Why Edward Enninful’s Role As Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue Is Necessary

Why Edward Enninful’s Role As Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue Is Necessary

As Alexandra Shulman’s reign as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue came to a close, fashion minds across the globe debated her successor. Schulman undeniably made progress during her reign at British Vogue, placing the first plus-size model on the front cover, Ashley Graham. Shulman has resigned after twenty-five years at the helm of Vogue, triggering the search for a new editor to govern the publication through a period of digital transition.

Recently, Vogue has been unsure as to how to remain relevant to a culturally open and expressive millennial audience. Although Shulman made progress in relation to the size issues in the fashion industry some believe that her influential voice could have been used more effectively to challenge the institutional racism of the fashion world. This time Vogue has recognised their recent downfalls and appointed an exceptional leader who could be the perfect solution for the problems the publication has encountered recently: Edward Enninful.

Enninful is a British fashion stylist, a forty-five year old creative and previous fashion director of ‘W’ magazine. He started his career after being scouted as a model on the Tube by legendary stylist Simon Loxton. This led to his becoming one of the youngest-ever leaders of a major fashion publication; as Fashion Director of British fashion magazine i-D; a phenomenal feat for an eighteen-year-old.

Enninful’s rise to the pinnacle of Vogue is so poignant for a publication that has repeatedly failed to diversify its pages. For the first time, the publication will now have an Editor-in-Chief at its helm that is not only black but also homosexual and male. Can you feel that breath of fresh air?

'The Black Issue' Vogue Italia

It won’t be the first time that the Ghanaian-born stylist makes waves in the world of fashion. Enninful pioneered Vogue Italia’s “Black Issue”, an issue featuring solely black models. The issue was so successful that Condé Nast was forced to print an extra 40,000 copies. There have been many other recollections whereby it has been outlined that Enninful is not shy when it comes to the topic of race in the fashion industry, a conversation that Vogue desperately needs to address in these turbulent times. During 2013, Enninful addressed remaining prejudice in the industry, publicly questioning why he was seated second row at a couture show in Paris when white “counterparts” were in the first. Enninful’s justice-orientated nature is one that a younger audience will identify with, where expression and truth ring true.

Enninful’s ascension to Editor-in-Chief also marks a massive shift in the magazine’s stylistic direction. The Ghanaian-born stylist is a recognisable face in the British streetwear and the grunge culture of the 1990’s with a history of making beautiful yet somewhat controversial images. It will also be the first time an Editor-in-Chief is appointed who has a styling rather than literary background. Throughout his years of work as a creative, the power of provocative storytelling has never ceased to act as a running theme, from his cover for 2002 “The Sitting Issue” (i-D Magazine) to his infamous “Good Kate, Bad Kate” editorial (W Magazine). He has been accredited crucial commercial success whilst retaining his most admirable mindset, that “beauty’s beauty.”

Enninful is making unprecedented history, with his new appointment at British Vogue – marking the first non-white man to edit a mainstream women’s fashion magazine in the publication’s entire hundred year history. The man is on a revolutionary journey with us eagerly awaiting his destination. And we cannot wait.

Written by Roisin O’Hare

Editorial Assistant

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