By now, everyone has seen or heard that the April 2014 issue of Vogue features Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on its cover. It has ended up sparking a huge debate as to whether or not a reality TV star is an appropriate fashion icon to grace the cover of a legendary and highly respected fashion magazine.
Vogue is not new to controversy. A driving force in fashion, it was one of the first magazines to begin gracing its cover with actresses on a regular basis. The publication also received a lot of flack for using Gisele Bundchen and LeBron James on the cover of its 2008 "Shape Issue." Critics claimed that Gisele's statuesque figure coupled with uber-athletic James didn't accurately portray the shapes of readers. However, that controversy hasn't really hurt the magazine's credibility. Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is touted as a trendsetter, and she jumps on trends before they are trends. This cover could signal a changing of the guard in terms of influential people in fashion.
Denver fashion designer and founding member of the Colorado Fashion Association Mona Lucero sees this cover as just that. "Actresses have been on the cover of Vogue on a regular basis for some time now. I think this is due to that people are interested in their celebrity and there aren't a lot of 'super models' to capture our imagination at the moment like there were in the 90's. I believe that professional models would love to have that coveted spot, but Kim Kardashian was a reality TV star who is now a true celebrity and Kanye West is a legitimate artist. Like it or not, they are fashionable and Vogue is a fashion magazine. Personally, if they're happy together and beautiful, I think it's wonderful to see that!"
On the other hand, Texas based beauty blogger Shari Feaster states, "I don't look to either of them for fashion. I think they're both ridiculous, and she's been trying to get a cover for years." Many people share this animosity. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted that she was cancelling her Vogue subscription.
One thing is clear, however. The face and influence of trendsetters is changing. These days, fashion bloggers can get front row seats to Fashion Week, which were once reserved for elite fashion editors and buyers. Reality TV is big business, and people like the Kardashians are highly influential on every day style. Whether or not Kim Kardashian represents high fashion, she influences many trends and choices. Anna Wintour is either at the precipice of a new trend, or this was an epic fail.
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