Shane Cullen discusses how Edward Enninful is the perfect fit for the new era of British Vogue.
When you have already won the appraisal from the likes of Michelle Obama and have been rewarded an Order of the British Empire, it is a strong indication that you are something of a great deal. British Vogue have taken this opportunity to their advantage by hiring Ghanaian-British fashion editor and stylist Edward Enninful as their new chief editor, following Alexandra Shulman’s departure after 25 years. Enninful is no stranger to an editor role, becoming a fashion director at i-D magazine at just 19 years old, as well as writing for American Vogue, Vogue Italia and most recently, a creative director for W magazine.
Spanning a 20 year career within the fashion industry, Enninful has worked with the big names such as Giorgio Armani and Marc Jacobs. However, it is the works on his own merit that should be celebrated, namely the “All Black” issue for Vogue Italia in 2008. The issue comprised of a line-up of black A-list models such as Tyra Banks and Jourdan Dunn, aimed to celebrate more inclusion and diversity within the fashion and modelling world. It was an instant success for Italian Vogue as copies in the UK and the US both sold out in 72 hours. Enninful was also applauded for his “Belle Vere” issue in 2011 where he celebrated plus size models in fashion – teaming up with models Candice Huffine, Tara-Lynn and Robyn Lawley.
Enninful has worked with the big names such as Giorgio Armani and Marc Jacobs. However, it is the works on his own merit that should be celebrated
While there may be champagne and canapés flowing at British Vogue HQ, Enninful still faces challenges taking on the chief editor position. One of the crucial issues is tackling the lack of diversity at British Vogue, which came to the forefront of attention earlier this year after the editorial staff photo notably lacked any people of colour. The photo sparked heated debate and outrage across social media, including an Instagram post made by Naomi Campbell, where she expressed her excitement for “an inclusive and more diverse” group of staff under Enninful’s newly-appointed reign.
Following Enninful’s official appointment last month, excitement is building as to what new additions he will bring to Vogue. Inclusion and diversity to Enninful are undoubtedly important, but he has also mastered the art of building connections, having sparked a friendship with Rihanna and has worked with with some of the most sought-after models of the moment including sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid. Politically and youthfully conscious, British Vogue’s Enninful era may be their boldest and brightest yet.