It doesn’t work. The new Vogue Magazine cover featuring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen is all wrong. The Black Fives Blog looks at this, using our slogan (and our tendency) to make history now.

Let’s start with the basics (from an old Rawlings catalog):

The Well-Dressed Basketball Player

Next, let’s add LeBron:

The Well-Dressed Basketball Player, LeBron

Staying with the theme and the era:

The Well-Dressed Basketball Player With Model

There. That’s more like it!

In case you’re interested, seriously, here’s my opinion about the LeBron-Gisele Vogue cover.

I think it was a missed opportunity by LeBron. I wanted to see something more … personal, titillating, fascinating, provocative, heartfelt, connected. In examining the photo, it looks and feels as though Gisele is airbrushed into it, just like the model in my 1922-1923 image above. LeBron doesn’t seem to have any connection to Gisele. He’s not relating to her. His energy isn’t aware of her existence.


Do I need a Tic Tac?

I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that the two didn’t even pose together. The photo is totally digitally altered. Just look at the incongruous energies. Vogue-gate.

In that sense, instead of getting the feeling that he’s playing with her, and that they’re playful with each other — which is what, I think, most readers of Vogue would have wanted to see — I get the feeling that he’s playing with, or by-, himself.

Look at the cover photo again. I mean, he’s not even holding her waist the way you’d wanna be holding that waist. You hold a waist like that, it’s gonna result in a turnover. What kind of a way is that to hold a supermodel’s waist??

Gisele's waist


See what I mean? It doesn’t bother me at all that LeBron is wearing his basketball gear instead of a suit or a tux. It doesn’t matter to me that he appears to be shouting. (I say appears, because maybe he’s not, and just wants Gisele to smell his breath, as in, “Do I need a Tic Tac?”)

I’m looking more at the energy. The energy tells me he’s not really with Gisele. He’s not in the moment. He doesn’t relate.

Is the mere fact that he’s not connecting with her Vogue’s way of being intentionally safe? Did it backfire regardless?

Vogue was supposed to be showing us 2 superstars at the top of their games. But they failed to do that. It’s not appealing on any level. It doesn’t mean anything. It gives off the wrong vibe. Annie Liebovitz was trying to hard.

Anyway, LeBron is young, and maybe he isn’t thinking like that yet. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s disappointed with the results.

Historic pose? No doubt. But LeBron wasn’t making history now … then.

Neither was Vogue.