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André Leon Talley praised Vogue magazine's controversial cover featuring Senator Kamala Harris'.

The Afro-Indian vice president-elect is pictured smiling apprehensively with her hands clasped in front of her on the February 2021 issue. Instead of the glam look, she is clad in casual work clothes and black Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers.

The controversial "working girl" cover sparked fury on social media, with many saying the cover was "disrespectful" and even racist.

But Talley, a former editor-at-large for American Vogue, supported his former boss, Anna Wintour, in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday.

"It's GREAT. JUST GREAT. GREAT," he wrote, after Wintour responded to the backlash in a statement on Tuesday. Talley said the cover will inspire young women around the world to wear work clothes rather than expensive designer clothing.

"Her work uniform with her ubiquitous Converse sneakers is aspirational. I predict its [sic] going to set a trend for all young women all over the world, [who] are going to dress like Kamala Harris," he wrote.

Talley, 71, defended 26-year-old aspiring photographer Tyler Mitchell -- the first Black photographer to shoot a cover for American Vogue in the magazine's history.

Talley said Mitchell's layman photography "comes from a universe that is new. He is not aligned with the titans of @vogue photographers before him... His work must be seen through the prism of 2021."

Harris' frantic staffers contacted Vogue editors on Monday after the cover leaked over the weekend. They demanded to know why Vogue chose a "test photo" for its print edition rather than the agreed upon photo of Harris wearing a powder blue pantsuit. The latter photo was chosen for the online digital edition instead.

There were calls for Wintour to step down, but Talley said she isn't going anywhere.

"All I can say is Anna Wintour is not abdicating. And I wish I was there, at Vogue, to celebrate w/the team," he wrote.
 

BACKGRID

Former Vogue staffers are still angry over a writer's treatment of this old photo of Kendall Jenner showing off a gold tooth at a London Fashion Week party hosted by Burberry in February 2017.

Vogue magazine's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour apologized after former Vogue staffers complained about racism and discrimination.

In a recent NY Times article, former staffers, who are Black, complained that Wintour didn't "keep pace with the public's changing issues with racism" and cultural misappropriation.

They point to the image of Kendall Jenner wearing a gold tooth -- a dental accessory that is commonly associated with Black people.

BACKGRID

A Vogue contributor wrote in an article at the time: "The flashing teeth felt like a playful wink to the city's free-spirited aesthetic - or perhaps a proverbial kiss to her rumored boyfriend A$AP Rocky."

Black staff members complained about the article. One Black staffer contacted magazine executives saying "the story insensitively endorsed an instance of cultural appropriation."

Newspress / BACKGRID

According to the Times, one former employee contacted Wintour by email to explain why some Black staffers were offended by the story: "If Kendall wants to do something stupid, fine, but our writers (especially white ones) don't need to [weigh] in and glorify it or ascribe reasons to it that read culturally insensitive."

But Wintour was not receptive of their complaints. After several email exchanges, she wrote, "Well I honestly don't think that's a big deal."

Condé Nast, which owns Vogue, said in a statement: "The coverage itself is not cultural appropriation."

The implication is that Kendall herself misappropriated Black culture by wearing the gold tooth.

@TheHapaBlonde / BACKGRID

Rihanna isn't fazed by people speculating if she's pregnant because she "dreams" of becoming a mom one day. At 31, the Barbadian pop star still has time to become a mom in the foreseeable future.

@TheHapaBlonde / BACKGRID

The "Work" singer has been at the center of pregnancy rumors over the past couple of months. The rumors intensified when she was spotted with what appeared to be a baby bump that turned out to be a FUPA (fat in upper pubic area).

The U.S. Vogue cover girl addressed the speculation with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Winter in the November 2019 issue of the magazine.

While Rihanna acknowledged that "a lot of woman get very defensive" about pregnancy talk, she insisted she's fine with it - because she secretly wishes the rumors were true.

Jawad Elatab / BACKGRID

"It's personal, it's our bodies, and of course it's our time," she told TV show Extra. "It's not necessarily everyone's dream to be a mom... but it's mine, so I'm fine. Anna just wants to know what the people want to know," she said.

@TheHapaBlonde / BACKGRID

The Vogue cover - Rihanna's sixth for the fashion publication - is also her favorite cover of them all, because she's showcasing her own Fenty fashion line.

"To see her (Anna) be so supportive — it's great to see us supporting each other, and it's always an honor," the star continued. "This is unlike any cover I have done with Vogue (because) I am wearing my own stuff."

No photo

Rihanna wears a Fenty tulle coat. Forevermark x Jade Trau earrings. Hair, Yusef Williams; makeup, Kanako Takase. Fashion Editor: Tonne Goodman. Photographed by Ethan James Green, Vogue, November 2019


 

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