Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is ‘extremely disappointed’ with her panned Vogue cover, but still hopes that it will serve as a sign that ‘dreams can be achieved’, a source has revealed to DailyMail.com.
The 56-year-old’s debut cover shoot for the magazine sparked outrage when it debuted over the weekend, with hundreds of social media users hitting out at Vogue and its editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, accusing them of ‘white-washing’ Harris in the images – which were criticized for being far below the publication’s usual standards.
Harris and her team have yet to officially address the furor surrounding the shoot, however a source close to the VP-elect admitted that they were left ‘extremely disappointed’ by the chosen cover shot that features on the front of the print publication – although they confirmed that the outfits worn by Harris were in fact chosen by her own team, not Vogue.
Controversy: Kamala Harris was ‘extremely disappointed’ with her Vogue cover and the resulting backlash, a source has revealed to DailyMail.com
‘Disrespectful’: Vogue released two covers, one for the print issue, and one digital alternative (pictured), which were slammed by critics who suggested Harris’ skin had been ‘lightened’
‘She is… they are of course extremely disappointed with the photo,’ the source said, while adding that Harris hopes the backlash around the image doesn’t take away completely from the ‘historic’ moment.
‘This is a really important [moment] for her,’ they continued. ‘Vogue symbolizes so much for young women and women of color. These are the type of magazines that don’t always have women of color on the cover. Not just this magazine but other magazines like it, so this was a big moment for her.’
According to the source, Harris hopes that the cover will still serve as an ‘inspiration’ to people of all genders, races, and ages, and demonstrate that ‘your dreams are achievable’.
Two different cover shots for Vogue’s February issue emerged over the weekend, one that will feature on the front of the print issue of the magazine, and a second that serves as the digital cover.
On the print cover, which was the first to surface on Twitter, Harris – who is the first Vice President of color in US history – is seen wearing a shiny black suit jacket, a white T-shirt, black cropped pants, and a pair of Converse sneakers.
She is pictured posing in front of swathes of green and pink fabric, which are meant to represent the colors of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first historically African American Greek-lettered sorority.
The image was quickly condemned by horrified social media users, who insisted that the low-quality photo fell short of Vogue’s usual style standards, with some accusing the publication of ‘white-washing’ Harris’ skin.
It was then claimed by journalist Yashar Ali that the cover in question had not actually been approved by Harris and her team – who had been under the impression that Vogue was going to use the alternative shot, the one chosen as the digital cover, for the front of the magazine.
Details: Journalist Yashar Ali tweeted a photo of the print cover on Sunday and claimed that Harris’ team had actually signed off on a different image than the one used
Outrage: Dozens of fans came out to condemn the cover, saying the low-quality photo fell short of Vogue’s usual style standards and appeared to have lightened Harris’ skin
‘In the cover that they expected, Vice President-elect Harris was wearing a powder blue suit,’ Ali tweeted alongside the first cover.
‘That was the cover that the Vice President-elect’s team and the Vogue team, including [Editor-in-Chief] Anna Wintour, mutually agreed upon…which is standard for fashion magazines.’
Many were in agreement that the second cover, which shows Harris in a powder blue suit posing in front of a gold background, was far more suitable and flattering, raising questions about why it was relegated to the front of the digital issue.
DailyMail.com has reached out to representatives for Harris and Vogue for comment.
When the cover first emerged several Twitter users questioned whether it was real, saying the quality of the photo and the styling seemed way too low for America’s leading fashion magazine.
‘Wait that Kamala Vogue cover is real?!’ one user questioned. ‘I thought it was fake —that’s how bad it is. Did they just ask her to send them photos her husband took or..?’
‘Vogue has Kamala Harris in some f**king Converse. Someone needs to throw a cinderblock at Anna Wintour,’ another wrote.
‘Kamala looks beautiful in whatever she wears- and I love that she’s brought Chucks back- but this Vogue cover is unworthy of the first woman, POC, Vice President of the United States,’ a third added.
Activist Charlotte Clymer tweeted: ‘Folks who don’t get why the Vogue cover of VP-elect Kamala Harris is bad are missing the point.
‘The pic itself isn’t terrible as a pic. It’s just far, far below the standards of Vogue. They didn’t put thought into it. Like homework finished the morning it’s due. Disrespectful.’
When the cover first emerged several Twitter users questioned whether it was real
Some critics slammed Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour for putting Harris in sneakers
Several users pointed out that the lighting washed out Harris’ skin
Author Wajahat Ali called the cover ‘a mess up’ and criticized its coloring
Activist Charlotte Clymer said the cover is ‘far, far below the standards of Vogue’
Others critics submitted photos that would have been better to use on the cover
Some users shared various photos of Harris that would have been better for the cover, while others noted that her skin appeared to have been lightened in the one that’s set to go to print.
‘What a mess up. Anna Wintour must really not have Black friends and colleagues,’ author Wajahat Ali wrote in response to Yashar Ali’s tweet.
‘Kamala Harris is about as light skinned as women of color come and Vogue still f**ked up her lighting. WTF is this washed out mess of a cover?’ another user, E. Vaughan, tweeted.
‘Vogue knows Kamala Harris loves her sorority, suits, comfortable pants and chuck taylors. So they just jumbled it all together for the cover. Except they couldn’t decide whether she is going to a luxe French salon, the Senate floor, or taking a jog.’
Several critics pointed out that this isn’t the first time Vogue has faced backlash over its handling of minority cover stars.
‘Anyone shocked by the poor quality of Kamala’s Vogue cover hasn’t paid attention to Anna Wintour’s bulls**t w/people of color. It spans decades. Team Kamala should’ve known better,’ a user named Trish wrote.
Some even called for Wintour to be fired.
‘Anna Wintour needs to go,’ a particularly frustrated critic wrote. ‘If the only time her team can properly style a black women is when she’s covered in couture then her tenure has ran it course.’
Several critics pointed out that this isn’t the first time Vogue has faced backlash over its handling of minority cover stars
Wintour came into the cross-hairs of America’s reckoning on race over the summer after she was accused of discriminating against employees because of the color of their skin.
The 71-year-old from London, who has been at the helm of Vogue for more than three decades, responded to the outrage by issuing an extraordinary mea culpa in June.
In a company-wide memo, Wintour admitted to allowing ‘hurtful and intolerant’ behavior at the magazine and conceded that she had not done enough to champion black staffers and designers.
‘I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too,’ Wintour began.
‘I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.’
Anna Wintour came into the cross-hairs of America’s reckoning on race over the summer after she was accused of discriminating against employees because of the color of their skin
However Wintour’s letter did little to quell the controversy surrounding her decision to remain in her role – and in October, a group of 18 black journalists who have worked with her over the years accused her of favoring employees who are thin, white, and from elite backgrounds in a piece published by the New York Times.
Eleven of them called for her resignation following offensive incidents involving her use of the word ‘pickaninny’, and other cultural appropriation controversies, including outrage over a 2017 Vogue shoot that featured Karlie Kloss posing in a geisha outfit, with her face in pale makeup and her hair dyed black.
The photo shoot in Japan drew immediate accusations of ‘yellowface’, however Wintour reportedly shut down concerns from her staff, insisting that the pictures could not be cut because it would incur an ‘enormous expense’.
Wintour responded to the Times piece with another apology, writing: ‘I strongly believe that the most important thing any of us can do in our work is to provide opportunities for those who may not have had access to them.
‘Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work.’
In December Wintour was promoted to become the first-ever chief executive of Condé Nast, in addition to her roles as Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Condé Nast artistic director.
Her new title, global chief content officer of Condé Nast and global editorial director of Vogue, gave her control over all of the publications 25 editions across the globe.