US Vice President Kamala Harris' cover photograph on the latest edition of Vogue lit up the internet with duelling interpretations of how she was represented even as Harris' own team is said to be less than thrilled about the way things turned out.
Now, Vogue editor Anna Wintour has responded to the backlash and defended Harris’ look on the cover.
She told the New York Times, "All of us felt very, very strongly that the less formal portrait of the vice-president-elect really reflected the moment that we were living in.”
“We felt to reflect this tragic moment in global history, a much less formal picture... really reflected the hallmark of the Biden/Harris campaign and everything they were trying to - and I'm sure they will – achieve,” she added.
Harris wore a powder blue Michael Kors pantsuit 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.
The Vogue team pointed out that the casual picture featuring Harris in a Donald Deal blazer - "styling choices that were her own" - are a "tribute to a formative chapter of Harris's life: her time as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc's Alpha chapter at Howard University".
Harris team members who were involved in the logistics of the photo shoot, 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 short article that introduced the cover photograph, Vogue explained that the concept was to honour "Harris' college days and the powerful women who comprise the ranks of sororities like Alpha Kappa Alpha."
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 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.
Some critics have hit the choice of the casual picture on the cover of the fashion bible as "washed out", "poor quality", "too familiar".
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.
With IANS inputs