Opinion: Has Vogue drifted away from pure fashion?

Sanjana Iyer is a sophomore fashion merchandising major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected]

Sanjana Iyer

This month, Vogue surprised us all. As one of the most reliable sources for fashion trends, the magazine has evolved beautifully over the last century and has always dedicated itself purely to fashion.

So when the April issue was released with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on its cover, the entire magazine’s credibility came into question.

I must admit, my own initial reaction to this was completely and undoubtedly negative. I wondered if Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue USA, had simply run out of candidates and decided to finally grant Kim Kardashian her one true wish of being on the cover.

It doesn’t make logical sense that this authentic and influential magazine that has stood firmly as a symbol of elegance, class and trend-setting in the world of fashion would feature two individuals its cover story who are the exact opposite of the magazine’s message.

Kim Kardashian is the first American socialite and reality TV star to be featured on the cover of Vogue. While she certainly has a large fan base, many Vogue subscribers argued that her controversial background and lack of talent in the entertainment industry made her an unworthy and ineligible candidate for such a feature.

Audiences have begun to question what Vogue even stands for, whether it is still a reliable source of information or merely a sell out. Did Wintour agree to this feature only to attract a larger audience, or does she actually consider Kardashian a legitimate fashion icon?

Vogue is one of few publications that has always stayed true to its priority: fashion. In this day and age, it is easy to get carried away and mix up fashion with entertainment.

Until now, no one really doubted Vogue’s credibility as the most influential leader of fashion trends, but this cover will probably sell more than any other cover this year.

Wintour definitely knew that putting a controversial celebrity on the cover would increase sales in leaps and bounds. She was also completely aware of how popular both Kardashian and West are in their respective careers. Even if they weren’t before, they certainly are after this release.

When it comes to skyrocketing sales, Wintour nailed it. She marketed the Vogue brand in a way guaranteed to reap rewards.

But is that really what Vogue is about? Why would one fashion influencer need to feature another? Kardashian is certainly influential in the world of fashion, but is Vogue now encouraging us to blindly follow a reality TV star just because she wears the most expensive brands?

Has Vogue always been about having a selling point? As a symbol of authenticity and class, it definitely proved to be a bit of a sellout and certainly a letdown this month.