Amanda Gorman says she has declined $17 million in deals as she scores 'Vogue' cover

'The Hill We Climb' writer becomes the first poet to pose for the cover of the fashion magazine

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 20, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS
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American poet Amanda Gorman revealed she has turned down a number of big-ticket brand deals as she landed a historic cover for the fashion magazine Vogue.

Gorman who leapt to fame after an impassioned reading at Joe Biden's presidential inauguration, has become the first poet to feature on the US title's cover.

Starring on the front of the May issue, Gorman, 23, was photographed by Annie Leibovitz wearing a number of high-fashion labels, including Louis Vuitton and Dior.

In the accompanying interview, The Hill We Climb star revealed she has turned down an estimated $17 million in endorsement offers, saying she would only take "commissions that speak to me".

“I didn’t really look at the details because if you see something and it says a million dollars, you’re going to rationalise why that makes sense,” she said of turning down one offer from an unnamed brand.

After her reading at the January inauguration, Gorman signed with agency IMG Models, although she told Vogue she was wary of being used as an example for other young women.

“I don’t want to be something that becomes a cage, where to be a successful black girl you have to be ‘Amanda Gorman’ and go to Harvard," said the youth poet laureate. "I want someone to eventually disrupt the model I have established.”

Revealing her Vogue shoot on social media, Gorman said it was "a joy to do so while wearing a black designer, Virgil Abloh". In the cover image, the poet wears a blanket belted into a dress by Louis Vuitton, from the menswear collection helmed by Abloh.

In his own Instagram post, the designer said the piece was inspired by a photograph of his Ghanaian grandmother.

Gorman is set to publish two books, The Hill We Climb and Other Poems and children's picture book Change Sings: A Children's Anthem, in September.