It got attention, although it failed to get sales. But Anna insists it’s an exercise in survival because if she didn’t provoke a negative reaction on purpose no one would talk about or buy Vogue at all.
Anna admitted, “I see the role of Vogue to reflect what’s going on in the culture. The first celebrity that I put on the cover of Vogue was Madonna, and that was considered completely controversial at the time, too. It’s such a long time ago probably no one remembers, but she was a very controversial figure. Now she’s part of the establishment.”
She added, “I think if we just remain deeply tasteful and just put deeply tasteful people on the cover, it would be a rather boring magazine!” Admitting that “Nobody would talk about us… It’s very important that people do talk about us.”
Anna explained further, “Going back to Estée Lauder’s decision to make Kendall Jenner the face of Estée Lauder. What a fantastic decision that was! They have a wonderful brand that’s very traditionally American, and they decided they want to shake it up and reach a different audience. Now and again one has to do things like that. I think it’s part of the excitement and part of being a journalist. I hope another Kim Kardashian comes along this year!”
Sources alleged that it would be one of the most-successful covers ever; even outselling the First Lady, Michelle Obama. However, sources were premature and wildly overestimated the numbers. It sold fewer than 300,000 copies (with a “success” being closer to 500,000 to 1 million).