The Business of Fashion Podcast
Robin Givhan on the US Capitol Siege and Vogue’s Kamala Harris Cover

Robin Givhan on the US Capitol Siege and Vogue’s Kamala Harris Cover

January 14, 2021

Speaking with Imran Amed, the Washington Post’s senior critic-at-large shares her thoughts on the controversially ‘familiar’ image of the vice president-elect, and explains where it sits within the wider political climate of the United States as it is due to enter a new chapter.

When the cover of American Vogue’s February issue leaked on Saturday, January 9, a flurry of controversy ensued. Many took to social media to deride the image of vice president-elect Kamala Harris, lensed by Tyler Mitchell, for its casual styling, unflattering lighting and lack of gravitas. The criticism focused on the argument that the portrait lacked the stately deference they believed such a political figure — not least the first Black, South Asian female vice-president — should command.Among those to share their thoughts was Robin Givhan, The Washington Post’s senior critic-at-large who penned a column on January 11 in which she said “the cover did not give Kamala D. Harris due respect… It was a cover image that, in effect, called Harris by her first name without invitation.” Givhan, who became the first fashion writer to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006, sat down with Imran Amed in the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, to further discuss the cover’s significance and the wider tumultuous landscape of US politics. 
  • Debating Harris’ portrait is about more than just a critique of the technicalities and production value of a fashion glossy. Its release comes at a time of political division and fraught race relations, just days after a violent right-wing mob stormed Washington D.C.’s Capitol building, an event incited by President Trump, who now faces a second impeachment for his involvement in the incident. “The last few years have been an exhausting, emotionally draining time,” said Givhan. “I was very surprised that [the cover] became such an issue. I was really stunned that people were so exercised about it. When you think about it, it’s [like] pain from a thousand papercuts, and this was the 1001st papercut.”
  • The informality of the image chosen for the print cover carries greater historical significance and weight. Vogue and Anna Wintour defended it as an extension of the Biden-Harris campaign’s platform of accessibility, which Givhan described as a “legitimate” point of view. But, she said, “I think that the upset is rooted not so much in the current moment but its history. Throughout history, Black women in particular were not given the kind of respect that white women were. People had this familiarity with Black women that was not about friendship and equality but was condescending. Understanding the complicated nature of that would give one pause in presenting the first female vice president — a Black woman — in that way.”
  • While the alternative digital cover image, which depicts Harris in a more presidential light and formal style, offers some reprieve, this print issue has significance as a cultural souvenir (“you can’t give a screengrab to your grandchildren,” said Givhan), and there is no real opportunity for a do-over. “There’s no way to make people happy,” said Givhan, adding that it’s important to instead listen to criticism and “recognise where things went astray” in allowing this misstep to happen. “You just have to do better the next time, and the time after that and the time after that.”

External clips courtesy of Good Morning America and ABC7 News

 

Related Articles:
Anna Wintour Speaks on VP Cover Controversy, Amazon and Diversity Efforts
The Risks and Rewards of Dressing American Politicians 

 
Find out more about #BoFVOICES  here.
To contact The Business of Fashion with comments, questions or speaker ideas please email podcast@businessoffashion.com.
 

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

 

Special Edition: Rafat Ali on the Month the World Stopped Travelling

Special Edition: Rafat Ali on the Month the World Stopped Travelling

May 1, 2020

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of the B2B travel news site Skift, talks to BoF Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed about the tourism standstill following the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on travel retail.

 

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

 

Special Edition: Journalist Rana Ayyub on Why Social Distancing Is a Privilege

Special Edition: Journalist Rana Ayyub on Why Social Distancing Is a Privilege

April 3, 2020

In the latest special edition of the BoF Podcast, Indian journalist and author Rana Ayyub joins BoF’s Editor-in-Chief Imran Amed to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the lives thousands of migrant labourers, many of whom work in India's now-shuttered textile industry.

 

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

Special Edition: Luca Solca on ‘The Worst Year in the History of Modern Luxury’

Special Edition: Luca Solca on ‘The Worst Year in the History of Modern Luxury’

March 19, 2020

BoF’s Imran Amed and the Bernstein analyst discuss what the sector should expect as coronavirus threatens sales and supply chains.

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2xNP5Rs, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

A Fashion Month Unlike Any Other | Inside Fashion

A Fashion Month Unlike Any Other | Inside Fashion

March 6, 2020

As wildfires swept across Australia and the coronavirus spread across the globe, Imran Amed and Tim Blanks reflect on how the world’s uncertainties have informed the Autumn/Winter 2020 season.

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2xNP5Rs, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

Inside Iran’s Underground Fashion Industry | BoF VOICES

Inside Iran’s Underground Fashion Industry | BoF VOICES

January 10, 2020

Activist Hoda Katebi speaks passionately about fashion’s ‘revolution-washing,’ while Tehran-based design duo Shirin and Shiva Vaqar lift the lid on the restrictive conditions faced by Iran’s emerging brands at VOICES 2019.

To watch this talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2xNP5Rs, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

2019’s Pivotal Fashion Moments | Inside Fashion

2019’s Pivotal Fashion Moments | Inside Fashion

December 20, 2019

This week on Inside Fashion, BoF’s Imran Amed and Tim Blanks discuss the key themes and events that defined the global fashion industry in 2019.

 

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2xNP5Rs, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

Eileen Fisher Reflects On 35 Years of Implementing Sustainable Thinking | Drive Season 2

Eileen Fisher Reflects On 35 Years of Implementing Sustainable Thinking | Drive Season 2

December 13, 2019

As a sustainability pioneer long before ‘sustainability’ became an industry buzzword, Eileen Fisher and her eponymous brand have been pushing the boundaries for decades. Here’s what she’s learned.

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2xNP5Rs, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

Carole Cadwalladr Asks, Is This the End of Democracy? | BoF VOICES

Carole Cadwalladr Asks, Is This the End of Democracy? | BoF VOICES

December 7, 2019

In the face of major data breaches, investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr brings to light the failure of Western governments to punish Facebook.

To watch Carole's talk at VOICES 2019 on our YouTube channel click here.

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2xNP5Rs, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

DeRay Mckesson on Dismantling the Legacy of Racism in America | BoF VOICES

DeRay Mckesson on Dismantling the Legacy of Racism in America | BoF VOICES

April 8, 2019

Speaking at BoF VOICES, the activist and author unpacks his 'five big ideas' on how to redefine and dismantle the realities of social injustice.

To watch DeRay's talk at VOICES 2018 click here.  

Sign up for BoF’s Daily Digest newsletter here: http://bit.ly/BoFnews.

Ready to become a BoF Professional? For a limited time, enjoy 25% discount on an annual membership, exclusively for podcast listeners. Simply, click here: http://bit.ly/2KoRRBH, select the Annual Package and use code PODCASTPRO at the checkout.

For comments, questions, or speaker ideas, please e-mail: podcast@businessoffashion.com.
For all sponsorship enquiries, it’s: advertising@businessoffashion.com.

Play this podcast on Podbean App