Anna Wintour did not sell out. Here's why.
When we photographed Kim Kardashian a few years ago, the truth is I wanted to put Kim on the cover. She was a beautiful girl. The shots were gorgeous, but I also knew the luxury brands wanted nothing to do with Kim Kardashian or reality tv. Nothing. So I ended up putting Molly Sims on the cover, a great shot by the legendary Alberto Tolot. I regretted not putting Kim on the cover because in a way, I'd felt like I'd sold-out to the luxury brands. We needed their advertising dollars, and think about it, so does Anna Wintour.
I loved the photos Marc Baptiste took of Kim for Genlux. They are beautiful images. I made a few calls to the paparazzi that day and they came out. I told them to wait in front of the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive exactly at 10:00 and that I'd bring her there. When Kim saw this field of photographers, she started to get into her posing mode, so every five minutes I kept telling her to "go inside her own head" to pretend like they're not even there. I wanted her to have a quiet face amidst all of the chaos.
Kim really wanted the cover. She sent me a beautiful flower arrangement the next day with a nice note. I was really torn. I wanted to have her on the cover.
Fast forward to last year and on the cover of CR magazine, the book that ex-editor of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld heads and there, big as life, is one Kim Kardashian. So if anyone should get the credit for "breaking" the luxury mold and putting the queen of reality on the cover, it should be Carine.
Back to Anna, the advertising dollars that Vogue stands to lose for upsetting the luxury brands is much, much greater than any amount of money made on the newsstand sales. Anna knows that, but she made a strong decision to go with putting Kim on the cover. I just wish she'd left Kanye off. That's the bigger issue.