Many years ago Vanity Fair released what would be one of its most famous covers of all time, the one showing the transformation of Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner into a woman named Caitlyn Jenner, the photographer in charge of this session was Annie Leibovitz, that day on the set phones were confiscated and the Vanity Fair security team was parked around Jenner’s house in Malibu.
That day they were looking for hidden paparazzi but what they saw in the distance was something totally different, a Bentley that was driving up the hill, in this car was Kim Kardashian, Jenner’s former stepdaughter. The businesswoman apparently wanted to participate in the iconic Vanity Fair cover.
Glamour July 2015 Cover 📷 Patrick Demarchelier pic.twitter.com/Y9F9Gub8fF— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) June 1, 2015
Upon arrival she went through the security check, handed over her cell phone and entered the house fully made up and ready for the camera, but what she didn’t know was that Vanity Fair had banned the appearance of any Kardashian in the magazine, “It was a cultural cold war, no one was happy to see her that day”, comments Dana Brown in his book “Dilettante: True Tales of Excess, Triumph and Disaster“.
Shooting of the photo session
Brown, then editor of Vanity Fair, was on board to write the story and accompanied Kim into the kitchen “With no reality TV cameras around…she was just Kim, a normal human being whose equally famous stepfather was in the next room in heels and a wig, not to mention new breasts,” says Brown.
“Kim said she was proud of her stepfather, excited for the world to meet Caitlyn. But she was less interested in us than she was in getting into one of Annie’s photographs.” But despite this Brown also stresses that despite what is usually shown of Kim the celebrity was very understanding, although she did not want to change her mind so quickly.
The Kardashian heard the voices and saw the lights in the next room but was distracted by the tray of crudités and dip in front of her. “She wanted to grab a carrot or celery stalk, but restrained herself…. She didn’t want to mess up her perfectly lined lips, let alone have a piece of celery between her teeth.”
After about 30 minutes Brown had nothing more to say to her and Kim would finally accept the reality that she would not be a part of the photoshoot, but just as she decided to leave she grabbed a carrot and a celery stalk.
Caitlyn Jenner story
According to the story Kim Kardashian arrived at the shoot in her Bentley and although she was determined to be part of the photo shoot in the end she accepted the truth without any complaints, when she left she did so in a calm manner without drawing attention to herself.
This was a story that brought nearly 9 million readers to the Vanity Fair website in the first 24 hours, and it was when the power of the internet for newspapers began to be seen. Brown also recalls getting in trouble with the magazine’s then EIC for using a laser pointer on strangers in Manhattan.
The shooting of this photo shoot was secret because they wanted to reveal the secret at the right time and in the way Caitlyn Jenner decided, for this the Vanity Fair team deployed a lot of security around the mansion of the former Olympic medalist to avoid any kind of leak.
In addition to this Brown was also in the front row to witness all kinds of stories during his 2 decades at Vanity Fair where he started his adventure in 1994 at the age of 20.