Billy Porter is not afraid to take aim at Anna Wintour.
Porter, who won a Tony for starring in Kinky Boots on Broadway and an Emmy for playing Pray Tell in the groundbreaking FX series Pose, has been one of the biggest forces in expanding men’s fashion over the last decade. However, sometimes he feels that he isn’t given the credit he deserves.
When Porter was winning awards for Pose, he redefined men’s red-carpet fashion, often wearing dresses, skirts, and other clothes that aren’t traditionally for men. Now, he reveals that Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour talked to him about his fashion trailblazing just a few months before putting Harry Styles, a cisgender and heterosexual white man, on the cover of the long-running fashion magazine in a dress.
“That bitch 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 recalled, saying he should have said, “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.”
“It’s not Harry Styles’ fault that he happens to be white and cute and straight and fit into the infrastructure that way,” he added. “I call out the gatekeepers.”
“It doesn’t feel good to me,” he continued. “You’re using my community – or your people are using my community – to elevate you. You haven’t had to sacrifice anything.”
Porter had previously called out the cover when it first appeared in 2021.