- Kamala Harris felt "belittled" by Vogue after her February 2021 cover leaked, a new book claims.
- She was reportedly "wounded" by the magazine choosing a photo of her in skinny jeans and Converse.
- According to the authors, Anna Wintour personally picked the image to make Harris look "relatable."
Politico reviewed an excerpt from "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future," an upcoming book written by New York Times journalists Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns. It dives into the controversy surrounding Harris' Vogue magazine cover, which sparked in January 2021 before she and President Biden were officially inaugurated.
According to the authors, Harris wasn't pleased when she found out the photo of her wearing a black blazer, white top, tapered black pants, and her signature Converse sneakers would feature on one of the two magazine's February edition covers two weeks prior to the inauguration, as reported by Politico.
The photo, taken by Vogue's first Black cover photographer, Tyler Mitchell, was leaked on Twitter before the magazine hit the stands. At the time, journalist Yashar Ali tweeted out that "a source familiar with the publication plans" said Harris' team and Vogue had not agreed upon the cover photo.
—Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 10, 2021
According to Politico's report of the excerpts, the authors of the upcoming book described it as "an approachable but less than grand depiction of the incoming vice president."
"Harris was wounded," the authors wrote. "She felt belittled by the magazine, asking aides: Would Vogue depict another world leader this way?"
The book goes on to claim Harris' incoming press secretary, Symone Sanders, spoke with Anna Wintour — the magazine's global editorial director — about the vice president's disapproval of the photo, but that the fashion mogul said she'd personally chosen it for the cover because Harris looked "relatable."
Sanders and representatives for Harris and Wintour did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Harris and her team's apparent frustration with Vogue's choice reportedly caused a ripple effect of tension with President Biden's team. In the wake of the January 6 riots, the book authors claim an advisor to the incoming president said it was "not the time to be going to war with Vogue over a comparatively trivial aesthetic issue."
Harris' Vogue cover received mixed reviews at the time
Insider previously reported many supporters of the vice-president said the leaked cover didn't "do her justice" and were even critical of the lighting used.
However, others thought it celebrated her style, and shared appreciation for the pink and green color scheme of the set design that gave a subtle nod to her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority days, Vogue reported.
Wintour spoke to The New York Times about the criticism the photo had received at the time, and said "it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the Vice President-Elect's incredible victory."
Ultimately, in the aftermath of the response, Vogue decided to sell a limited-edition digital "inaugural issue" for $7.99 with the other cover image from the shoot, which featured her wearing a powder-blue suit.
"In recognition of the enormous interest in the digital cover, and in celebration of this historic moment, we will be publishing a limited number of special edition inaugural issues," a spokesperson for Vogue told Insider at the time via email.