NEW YORK - Vogue US editor Anna Wintour, who elicited Twitter outrage over the magazine's April cover featuring Kim Kardashian, is defending the choice, having anticipated the ire even before the issue went public.
The April edition created shock-waves among the fashion-minded when its cover was revealed Friday, showing the reality starlet appearing in a strapless, white gown in the arms of her fiance, hip hop maestro Kanye West.
The choice sparked outraged comments on Twitter, where fans disapproved of the fashion-authority making a sophisticated cover girl out of a Hollywood celebrity who more regularly appears in downmarket tabloids.
But Wintour disagreed, writing in her editor's letter inside the April edition that "part of the pleasure of editing Vogue... is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it."
"I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye," she said.
On the inside pages, the couple appear in photographs by Annie Leibovitz walking down a desert highway and lounging in a private jet. Their nine-month-old daughter North West also makes a cameo appearance.
Although rumours had spread for months that Wintour would not hear mention of Kardashian, the editor rejected as "gossip" the rumour that Kanye had begged her to feature his fiancee.
The cover, which Wintour found "both charming and touching," was "entirely our idea" she said.
But fashion enthusiasts were flocking to Twitter to challenging the choice.
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar announced her intention to unsubscribe from the magazine while style bloggers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez said: "This is NOTHING about fashion."
"Hell hath frozen over," tweeted Canadian fashion magazine Flare.
Kardashian, however, welcomed the cover, tweeting that it was "such a dream come true!!!" to her more than 20 million followers.