With the release of Jill Biden‘s Vogue cover, Melania Trump remains the only First Lady in recent history not to be featured in the fashion bible during her time in the White House, but she was the one who allegedly turned down a shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the magazine because she wasn’t guaranteed the cover.
It was widely believed that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour had snubbed Mrs. Trump by not asking her to be featured in the magazine, but her former senior adviser and friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff insisted that wasn’t the case.
Winston Wolkoff, who worked at Vogue for years before her foray into politics, claimed in her tell-all book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady, that Mrs. Trump refused to appear in the magazine if she wasn’t going to grace the cover, SheKnows reported.
Who snubbed who? Melania Trump, 51, turned down a shoot with Vogue when she was First Lady, her former senior adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff claimed in her tell-all book
Debut: Just months after becoming First Lady, Jill Biden has landed her first Vogue cover, an honor that was never given to her predecessor Mrs. Trump
The author also alleged that the 51-year-old former model was later ‘glad’ that she turned down the shoot with Leibovitz after she photographed her husband’s alleged ex-mistress Stormy Daniels for Vogue’s October 2018 issue.
According to Winston Wolkoff, the magazine reached out to Mrs. Trump early on in her husband’s presidency, when she was still working as her adviser. (Winston Wolkoff resigned from the position in February 2018.)
‘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,’ Winston Wolkoff wrote.
‘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,’ she added. ‘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.”‘
In the book, Winston Wolkoff later recalled Mrs. Trump’s reaction to Vogue profiling Daniels, the adult film star who claimed to have had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, while he was married.
Tell-all: Winston Wolkoff (pictured in 2008) wrote about Mrs. Trump’s alleged interactions with Vogue in her book, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady
Missing out: Mrs. Trump remains the only First Lady in recent history not to be featured in the fashion bible during her time in the White House
Hmm: Vogue allegedly reached out to Mrs. Trump early on in her husband’s presidency, but she turned down the offer because she wasn’t guaranteed a cover
‘Annie Leibovitz shot the porn hooker,’ she said, according to her former adviser. ‘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,’ she added. ‘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.’
Winston Wolkoff had secretly recorded the conversation she had with Mrs. Trump about Daniels, which was leaked a month after her book was released in 2020.
Leibovitz is no stranger to working with political royalty, as she photographed Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, and most recently Dr. Biden for their Vogue covers.
As First Lady, Mrs. Obama covered Vogue on three different occasions, first in February 2009 — less than a month after President Barack Obama’s inauguration — then again in 2013, and finally in November 2016.
No regrets? The author also claimed Mrs. Trump was later ‘glad’ she didn’t do the shoot with Leibovitz after she photographed Stormy Daniels for Vogue’s October 2018 issue
Way with words: ‘Annie Leibovitz shot the porn hooker,’ Mrs. Trump allegedly said of Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006
Although the only other First Lady to appear on the cover before Mrs. Obama was Mrs. Clinton in 1998, a shoot inside the magazine’s pages has become something of a tradition for Presidents’ wives that began with Lou Henry Hoover in 1929.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush, all appeared in the pages of Vogue during their respective husband’s presidencies.
Vice President Kamala Harris has also already earned her first Vogue cover, which was revealed to the world days before the inauguration in January.
Melania’s absence from Vogue and other major glossy magazines in the U.S. sparked fury from President Trump and his Republican supporters throughout his presidency.
Last Christmas, he blasted the media for not giving his wife a cover when Mrs. Obama was featured on 12 different covers during her eight years as First Lady, including Glamour, Elle, Essence, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Making history: In January, then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris appeared on the front of the fashion magazine, which published two versions of her cover
He made his outrage known by tweeting a comment from right-wing publication Breitbart, which called out the ‘elitist snobs in the fashion press.’ Trump added that his wife is ‘the greatest of all time’ and branded the magazines as ‘fake news.’
Before she became First Lady, Mrs. Trump donned a Christian Dior wedding dress on the February 2005 cover of Vogue following her wedding.
New tradition: Hillary Clinton became the first wife of a President to pose on the cover of Vogue in 1998, when she was photographed by Leibovitz for the magazine
Five years prior to that, she starred in a nude cover shoot for British GQ when she was still known by her maiden name, Melania Knauss.
More recently, she covered the February 2017 issue of Vanity Fair Mexico, though the story and photos were recycled from a profile featured in GQ in April 2016. Both publications share the same parent company as Vogue, Condé Nast.
Wintour never explicitly said she would not have Mrs. Trump on the cover again, but she had suggested that she wasn’t interested in doing so.
While conducting an interview with the editor for CNN in April 2019, Christiane Amanpour noted that Wintour has made ‘overtly’ political statements with her political profiles.
A year prior, Vogue had profiled Harris the April 2018 issue of the magazine, when the then-Democratic senator from California was known to be plotting a 2020 run for the White House.
‘Obviously these are women that we feel are icons and inspiring to women from a global perspective,’ Wintour told the journalist, bringing up the Democrats. ‘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.’
It’s something: Mrs. Trump covered the February 2017 issue of Vanity Fair Mexico, though the story and photos were recycled from a profile featured in GQ in April 2016
Throwback: Before Mrs. Trump became first lady, she donned a Christian Dior wedding dress on the February 2005 cover of Vogue following her wedding to Trump
Over it: Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour (pictured with the Trumps in 2005) had suggested she was not interested in having Mrs. Trump return as First Lady for another cover shoot
She intimated that President Trump’s politics were the reason the magazine was snubbing his wife.
‘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,’ she said.
Mrs. Trump later hit back at Wintour for taking a pass at having her on the cover of the fashion magazine.
‘To be on the cover of Vogue doesn’t define Mrs. Trump, she’s been there, done that long before she was First Lady,’ said her spokeswoman at the time, Stephanie Grisham.
Whether or not Mrs. Trump actually turned down Vogue — or regrets the decision — remains unknown, but it seems Dr. Biden got the glamorous cover shoot the former First Lady had always wanted.
Star treatment: Dr. Biden graces the Vogue’s August issue, which features a 6,000-word profile about her as well as dazzling photos taken by Leibovitz at the White House
Look of love: Dr. Biden was joined by her husband President Joe Biden for a photo taken outside the Oval Office
The 70-year-old educator received the all-star treatment in the August issue of the fashion publication, which features a gushing 6,000-word profile about her as well as several dazzling photos taken by Leibovitz at the White House.
Dr. Biden put on a fashionable display for her shoot, modeling a $2,690 navy blue flowered Oscar de la Renta gown for the cover photo, which appears to have been taken on the Truman Balcony of the White House.
Busy! In the Vogue piece, the Bidens discussed the difficulties they have faced finding time to spend together
In the lengthy profile, she is described in saccharine terms: ‘a joy multiplier,’ ‘a goddess,’ ‘driven, tireless, effortlessly popular, but also someone who reminds us of ourselves,’ and ‘a very stylish person who even in jeans and a cashmere sweater over an untucked chambray looks totally pulled together.’
Dr. Biden’s debut cover story was posted online on Tuesday morning and is devoid of any scandal or criticism. In it, she talks about her job as a teacher, traveling the country to tout her initiatives as First Lady, life in the White House, and her marriage to President Joe Biden — who also gave a few quotes to the publication about how the couple has adapted to their new roles.
Part of Dr. Biden’s interview with Vogue contributor Jonathan Van Meter took place in the White House Rose Garden, which was returned to its Bunny Mellon-designed roots by Mrs. Trump in 2020.
Van Meter mentioned how the former First Lady was heavily criticized for her redesign of the famous garden, saying: ‘Everyone got so bent out of shape over Melania redoing the Rose Garden, but I think she made it better.’
Dr. Biden, in response, noted the multitude of roses that blossomed and said of Mrs. Trump: ‘Apparently she put in these walkways. Are these, like, some of the most beautiful roses you’ve ever seen?’