Billy Porter recently voiced his frustration with Anna Wintour's decision to have Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue back in 2020. While speaking with Telegraph, he explained his issue with Styles becoming the poster boy for expressing gender fluidity in fashion. To begin, Porter recalled speaking with Wintour at a Q&A in front of staff from Conde Nast.
“That b---- said to me at the end, ‘How can we do better?’ And I was so taken off guard that I didn’t say what I should have said," Porter admitted. When asked what exactly she should have said, he answered: "Use your power as Vogue to uplift the voices of the leaders of this de-gendering of fashion movement … Six months later, Harry Styles is the first man on the cover.”
Billy Porter With Anna Wintour During London Fashion Week
From there, Porter admitted that the issue isn't necessarily Styles' fault. “It’s not Harry Styles’s fault that he happens to be white and cute and straight and fit into the infrastructure that way … I call out the gatekeepers," he said. “I know David Bowie existed, I know Sylvester existed," he continued while adding that Styles is “white and he’s straight. That’s why he’s on the cover. Non-binary blah blah blah blah. No. It doesn’t feel good to me. You’re using my community – or your people are using my community – to elevate you. You haven’t had to sacrifice anything.”
While Styles made headlines for rocking a dress on the cover of Vogue, he's far from the first musician to do so. As Porter noted, David Bowie wore dresses on many occasions, including on the alternate cover of his album, The Man Who Sold the World. Young Thug also famous rocked a dress on the cover of Jeffery.