Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has defended her decision to put Kanye West and his fiancee Kim Kardashian on the cover of US Vogue magazine.
The front of the April issue of the fashion magazine shows Kardashian, who is in a wedding-style dress, being hugged by West from behind.
The image taken by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz is accompanied by the headline "Kim & Kanye, Their fashionable life and surreal times #WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple''.
Rumours have suggested Wintour was cornered into making Kardashian a Vogue cover star by West, who last October told US radio personality Ryan Seacrest: "There's no way Kim Kardashian shouldn't be on the cover of Vogue. She's like the most intriguing woman right now ... And collectively we're the most influential with clothing."
However, Wintour has insisted putting the couple on the cover was an in-house decision.
In her editor's letter for the April issue, she writes: "Part of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, 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 to a T. (Or perhaps that should be to a K?).
"As for the cover, my opinion is that it is both charming and touching, and it was, I should add, entirely our idea to do it; you may have read that Kanye begged me to put his fiancee on Vogue's cover. He did nothing of the sort.
"Kanye is an amazing performer and cultural provocateur, while Kim, through her strength of character, has created a place for herself in the glare of the world's spotlight, and it takes real guts to do that."