KARDASHIAN FASHION KOUP: The fashion world and blogosphere may have been surprised when Vogue put Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on its April cover, but WWD has learned that both Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar were considering a Kim Kardashian cover, too. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Kardashian had been in serious talks since the fall with Bazaar, which had slated the reality star for its February cover.
This story first appeared in the March 27, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Asked for comment whether it was considering Kardashian for the magazine’s cover, Bazaar executive editor, special projects Laura Brown said simply, “Kim and Kanye are the greatest example of conscious coupling. We wish them all the best.”
A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair said the magazine does not comment on speculation about its cover choices.
The pitch made by Bazaar’s editor in chief Glenda Bailey included a beauty shot of Kardashian for the cover and a spread, all shot by Terry Richardson. A source said Bailey had pushed for a close-up versus a long shot because the then-pregnant Kardashian looked “overweight.” That didn’t sit well with Kardashian — nor did the choice of photographer. Although Richardson is a friend of the Kardashian clan, a source told WWD that there were “concerns” over the photographer’s well-publicized unsavory behavior. She also wanted to work with a new photographer — Richardson shot the Kardashian Kollection Sears campaign last fall.
Another reason why Kardashian in the end nixed Bazaar is because “Glenda doesn’t go to the shoots,” a source said, explaining that at Vogue, Kardashian would be able to work with Grace Coddington, whom she admires.
A Vogue spokeswoman said putting Kardashian and West on the cover was editor in chief Anna Wintour’s idea.
Once Wintour warmed to the idea, Kardashian dropped Bazaar and Bailey was left to scramble for a February cover. The fashion title used Canadian model Daria Werbowy, a surprise considering its usual run of celebrity covers, which have recently included Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, Kate Hudson, Madonna and Miley Cyrus.
With Bazaar out of the picture, another KK suitor materialized: Vanity Fair. Like Vogue, Vanity Fair would use Annie Leibovitz for the shoot, so that wasn’t an issue. But, according to an insider, the real holdup came from within VF’s editorial team, which was split over whether it should put Kardashian on the cover.
In a meeting that lasted an hour, editor in chief Graydon Carter and top staffers debated the merits of putting Kardashian — with her entire family or with just West — on the cover of one of its summer issues. At one point, Carter asked the staff to raise their hands if they thought it was a good idea.
“It was mixed,” an insider noted, adding that the staff had been “spooked” from the backlash it received when Paris Hilton was on the cover of the magazine’s Spanish edition in 2011.
The debate ended when news began to trickle out in early 2014 that Kardashian had already been shot for Vogue’s April cover. And the rest, as they say, is reality.