Anna Wintour defends Vogue’s controversial Kamala Harris cover
It's been a busy week for vogue and anna winter. I spoke with her last friday about her thirty two year. Tenure as editor in chief of vogue. We also discussed february cover featuring vice president-elect kamala harris the very next day the february cover leaked and internet react and not in a good way in the photo harris's standing in front of a green and pink backdrops in a black jacket skinny pants pants and converse sneakers which have become famous and social media the twitter reactions. I saw were overwhelmingly negative. Some took issue with the styling oppose others with the lighting only spoke last week. Winter told me that she found the cover welcoming and relaxed but the general consensus online was that it was too casual that it did not rise to the historic occasion of the first woman. Vice president the first black woman vice president that it was disrespectful. It's certainly didn't bode well for conde nast or for winter. Who is been here before having been accused of racially insensitive coverage and workplace discrimination by some of our staff just seven months ago according to people familiar with the matter on both sides. There is not a written formal agreement in place. These people also say the vice president elect team had an expectation of a different cover. One in which harris is wearing a blue suit and standing in front of a gold backdrop. It's a more stately and serious photo and one that is clearly more fitting for a vice president by sunday. That photo was released as a digital cover along with the one that was originally leaked at the time of this recording. People familiar with the matter said the photo with the sneakers will be the only physical cover they added. That vogue is considering using the more formal portrait in a second print edition after the cover leaked. I went back to winter for comment. She said quote. Obviously you've 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 vice president-elect incredible victory we want nothing but to celebrate vice president-elect harris's amazing victory and the important moment this is america's history and particularly for women of color all over the world. She also said there was no formal agreement about what the choice of the cover would be and when the two images arrived at folk 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 in the midst as we still are of the most appalling pandemic 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 real really reflected the hallmark of the biden harris campaign and everything that they're trying to and i'm sure it will achieve. I'm not exactly sure with the pandemic has to do with it. But here's my conversation with anna winter and just as a reminder again. This interview was recorded before the cover leaked. Can you tell me about the cover. Shoot and how you got her to do this. Well we're very on it that we have current vice president elect on the cover. I think by the time we published. She will be the vice president. And obviously it's a historic moment for women of color for america and it was an ongoing compensation for time and obviously with everything that was going only the election. We were thrilled when we knew that she would make the time for the shoot and honored and we had featured her invoked before and obviously covered the campaign and many different ways of the campaign season. And we very much wanted to have this cover around the time of the inauguration because we felt that it would be cia moment of celebration and joy pitcher directly. Did you picture yourself. No that was done by my features team and they were in touch with her office but it was very much a compensation between bogan the vice president alex office. I can't believe i'm asking this. But what is she wearing. Well the favorite item of clothing that she's wearing on the cover for me is that she's wearing sneakers. Well of course converse. That's right and the picture was taken by a wonderful young photographer talent. Who had previously photograph beyond safe for us and also wildly successful december cover of harry styles and he had the wonderful idea putting her in front of the colors of sorority which sort of like pink and green and she's standing in a black pant suit and a white t shirt and and seko's is this. Her clothing is these. These are close. Yes and she looks fantastic. Did you want to put her in other clones or we were very open. I mean i think that she has a very assured sensus style. I if you look at any images of her during the campaign season is she has a very strong sense of self what she wants to wear so she was very clear on what she wanted to wear. And on the inside pictures. She has a super chic blue Michael kors pantsuit. And i think it's very much in character And i think that the the kaaba itself is so charming and so relaxed and for me so surprising and so real. And as i listened to the president elect and the vice president elect talk about embassy and unity and bringing people together to me that this covers symbolizes. That i feel it's a very welcoming image.