’s answer pivoted to Obama, McElvoy noted “she’s not the first lady now. So what about the one that you’ve got now?”
But Wintour said, “She [Obama] is the example that I admire.”
In contrast to covering previous first ladies, Vogue has eschewed Mrs. Trump — a move the first lady’s spokeswoman slammed earlier this year.
Though she did not mention Mrs. Trump by name, Wintour told CNN in April: “You have to stand up for what you believe in and you have to take a point of view.”
In a statement at the time, Stephanie Grisham, who is now the White House press secretary, said: “To be on the cover of Vogue doesn’t define Mrs. Trump, she’s been there, done that long before she was first lady. Her role as first lady of the United States and all that she does is much more important than some superficial photo shoot and cover. This just further demonstrates how biased the fashion magazine industry is, and shows how insecure and small-minded Anna Wintour really is. Unfortunately, Mrs. Trump is used to this kind of divisive behavior.”
Wintour was asked about this during her appearance on The Economist podcast last week.
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“You do seem to keep your distance from the Trumps and Melania Trump,” host McElvoy said. “I think she was featured a long time ago but before she was in the White House as First Lady. She makes it to Vogue.com sometimes but not to the magazine. Is that a conscious decision?”
“There’s so many women in politics that deserve celebration,” Wintour replied, pointing to Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, without mentioning Mrs. Trump.
McElvoy asked again, “Do you feel that she’s not the right person to feature in the magazine?” And Wintour answered, “I think it’s important for Vogue to support women who are leading change in this country.”
And if President Trump were to reach out about fashion advice of his own?
“I think he’s unlikely to call,” Wintour said.