Kimye, American Vogue and Starbucks Schnappucinos

kimye american vogue starbucks

kimye american vogue starbucks

I promise this won’t turn into one of my essay length rambles posing as opinion posts but how could I not respond to La Wintour’s divisive choice of cover star, or rather stars, for the April issue of American Vogue? Responses have ranged from delight to outrage to sheer, unbridled, bloodcurdling fury. For me, yesterday was something of an emotional roller coaster. First up we had the unveiling of the aforementioned cover. Then came Starbucks’ announcement that they’re going to start serving booze. On both counts, I made a snap judgement which was then revised several times. The whole experience was pretty confusing. In the case of the latter I initially thought YES! I love Starbucks, I love vino, why didn’t this happen sooner? Then I realised how deeply disgusting the very idea was. Given the myriad of disgusting frappucino flavours already on offer, God only knows what more horrors can be concocted involving alcohol. Peppermint Schnappucino with whipped cream on top anyone? Just urgh.

But enough about Starbucks, let’s talk Vogue. When I saw the Kimye cover my first thought was WTF!? Is nothing sacred anymore? Then I actually engaged my brain which swiftly reminded me that, much as I adore them, fashion glossies are a far cry from purified spaces of boundary pushing fashion commentary. That’s not in any way to criticise. Between advertisers, consumer demographics and the added pressures of reader stealing digital media, it’s the nature of the beast. Many publications respond to these challenges intelligently and entertainingly but no matter how brilliant the writing or beautiful the imagery, fash mags do have their limitations and, of course, the necessity to turn a profit. From a profit turning perspective, Vogue’s Kimye cover is indeed brilliant. Love them or loathe them, you’re gonna buy the issue and thoroughly enjoy the experience of gushing over Kim’s golden skinned gorgeousness or picking every inch of the thing apart. Either way, a sale got made an a couple of hours of one person’s life that bit more enjoyable.

As I said, most of my Friday afternoon was spent feeling very torn about the whole thing. A seriously productive use of time, I’m sure you’ll agree. On the one hand it’s easy and tempting to see the Kimye cover as the epitome of everything wrong with American celebrity culture or, as Bryan Boy put it, #AWondrugs… Awkward moment on the FROW next season impending? But anyway, I digress. Headlines have ranged from lampooning Anna for giving in to Kanye’s demands to sarcastically mourning the death of Amerian Vogue, to basically hailing the forthcoming apocalypse as a result of a “lazy amateur porn star turned fame whore of all fame whores” gracing a cover that should have been reserved for, I dunno, Olivia Palermo. I take issue with this view on several levels. Not least, lazy? This is a girl who has hustled, networked, self branded and shamelessly self promoted her way from, yes, sex tape scandal to fashion’s inner circle via reality TV and one hell of a wardrobe makeover. I’m not saying there isn’t something slightly depressing about that but you can’t deny that Kim Kardashian has worked her infamous derriere off to achieve the impossible. I’m not a particular Kim fan myself, no matter how many sleek Celine ensembles she trots out, but you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due and it definitely is here.

Many of the responses have centred around the idea that American Vogue are desperately trying to get issues off the shelves. Of course, this pop-culture-and-social-media-tastic cover will do that but paradoxically, perhaps putting Kimye centre stage in fact one of the boldest, most boundary pushing moves we’ve seen from American Vogue in decades? Most covers elicit a mildly disinterested “doesn’t so and so look pretty wearing such and such” but this one’s basically made the Internet explode. And once upon a time wasn’t the point of magazines like Vogue to start a conversation, take risks, occasionally maybe even provoke? And there’s no denying, the pictures are utterly gorgeous. Ultimately it’s a clever move from all parties involved and maybe, rather than marking the demise of American Vogue, this cover marks the start of a new and more interesting era.

My main complaint with American Vogue’s April issue is not the cover stars who, however you feel about them, have started more of a conversation than (much as I absolutely heart her) yet another celebration of J-Law. Nope, it’s the hashtag that gets me, #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple may be a worryingly accurate description but 27 characters… Seriously? However, social media misunderstanding aside, there was only decision unveiled yesterday that I found categorically offensive and the culprit was Starbucks.

That’s about enough from me, what do YOU think?

Love Ella. X

8 Thoughts on Kimye, American Vogue and Starbucks Schnappucinos

  1. […] I argued in my response to Kimye’s American Vogue cover, Kim Kardashian is a smart and hugely impressive woman. To go from Paris Hilton’s personal […]

  2. […] it’s great to start a debate (rhyme unintentional) regardless of whether it’s over the Kimye Vogue cover, Miley’s twerking antics or the ongoing hubbub about peacocking at fashion week. All totally […]

  3. Pandora says:

    I like this a lot! You sum up a lot of issues around it really nicely.

  4. Lulu says:

    On the note of Starbucks serving booze:
    The Starbucks by me has been serving it for about a year now and no worries there are no crazy concoctions. I’m personally not a fan of Starbucks but sometimes there is no other option for a coffee fix. At this Starbucks after a certain time…4? or 5? I’m not sure, they begin serving alcohol. Just glasses of wine at ours and you can purchase small plates designed to be paired with the wine. So it isn’t all that bad, still kind of strange to say hey lets go get a drink at Starbucks but if you’re into that sort of manufactured taste/how hipster can I look sort of thing it is great I guess.

  5. RIYKA says:

    I totaly understand the confusment over this one, but I kinda’ lent towrds shock when I saw this cover, I appriciate the fact that these 2 represent pop culture today, the hasgtag is bloody awfull(I hope other mags dont follow), but what really disturbs me is the self love and greediness of these two, it puts emphasis on the whole “me, me, me” culture I guess I am saying they dont inspire me, the cover dosnt inspire me, and its quite sad and a flat representation of fashion, its smells to much of money and selling out to me, but isnt that what vogue is about(ref the september issue which is 80% advertisment), saying that ip, im still confused ?!?!?!

  6. Kat says:

    Well, Kim is a big step up from the Lena Dunham cover! I personally find KK far less aesthetically and morally offensive than Lena.

  7. Lauren says:

    I don’t really have a problem with them being on the cover. I think it was inevitable that they would end up appearing on Vogue at some point. Vogue is seen as the ‘Fashion Bible’ so it needs to stay contemporary. You could argue that putting two of the most controversial (if that’s the right word) stars and #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple – God, that hashtag is the worst part – is a modern and, as you said, provoking move for the magazine.

    But I feel that hashtag is a backwards move for Vogue. It seems like they’re almost trying too hard and attempting to ‘get down with the kids’ which isn’t the ethos of Vogue. They’re supposed to be aspirational and a hashtag doesn’t give off that vibe. That’s also where Kimye may not fit too well. With Kim’s transformation from sex tape maker to reality star and Kanye’s incessant rants, their personalities and careers don’t necessarily fit with Vogue’s target audience and the usual cover stars. At least it’s got everyone talking which is never a bad thing.

  8. Gabi says:

    I always read your texts and rarely (if ever) comment.

    But, since I’m already here…

    I honestly don’t give a sh*&^% about their cover debut – if I could put it like that – and that almost offensive statement might be itself just another rather “aggressive” response to it? Not really. I’m an academic who likes fashion so the more fashion becomes, I don’t know, democratic (in a very broad and poor sense) the more I tend to like it. Yet if you were to tell me ‘look, Kim just launched a BOOK’ then I’d be incredibly pissed off!! So, I guess I agree with you in the sense that yes there’s a market to be achieved, yes there are business to attend (by that I mean numbers) and they are incredibly (if not scarily) popular!!

    What confuses me, though, from the complete ignorant place I’m coming from in regards to the fashion world, is the direction of things after covers like that on a vehicle like Vogue. Popular figures like them (even if by popular we mean ‘mass market popular’) bring a wave of new or curious readers who might no be familiar with Vogue or the concept that the magazine itself carries. So I get the feeling that the boundary is becoming more and more blurred and weird – it’s, more or less, the same effect bloggers have unveiled when they started occupying FROWS in fashion weeks. Garance Dore talked a lot about that.

    I’d love to understand how one becomes a crazy huge fan of someone like Kim – no, I don’t particularly dislike her, not at all – when she clearly lives in a world that is basically her own and that makes me, seriously, laugh, but never relate to. Is it because of her looks? Is it because, like someone said long ago, as a Kardashian she’s very likeable but not talented at all? By the way, how often do you see curvy women parading sleek Celine assembles? I must admit I’m loving all that.

    I might be more confused than ever… But, did I make my point? If not… we can always chat more… |o|


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