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Following weeks of controversy surrounding Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ first Vogue cover, the magazine is now releasing a limited-edition run of its much-preferred digital cover.
The February digital cover, which shows Harris in a powder blue Michael Kors Collection suit standing in front of a gold fabric-draped backdrop, will be released in print in celebration of Wednesday’s inauguration, where Harris will become the first woman and first person of Black and South Asian descent to assume the role of vice president.
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“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,” a Vogue spokesperson stated. The magazine shared news of the special inauguration issue on its Instagram.
Vogue was embroiled in controversy following the release of Harris’ cover, which showed the vice president-elect dressed in a black Donald Deal suit and her signature Converse sneakers standing against a backdrop of pink and green fabric that honored her Howard University sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Harris was photographed by Tyler Mitchell, who became the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in 2018 for his highly praised Beyoncé cover shoot.
Social media users were not a fan of the Harris cover, with many describing it as “disrespectful,” “poor quality” and “a washed-out mess.” Many criticized the cover for its casual nature and messy set design and claimed it didn’t reflect Harris’ monumental and historic feat. Social media users pointed out that Harris’ digital cover was more flattering and respectful than the printed one.
A Vogue spokeswoman responded to the controversy earlier this month, stating: “The team at Vogue loved the images Tyler Mitchell shot and felt the more informal image captured Vice President-elect Harris’ authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the Biden/Harris administration. To respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward, we’re celebrating both images of her as covers digitally.”
On Jan. 12, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour responded to the backlash with her own statement.
“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 also cleared up the rumor that Vogue and Harris’ team had agreed on the photo of the vice president-elect in the blue Kors suit as the print cover, but later changed to the more casual photo.
“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 are all in the midst — as we still are — of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute,” Wintour said. “And we felt to reflect this tragic moment in 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 that they are trying to, and I’m sure will, achieve.”
Vogue’s special inauguration issue with Harris is available on its website for U.S. residents for $7.99.
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