Critics Say ‘Vogue’ Missed The Mark On Kamala Harris Cover Shoot


Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is on the cover of the February issue of Vogue Magazine

Some critics say the fashion publication didn’t do the incoming VP justice in the two cover shoots which flash “Madam Vice President!” on the front.

In one shot, Harris is wearing a casual black suit, fitted out with her signature low-top Converse sneakers. The cover has the words “By the People, For the People: The United States of Fashion” over top Harris, who stands, hands clasped and smiling. 

Pink and green fabric served as a backdrop in the shoot, an apparent nod to her beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc

Her second cover shot is more formal, and includes Harris in a powder blue suit from the Michael Kors Collection, per the Huffington Post.

Before Vogue officially released the cover shots on Sunday (January 10), a lower-resolution photo of the pink and green shot made its way on social media, drawing critique and confusion.

Both photos were shot by Tyler Mitchell, who made history as the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue for Beyoncé and later, Zendaya.

Harris’ historic win secures a host of firsts for the office, a fact that some said warranted greater care from the publication and Harris’ team.

Critics highlighted the magazine’s past covers that drew similar critique in the lighting and styling of shoots, like that of Olympian Simone Biles.

Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has previously spoken out about the magazine’s lack of diversity. “I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate or give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers, and other creators,” Wintour wrote in a letter to staff last summer. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I want to take full responsibility for those mistakes.”

An anonymous source involved in the cover negotiations told The Associated Press that the shots released weren’t what Harris’ team agreed upon. Her team, according to the report, wasn't aware the images had been switched until the photos leaked on Saturday (January 9). 

Inside the magazine, Harris reflected on the moment she addressed the nation after her win and gave her perspective on the work ahead. 

“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,” she said. 

“I always say this: I may be the first to do many things –– make sure I’m not the last,” she added.

Photo: Getty Images