Ok, I made some points about the Vogue cover with Kimye the other day, and I thought I’d expand on them and how I view the counter argument.
For me I’m not bothered by it, Vogue is a commercial enterprise and as such it and its owner Conde Nast have a requirement to earn money for their shareholders etc, and this is expected to sell a lot more copies than usual. Lets not forget the old phrase all PR is good PR as well and EVERYONE that has an interest in the industry is talking about it and looking at it. In terms of pure business and backed by being allowed to do it by her bosses Wintour has pulled off a commercial success in making Vogue the most talked about thing in fashion again and shifting product. Anna Wintour is the high priestess of this industry for a reason, I’m not sure after so much success as an editor I’m ready to say she has failed.
As for the debate as to whether they are fit cover stars well that is certainly more subjective, personally, and as ever I do not demand you agree, I actually think to part of this world they do represent the current face of fashion, with clothing brands, wearing designers, listing designers in songs, perfume ranges etc. Now that face of fashion may not be couture but we’ll come on to a point about possible elitism in fashion as another post because that’s thousands of words on its own. I see that for many people Vogue represents the high-end of fashion and they like I do buy it because its full of beautiful things we could never afford, its our window to the genius our purses and wallets deny. I’m not going to question them being on the cover though as I do think they represent one section of fashion, and I love diversity.
Diversity is key, US Vogue is much better than UK Vogue on this but it is pretty much an endless procession of white women in clothes most of us couldn’t fit in, and Kanye & Kim clearly represent far more diversity than that, this can only be a good thing, and if you look at what industry stalwarts like Iman, Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn are saying then Vogue covers are an amazing place to start challenging the status quo. (for more on that read my diversity in fashion post looking at their campaign).
However for me it comes down to this, Vogue can at times represent so many other bad things I’m not sure sticking a couple of celebs with questionable fashion choices on the cover represents the best reason to cancel a subscription, not after using fur, clothes made in sweatshops, body image, restrictive ideas of beauty, failing to push the gender issue. For me they are the dark parts of the fashion world and Vogue is part of the failure to change that. I am aware though as an occasional reader I’m guilty of hypocrisy on this issue.
Well those are some of my thoughts, I’d love to hear yours, and I’m more than open to posting responses in a blog as a follow up if your interested. So feel free to get in touch and lets create a debate about the issues at stake here and what all sides have to contribute.