The Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali was first to report on Twitter that Harris' team thought the cover would be of her in a powder blue suit as opposed to the photo of her wearing a black jacket and Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. Some social media users have been vocal about their disappointment at the cover, criticizing the lighting and the casual styling.
Folks who don't get why the Vogue cover of VP-elect Kamala Harris is bad are missing the point. The pic itself isn't terrible as a pic. It's just far, far below the standards of Vogue. They didn't put thought into it. Like homework finished the morning it's due. Disrespectful.
A source close to Harris tells ET that Vogue and her team originally agreed to a print interview and photos, and that what ended up being the print cover was always going to be on the inside. According to the source, the photo of her in a blue suit with the gold backdrop was the agreed upon cover look, and her team never asked for photo approval, but the only thing agreed upon was that the cover photo would be her in the blue suit.
The source says that two teams had been in touch constantly throughout the process, and at no point did Vogue tell Harris’ team they were switching the cover.
"In this moment where the country is so divided, where we need serious leaders, the blue and gold shot represents that," the source says. "That would never have been approved, and Harris’ team is extremely disappointed."
Vogue responded to the controversy on Monday with a statement, noting that the shot of her in the blue suit is also on a digital cover of the issue.
"The team at Vogue loved the images Tyler Mitchell shot and felt the more informal image captured Vice President-elect Harris's authentic, approachable nature -- which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden/Harris administration," the statement reads. "To respond to the seriousness of this moment in history, and the role she has to play leading our country forward, we're celebrating both images of her as covers digitally."
A source close to Vogue also tells ET that the high-fashion magazine's approach to working with Harris and her team was to capture her as a leader and as a person, and as she was most comfortable. The source says they collaborated closely on all creative decisions, including that she would dress and style herself for the shoot, and both looks were selected by the Harris team. According to the source, Vogue selected the image for the print cover that they felt captured her optimism, personality and authenticity.