Kamala Harris Vogue cover sparks online stir

A Harris team member, speaking on background, explained that they didn’t know about the image switch until the photographs were leaked over the weekend.

By   |  Published: 12th Jan 2021  9:39 am

New York: US vice president elect Kamala Harris’s team is unhappy about the picture of the country’s soon to be second in command which turned up on the cover of the latest Vogue magazine.

Harris wore a powder blue suit for her cover shoot but the Vogue cover features Harris in a more casual dark pantsuit and her well loved Converse sneakers. She is framed against the backdrop of heavy silken drapes in pink and leaf green – a nod to the VP elect’s college sorority colours.

A Harris team member, speaking on background, explained that they didn’t know about the image switch until the photographs were leaked over the weekend. There was no official comment from Harris’ office.

In a statement, Vogue said it went ahead with the more informal image of Harris for the cover because the photo captured her “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration”.

In both the images, taken by Black photographer Tyler Mitchell, Harris is standing with her hands crossed, looking straight into the camera and smiling. Mitchell posted just one of the covers to Instagram – the one of Harris in a blue suit.

Reactions are pouring in online. Critics are hitting the choice of the casual picture on the cover of the fashion bible as “washed out”, “poor quality”, “too familiar”.

“The cover did not give Kamala D. Harris due respect. It was overly familiar. It was a cover image that, in effect, called Harris by her first name without invitation,” wrote Washington Post columnist Robin Givhan. “In using the more informal image for the print edition of the magazine, Vogue robbed Harris of her roses.”

For Harris’ immediate circle of family, it’s all good, whether in pink or blue. “Sobbing”, Harris’ niece Meena Harris tweeted, in a photo tweet with the Vogue cover and a screenshot of a text excerpt from the cover story.

Harris is set to be sworn in as vice president on January 20. She will be the first ever Indian and Black American and first woman of colour to take oath as the country’s vice president.