The backlash stems from a rumor that West pleaded with his close friend and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to grant the couple the coveted cover. Wintour has been notoriously frosty toward Kardashian, whose background in reality television and sex tapes doesn't necessarily fit in with the fashion bible's more sophisticated content.
In an uncharacteristically candid editor's letter, Wintour defends her decision while rebuffing accusations that Kanye's lobbying played a part. "You may have read that Kanye begged me to put his fiancée on Vogue's cover," she writes. "He did nothing of the sort. The gossip might make better reading, but the simple fact of the matter is that it isn't true."
How Wintour would know what we've been reading before the issue even appeared is one question. But if it wasn't Kanye's influence, what was the impetus for her sudden change of heart?
"There's barely a strand of the modern media that the Kardashian Wests haven't been able to master, and for good reason," she added. "Kanye is an amazing performer and cultural provocateur, while Kim, through her strength of character, has created a place for herself in the glare of the world's spotlight, and it takes real guts to do that."
Wintour has been editing the prestigious publication since 1988, but never has one of her covers been so heavily scrutinized as this one. While Vogue is primarily a fashion magazine, the veteran editor has been known to pluck her cover subjects from outside that world.
And while we think the lady doth protest too much, she is in the business of selling magazines, after all, and few covers in recent memory have taken a hold of the zeitgeist quite like this one, as evidenced by parodies from the Muppets and James Franco and Seth Rogen.
Despite the intense backlash that's led to a Buffy boycott, it's a net win for a brand trying to stay relevant in an increasingly shrinking medium.