Andre Leon Talley interviewed the first lady for an hour at the Hays Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. From Women's Wear Daily:
“It’s a wonderful achievement for Vogue,” said editor at large André Leon Talley, who interviewed Obama for an hour at the Hay-Adams Hotel a few weeks before the inauguration. Vogue has photographed the new first ladies since 1929, when the first was President Herbert Hoover’s wife, Lou Henry Hoover.
Obama’s cover portrait, said Talley, “absolutely reflects who she is without any questions. There’s such a warmth that she emanates. It’s the warmest cover you’ve seen in a long time on Vogue. Models pose, actresses pose. This is a real woman.”