Anna Wintour Defends Kamala Harris’s Vogue Debut
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is officially “in vogue.”
The former California Senator is gracing the cover of the February issue of Vogue magazine. The cover marks the first time an elected official has appeared on the cover of the fashion magazine. Yes, in the past, Washington insiders like Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have made it on the cover but Harris’ cover is a reflection of our country’s progress. In her first-ever Vogue appearance, Harris spoke openly about the first 100 days of the Biden administration, the country’s protests against police brutality and racism as well as the people and childhood that shaped her into the leader she is today.
Speaking about hers and Biden’s victory night, Harris told Vogue that she wanted her words to be something that young Americans would remember.
The first African American woman elected vice president graced the pages of Vogue in a power suit, casual attire, and Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers ( a casual cover look whose controversy we’ll get to later). Her look is a reminder that she’s a woman ready to work and get to business. The down to earth look of authority is familiar to the one Harris brought to the stage late last year when she delivered her victory speech.
“It was very important for me to speak to the moment, and the moment includes understanding that there is a great responsibility that comes with being a first,” Harris explained to Vogue about the evening. “I always say this: I may be the first to do many things—make sure I’m not the last,” she tells me. “I was thinking of my baby nieces, who will only know one world where a woman is vice president of the United States, a woman of color, a Black woman, a woman with parents who were born outside of the United States.”
Harris went onto share that the night was emotional for her not just because it marked the end of a rigorous campaign and a new start for our country but because she was thinking of her mother. Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian immigrant, and breast cancer researcher passed away 12 years ago. During her speech, Harris told Vogue that she thought of her mother and “what her life meant” how it had propelled Harris to the position she holds now.
“I’m representing my mom,” Harris went onto explain “I’m representing my husband. This country is more than two centuries old, and our country needs to show diversity, and diversity means leadership comes in all races, all colors. It’s time for a change.”
When it comes to change, Harris explained that she has her mind on tackling racism in America.
According to Harris, this summer’s widespread protests against police brutality and racism in the country didn’t actually affect or change the way she thinks about how Black people are policed, charged, and prosecuted in the U.S. “What it did do was made it easier to point out that the fight for criminal-justice reform, the fight for racial justice should be everyone’s fight,” she explained. “I was out there with the folks who were protesting the murder of George Floyd, and it was the first time I saw so much diversity in who was marching arm in arm, shouting, speaking, crying that Black lives matter.”
Throughout the Vogue piece, it’s clear that Harris’s authenticity and approachability shine. In the next month, she is due to become the second most powerful person in the country. Here’s hoping that she will work hard to help heal the United States in a time when it faces various crises brought on by a lack of authority and trust in the last administration.Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, which caused controversy when it was prematurely leaked over the weekend.
In a statement to The New York Times, Anna Wintour defended the controversial Vogue cover of Harris saying it was not Vogue’s “intention to diminish the importance of the Vice President-elect’s incredible victory.”
Vice President-elect Harris’s Vogue cover caused controversy after it was leaked over the weekend. Critics took issue with the lighting and style of the color accusing the image of Harris as looking “washed out” and criticizing casual outfit for not being appropriate for a historic magazine cover.
“When the two images arrived at Vogue,” Wintour explained. “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,” she said in the statement. “We are in the midst…of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute, 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 really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign…”
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