Vogue’s April Cover: “Huh?”


Huh? That was my first reaction when I heard that Kim and Kanye were going to grace the April cover of Vogue. I mean, really, this couple could be easily be considered as the “Poster Children” for shameless self- promotion, and are more commonly seen on the cover of weekly gossip magazines. And let’s not forget that Kim basically became ‘famous’ in 2007 after a sex tape she made with her then boyfriend, went viral.

Yes, okay, well, she has a pretty enough face, and is photogenic, but for me, she somehow always looks tacky and cheap, regardless of how expensive and elegant the label (she wears or carries).  I just loved that customized Birkin bag Kanye gave her as a Christmas gift, hand painted with nudes (NOT!) Could it be those larger than life boobs, hips, and behind?

Seth Rogen and James Franco spoof the Vogue April 2014 cover

Then I started thinking about this larger than life ‘thing’, and it all began to make sense (sort of). Inside the April issue, Anna is featuring a plus sized collection (the collaboration between Isabel Toledo and Lane Bryant), and she is featuring Kim and Kanye on the cover, with their plus sized egos (quite frankly, they do everything PLUS-sized, over the top, and in our faces). Without her actually realizing it, she has a theme going on. Maybe the cover lines should have read, Spring Chic: On the Plus Side. Although I must say that a few others, posting their comments online, had their own astute theories about the April cover, calling it one big April Fools’ joke. (Someone actually said, “At least Anna Wintour has a sense of humor. Kim and Kanye are the two biggest April Fools!”). Several went as far as to  suggest Anna has “lost it”, and is “out of her mind”. Out of her mind? No, I don’t think so. Crazy like a fox, perhaps. Anna knows precisely what she is doing. There is almost no such thing as bad publicity these days and there have already been hilarious spoofs on the Annie Leibovitz cover, (check out James Franco and Seth Rogen), so it’s destined to become a ‘classic’. Undoubtedly there will be more to come (I can’t imagine  that Jimmy Fallon doesn’t already have something planned).

Quite frankly, I would prefer to label Kanye West “crazy” if not completely delusional. Look at what he boasted to Ryan Seacrest months ago: “There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like every day … and collectively we’re the most influential with clothing.” He added, “No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a [bikini] pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day… so when we [editor-in-chief of French Vogue ] Carine Roitfeld supports my girl (Roitfeld put Kim on the cover of her new fashion publication, CR Fashion Book ), that’s a breakthrough … there’s a wall of classism that we are breaking through.”

It’s hardly surprising that so much has been written immediately following the news of the Vogue cover coup.  It was pointed out that for years, Anna had banned Kardashian from attending the Costume Institute Gala, “one of the biggest events of the fashion season that attracts every A-Lister imaginable”. Though she finally gave in, and Kim showed up last year with Kanye (she was pregnant and bulging out of her form fitting Givenchy floral dress), she was “conveniently cropped out of Vogue’s Best Dressed gallery”.  Yet just recently, I noticed Kim was actually featured on Vogue.com’s/ Daily Celebrity Style Sightings, wearing a fitted two piece Alaia dress while out and about in Miami.

Polo Ralph Lauren socks and sandals

And last March, there was a vicious rumor, reported by a number of publications, that Anna had labeled Kardashian “the worst thing since socks and sandals.” Certainly, socks and sandals were always considered a big fashion faux pas, but not anymore. Fashion is nothing, if not fickle, and these days, they are not only being shown on some of the most highly influential runways, but are being worn by some of the chicest women, including some of Vogue’s editors and contributors. Oh, and just recently, http://www.style.com’s/ Trends + Shopping column featured “Socks with Sandals – It’s Happening! (with good examples from Prada, Kenzo, Clergerie, Givenchy, etc).

Speaking of fickle, it is obvious that Anna has certainly had a change of heart. However, it remains to be seen how long Kim Kardashian will remain in “Vogue”  (I mean that literally and figuratively obviously). And I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that she is not being awarded the CFDA’s 2014 “Fashion Icon Award”


Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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