Many have called out the Global director of Vogue and Condé Nast's worldwide chief content officer for Harris’ look on the cover, which many called “disrespectful.” On Tuesday (Jan. 12), Wintour issued a statement to the New York Times addressing the criticism saying that the Vogue team“ understood the reaction.”
Harris’ Vogue cover debut, shot by celebrity photographer, Tyler Mitchell, shows the California Senator dressed in a black blazer, color-coordinated pants, a white top, wearing her signature choice of shoes— Converse sneakers.
"Obviously we have heard and understood the reaction to the print cover and I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the Vice President-Elect's incredible victory," Wintour said.
The 71-year-old explained that there had not been a formal agreement about what final cover photos would be.
“When the two images arrived at Vogue, 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 which we are all in the midst — as we still are — of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute," she said.
An additional photo from the cover shoot shows Harris glowing and smiling wearing a powder blue Michael Kors Collection suit.
"And we felt to reflect this tragic moment in global history, a much less formal picture, something that was very, very accessible and approachable and real, really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign and everything that they are trying to, and I'm sure will, achieve."
Harris’ niece, Meena Harris, appeared on the Today show on Jan. 12, also speaking out about the controversial Vogue covers surrounding her aunt.
"It's a big moment where we have elected the first woman in history, the first Black woman in history, and South-Asian woman, to hold the office of VP in our country's history, that is a huge historic moment," Meena explained. "It deserves the proper celebration of that moment especially for a magazine that often has not had Black women on the cover."