I actually don’t follow print magazines that closely; I generally look at articles online and only purchase print when something really strikes me. So I was actually surprised to learn that Kim Kardashian — famous and fashionable as she is — had never had a Vogue cover before.
If you haven’t heard, Kim is gracing the cover with her fiance, Kanye West. Given that Vogue is known as a “world fashion and lifestyle” magazine, lauded for its impact in the fashion world, it makes sense that Kim and Kanye — a famous and fashionable couple — would grace the cover of Vogue.
But the choice was met with outrage, not support, to which I sort of did the confused dog head-tilt and cocked a brow.
Why shouldn’t Kim and Kanye be on the cover of Vogue? After all…
- Kim, along with her sisters, has a fashion line being sold at Sears at affordable prices.
- The Kardashian sisters are launching a baby girls’ clothing line to be sold at Babies ‘R’ Us in 24 months’ time.
- Kim has literally worked in or had linked to the fashion industry since 2007.
- Kanye has regularly discussed fashion and had some pretty inspired talks regarding where he thinks the fashion industry should go. He’s no stranger to fashion himself.
- In fact, Kanye has designed clothing himself. Not only did he create a clothing line in 2006, but many of the things he’s designed since — from Air Yeezy to a collection of jeans and hoodies for A.P.C. — have been highly lauded. He’s also actively been involved in the fashion industry for years, studying under some of the biggest designers.
- Of fashion, Kanye has said, “I have synesthesia, I can see sound. So when I do fashion, I want to give you sculptures — it’s like Michelangelo, the church wanted him to paint and he wanted to do sculptures. The difficult thing for me is that I just want to be able to use marble and make sculptures, but due to the fact that I’m a celebrity and all these different things, they’re like, ‘No, you can’t do this, you have to do this kind of line.’ And it’s the first of its kind, so there’s been a lot of confusion about why I want to do it and why I’m so frustrated about it… it’s an overall creative expression.”
- The editor in chief at Vogue, Anna Wintour, said it was Vogue’s idea to do the shoot and “[p]art of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it. I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T.”
- Rarely is one person of color portrayed on any mainstream magazine, let alone two, and on one of the most popular publications! (Out of 52 Vogue covers 10 have had people of color on them, 3 being Rihanna.)
It sounds like most of the people speaking out against this cover (like Sarah Michelle Gellar’s tweet stating she was cancelling her subscription) are simply hating on these people due to preconceived notions. Kanye is a big personality and extremely outspoken. Even if you don’t agree with some things he says, he is exceptionally open, honest, and insightful to many problematic things in media. Meanwhile, Kim is diligent in her fashion work and very ambitious.
I think there’s a bigger demon at work here: people of color being forthright and being able to grace the cover of one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world, well that’s just horrifying, isn’t it?
Photo credit Vogue.