The fashion industry's head honcho Anna Wintour is reportedly asking designers to submit ideas for a Vogue fashion spread featuring Chelsea Manning. WWD reported that Manning, who was released from military prison on Wednesday, will appear in one of Vogue's upcoming issues, though a spokeswoman for Vogue did not confirm or deny the report.
The rumor came Wednesday, the same day Manning was released from prison after spending seven years there for leaking military information to WikiLeaks. She posted her very first photo as a free woman not long after being released, showing off some major style of her own. On a photo of her feet in classic black Converse, along with skinny black jeans, she posted, "First steps of freedom!" She later added to that photo spread a picture of her first piece of pizza.
A feature in Vogue would be huge for Manning, as well as for the magazine itself. A photo spread of a military member who leaked information, was imprisoned, announced she was transgender, fought to receive hormone therapy, and eventually had her sentence commuted by President Obama would undeniably be a political move. Vogue has made political statements before, like when it highlighted the burqa and Muslim women and when it endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, the first time in its entire history that it endorsed a presidential candidate.
Vogue has covered a bit of Manning's story, including her in an article "Why 2015 Was the Year of Trans Visibility," as well as writing posts when her commutation was announced in January as well as her release on Wednesday.
Manning reportedly faced solitary confinement when she was found with the issue of Vanity Fair that featured Caitlyn Jenner on the cover. Manning later revealed she wasn't much a fan of Jenner, tweeting, "In 2015 @Caitlyn_Jenner ws the grinch who stole (& sold out) the trans movement. All I want 4 Xmas is Universal Trans Lib." But the fact that she faced punishment for a fashion magazine featuring a transgender woman feels poignant.
While it's not clear if she's even doing the photo spread for Vogue, much less a cover, if the feature does happen, Manning's story could finally come full circle.
Celia Darrough contributed to this story.