On Sunday, Vogue US revealed the news on Instagram, US Vogue posted a cover image featuring a full-length shot of Madame Vice President Harris wearing a casual brown Donald Deal suit and Converse trainers standing in front of a pink satin drape hanging on an aqua green wall, colors emblematic of her sorority at Howard University Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Many have said the picture to be “a washed-out mess of a cover” according to some social media critics, who suspect Vogue of whitening Harris’ skin while editing the image, and that claim Vogue denied proudly. “Kamala Harris is about as light-skinned as women of color come and Vogue still f***ed up her lighting,” one Twitter user posted.
Others have objected to the decision of featuring the first female vice president as well as the first Black and Asian American to be elected to that role wearing Converse, despite Harris’ love of a sneaker on the campaign trail. They described the photo as “amateurish,” “disrespectful” and “anti-black.”
Others are simply underwhelmed by the quality and styling of the image, shot by Lensman Tyler Mitchell, who is popular as the first African American photographer to land a Vogue cover when he photographed Beyoncé for the US Vogue back in August 2018.
“Folks who don't get why the Vogue cover of VP-elect Kamala Harris is bad are missing the point,” Twitter user cited. “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.”
It is said Vogue and Harris’ team worked closely together on the shoot. Vogue also released an article that explained the nod to Harris’ sorority colors and they confirmed that the styling choices were “her own.”
The magazine later released an additional photo, which was a portrait of Harris wearing a powder blue suit by Michael Kors, standing before a table with a gold table cloth and golden curtain. This image, while still simple, feels glossier and more powerful.
“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 forwards, we’re celebrating both images of her as covers digitally.”, a Vogue spokeswoman told WWD.