Conde Nast announced this week the appointment of the popular and influential Edward Enninful as the new Editor of British Vogue. The response from the fashion and media world has been widespread delight.
Enninful is not only, as New York Times states, “the first male editor of British Vogue since its founding in 1916,” he is also the “first black editor of any edition of Vogue.”
In a media landscape in which black people are still heavily under-represented, this is a great moment.
The son of Ghanaian immigrants, who grew up in Ladbroke Grove, Enninful’s background could not be more different to that of his predecessor, Alexandra Shulman, but as Business of Fashion writes “Enninful is something of a bridge between the traditional fashion establishment and the next generation.”
For those who may not know, Enninful’s love of fashion started when he was a child from watching his mother, who worked as a seamstress. His first break came aged 16 when he was spotted by Simon Foxton and began modelling.
By aged 17, Enninful was assisting i-D fashion director Beth Summer whilst studying and by 19 he was the fashion director. His credentials go on to include stints at both the US and Italian editions of Vogue – where he oversaw the magazine’s “all-black” issue in 2008. He has also consulted on several successful campaigns from Christian Dior to Valentino – and last year was awarded an OBE for services to diversity in the fashion industry.
Shortly after this award, Enninful was interviewed for Time magazine. He was vocal on how social media was leading to changes in the fashion industry and the importance of increasing diversity.
“We need teachers in universities,” he said. “We need internships, and we need people of different ethnic backgrounds in all parts of the industry. That really is the solution; you have to change it from the inside.”
We agree with that.
There is little doubt that Enninful has been appointed on the basis of his talent and hard work – and we very much look forward to seeing how his influence changes the direction of Vogue and, hopefully, the industry as whole. As Enninful himself said: “I believe we live in a world of possibility…”
As do we – that’s why we encourage our clients to remove those glass ceilings.