Melania Trump refused Vogue shoot as first lady as she wasn't offered cover like Jill Biden
After first lady Jill Biden secured a Vogue cover for its August issue, she and the magazine attracted a lot of criticism for not featuring her predecessor Melania Trump for the four years when Donald Trump was president. But Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who worked at Vogue and was a close confidante of Melania, has claimed that it was the former FLOTUS who rejected a shoot for the reputed fashion magazine because like Jill, she was not promised space on the cover.
Wolkoff wrote in her book ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady’: “Vogue reached out to Melania, hoping to schedule an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot of the First Lady in the White House, with writer Rob Haskell shadowing her for a few days to write a profile. All that sounded great, but the magazine could not guarantee that Melania would appear on the cover.”
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She continued, “For the record, not all First Ladies are put on the cover of Vogue. Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, yes. Laura and Barbara Bush, no. Melania wasn’t going to do anything for Vogue or any other magazine if she wasn’t going to be on the cover. ‘Give me a break!’ she texted. Forget it.’”
Wolkoff also mentioned the former model’s other reason to decline the shoot was Stormy Daniels, who got featured on Vogue's October 2018 issue. The adult movie star was allegedly romantically involved with Trump in 2006 - a year after Melania tied the knot with the former president. “Annie Leibovitz shot the porn hooker. I'm so glad I didn't do that profile in Vogue. You know, they came back two months ago and asked me to do it again. ‘It might be a cover,’ they said. Are you kidding me? I don't give a f**k about Vogue or any other magazine. They would never put me on the cover,” the 51-year-old had said of her decision, according to Wolkoff.
Meanwhile, apart from Jill, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are the two first ladies, who have appeared on Vogue’s covers in the past. But other first ladies, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush, were also featured in the pages of Vogue while their husbands were in the White House. Not just that, Vice President Kamala Harris has also adorned the magazine’s cover, which was released to the world days before the January 20 inauguration of her and President Joe Biden.
When asked why the magazine had taken a four-year hiatus during the Trump presidency, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said it was due to the former president's "dishonesty," and "shocking lack of empathy." Explaining why she chose these women for her magazine while giving Melania a miss, she said, “Obviously these are women that we feel are icons and inspiring to women from a global perspective. I also feel even more strongly now that this is not a time to try — and I think one has to be fair, one has to look at all sides — but I don't think it's a moment not to take a stand. Those of us that work at Condé Nast believe that you have to stand up for what you believe in and you have to take a point of view.”