Kamala Harris will be sworn in as Vice President on January 20, but on Sunday it was her new Vogue cover making a splash. The February cover, which features the Vice President-elect standing in her signature Converse sneakers in front of pink and green drapes (the colors of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the sorority she was a member of while at Howard University), is being skewered online, with many saying the styling is underwhelming, unflattering and certainly not fitting of the nation's first Madam Vice President.
"I'll shoot shots of VP Kamala Harris for free using my Samsung and I'm 100-percent confident it'll turn out better than this Vogue cover," writer and speaker Wajahat Ali tweeted. Vogue's Instagram account was also flooded with criticism for the cover image, with commenters calling it "horrendous" and "disrespectful" to Harris. Some saw it as a cultural misstep for the magazine, which has long been accused of white-washing and using unflattering images in the rare moments that it does feature Black women on the cover.
According to reporter Yashar Ali, sources confirmed the cover photo was not the one Harris's team expected. "In the cover that they expected, Vice President-elect Harris was wearing a powder blue suit. That was the cover that the Vice President-elect's team and the Vogue team, including [editor in chief] Anna Wintour, mutually agreed upon," Ali tweeted.
Some fashion magazine news....
1. The February Vogue cover featuring VP-elect Kamala Harris has been widely criticized on social media this evening
But according to a source familiar with the publication plans, this is not the cover that the Vice President-elect's team expected pic.twitter.com/lBC9DnfYNC
The cover featuring Harris in a powder blue suit is now being used as the magazine's February digital cover.
4. Here is the Vogue cover Kamala Harris' team thought would be released.
I'm told this cover on the left will be the digital cover, but the much maligned cover on the right has already gone to print and will be the cover available for sale and sent to subscribers. pic.twitter.com/5eWjPMTbdP
Both photographs of Harris were taken by photographer Tyler Mitchell, who in 2018 became the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover when he photographed Beyoncé. Mitchell, who did not immediately reply to Yahoo Life's request for comment, notably only shared the powder blue suit cover on his social media accounts. Replied one Twitter user: "Now that's a cover shot for the most powerful woman in the world."
The accompanying article inside the magazine tells the story of Harris's career, and reminds readers of all the remarkable firsts she has achieved.
"I always say this: I may be the first to do many things — make sure I'm not the last," Harris says in the magazine. "I was thinking of my baby nieces, who will only know one world where a woman is vice president of the United States, a woman of color, a Black woman, a woman with parents who were born outside of the United States."
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (CA) at a rally held at the Southwest College in Los Angeles, CA on May 19, 2019. (Photo by Ted Soqui/SIPA USA)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 24: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is seen after an interview in Russell Building on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA)
United States Senator Kamala Harris (Democrat of California) speaks during a television interview at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / CNP/Sipa USA
June 8, 2020 - Washington, DC, United States: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaking at a press conference with Congressional Democrats unveiling policing reform and equal justice legislation. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)
United States Senator Kamala Harris (Democrat of California) laughs during a news conference at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C., U.S., on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Harris, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat of New York), and United States Senator Cory Booker (Democrat of New Jersey) are working on legislation that would ensure paid sick leave to deal with the Coronavirus. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / CNP/Sipa USA
March 5, 2020 - Washington, DC, United States: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaking at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)
Presidential candidate Kamala Harris reacts to a warm welcome to the Black Women's Power Breakfast co-hosted by Higher Heights and The Collective PAC at the Westin on Nov. 21, 2019 in Atlanta. (Bob Andres/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 16: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., leaves a news conference in the Capitol on the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Thursday, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA)
Oct 25, 2019; Baltimore, MD, U.S.A; Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) arrives for the funeral of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY/Sipa USA
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris leads her march into the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Water Works Park on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. 0921 Steakfry 019 Jpg (Photo by Brian Powers/Des Moines Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA Today Network/Sipa USA)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at the SEIU Unions for All Summit in Los Angeles, California on October 4, 2019. (Photo by Ronen Tivony) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., meets with the Des Moines Register editorial board in Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, at the Register's office in downtown Des Moines. 0811 Kamalaharris 001 Cr2 (Photo by Kelsey Kremer/The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC/USA Today Network/Sipa USA)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 10: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday August 10, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA)
July 31, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden speaks during a commercial break with Democratic presidential candidate U.S. senator Kamala Harris of California during the second night of the Democratic presidential debates at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on Tuesday, July 31, 2019. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA
July 31, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden and Democratic presidential candidate U.S. senator Kamala Harris of California speaks the second night of the Democratic presidential debates at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on Tuesday, July 31, 2019. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA
July 31, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden greets Democratic presidential candidate U.S. senator Kamala Harris of California before the start of the second night of the Democratic presidential debates at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on Tuesday, July 31, 2019. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA
United States Senator from California Kamala Harris hugs Kyrah Cortimiglia as she campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election at Friends of MLK during a round table discussion for women of color. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 28: Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrives at the Capitol to vote on an amendment that would prohibit a U.S. strike on Iran without Congressional authorization on Friday, June 28, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Sipa USA)
Democratic ?Presidential ?candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the Poor People's Campaign Moral Action Congress. On June 17, 2019, nine Democratic ?Presidential ?candidates ?spoke on the opening day of the Poor People's Campaign three-?day Moral Action Congress. ??The ?forum, ?spearheaded by the Revs. Dr. William Barber II and Dr. Liz Theoharis?,? ?includes? ?organizing ?trainings? ?to build power in low-income communities across the country and a hearing before the House Budget Committee.? (Photo by Michael Nigro/Sipa USA)?
U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) addresses supporters while holding a campaign rally at Morehouse College on Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Atlanta, Ga. The Democratic candidate for president is at least the fifth presidential candidate to visit Georgia in the 2020 cycle. (Photo by Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/Sipa USA)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 14: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is seen in the Capitol after the Senate voted to terminate President Trump's southern border wall declaration of emergency on Thursday March 14, 2019.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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Harris was previously profiled in Vogue in 2018, a year after she took office as the junior senator from California. That article closed with a prescient quote from Sen. Cory Booker who said at the time, "I told her this before she got here: Should she choose to become a senator, she would immediately be on the short list for president or vice president for the next 20 years."