Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made her Vogue cover debut for the magazine's upcoming February issue

By Maria Pasquini
January 10, 2021 02:45 PM

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is opening up about the road ahead for Americans.

Harris, 56, makes her Vogue cover debut for the magazine’s upcoming February issue, and for the cover image, the former California Senator, who is dressed in a black blazer, color-coordinated pants and white top, poses in her signature footwear: Converse sneakers.

The background she's standing in front of is also a nod to her history. Paying tribute to the sorority she joined at Howard University, she's pictured standing in front of an apple green and salmon pink background, which are the colors of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Another photo from the cover shoot shows Harris smiling while wearing a powder blue suit.

Both images were taken by Tyler Mitchell, who became the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vogue in 2018, which featured Beyoncé. Mitchell also went on to shoot Zendaya's May 2019 cover.

For the cover story, Harris spoke about how she and President-elect Joe Biden will make battling the coronavirus pandemic their top priority during their first 100 days in office. “The first line of approach has to be to get control of this pandemic,” she told the magazine.

“We think about the first 100 days in terms of what we need to do to support mayors and governors and local officials around their distribution and their public health systems,” Harris added. “When we get control of this pandemic, that’s going to be a critical factor in being able to reopen our economy.”

Although conducted prior to the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol last week, in the interview, Harris addressed the divide that exists in the country, which has continually been inflamed by President Donald Trump throughout the course of his time in office.

“At the risk of oversimplifying it, you don’t meet hate with hate,” Harris said. “You don’t meet one line of division with another line of division. We believe that the vast majority of American people don’t agree with that approach, don’t accept it, and don’t like it.”

“We can agree that we have more in common than what separates us,” the California senator later added. “And agree that it’s not in the best interest of who we are as a nation to have any one group suffer for who they are.”

Reflecting on the historic victory speech she gave last year, Harris recalled the “great responsibility” she felt to not only be the first woman vice president but also the first Black person and first person of Asian descent to hold the office.

“It was very important for me to speak to the moment, and the moment includes understanding that there is a great responsibility that comes with being a first,” she said.

“I always say this: I may be the first to do many things—make sure I’m not the last,” Harris continued. “I was thinking of my baby nieces, who will only know one world where a woman is vice president of the United States, a woman of color, a Black woman, a woman with parents who were born outside of the United States.”

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
| Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty

Speaking to Vogue, former First Lady Michelle Obama said of Harris, “this is a woman who knows what she’s doing.”

“Vice President Harris has already been the ‘first’ many times in her career,” Mrs. Obama said. “It can’t be about trying to please everybody or prove to certain people you’re good enough for the job. And the vice president wouldn’t be where she is today if she let that kind of thing get to her.”

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As for her relationship with Biden, Harris said that the former vice president has confidence she will make the perfect “partner for him.”

In addition to being “raised the same way, with the same values” when it comes to “family and hard work,” Harris said that she will never hold back from sharing her opinions with Biden.

“[I] will always speak truth, always give him my opinion, which will be based on fact and knowledge and life experience, and do it in a way that allows him, when he makes a decision, to make it with full information about the impact—and he has asked me to do that,” she shared.