The first Black Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue. The European Editorial Director of Vogue since 2020. Edward Enninful OBE, is living the dream!
He is rightfully among the most prominent figures in fashion and global publishing. Today, we’ll briefly see how his visionary work is changing the industry regarding diversity and inclusion.
Edward Enninful’s Long Road To ‘Vogue’
Edward Enninful is a Ghanaian-born British stylist and was the editor-in-chief of British Vogue from 2017 to 2023. In recent years, he has helped to bring women of all ethnicities, sizes, and ages onto the cover of the fashion magazine.
Life was good for Edward while growing up, he writes in his memoir, A Visible Man.
The Enninfuls lived on a military base in Ghana. Under the guidance of his father, Cosby, an army major, nothing was missing. Life was good until Edward and his brothers were suddenly prevented from playing outside the house.
The political situation had worsened. There were several military coups, one after another. Executions. Violence.
At that point, his father decided that the time had come to leave, and the family including Edward and his five siblings moved to London.
Edward dedicated the memoir to the past but, above all, to future generations who do not feel visible. It also addresses issues dear to him, such as being a Black and gay man and the conflicting feelings he had during his complex migration up to his professional success.
His Challenge And Achievements As ‘Vogue’ Editor
According to Edward, no prestigious magazine wanted to deal with diversity when he started working in the publishing industry. This was the same when he took on the role of editor-in-chief of Vogue UK in 2017. He had always thought that they must be represented on all platforms.
And by “they,” I mean anyone who has ever felt excluded from fashion. Whether for reasons of race, class, economic status, body size, age, disability, or simply because they were denied a voice.
According to him, fashion is a mirror. His mission has been to change this situation. A mission that, he admits, is not over yet.
“You know what you want to say to the world, but you don’t know how that’s going to be received. I love the covers that really talk about diversity, starting with Adwoa [Aboah in December 2017]. We wanted to talk about a new Britain, one that was inclusive and diverse,” he told Vogue Business. “The world has changed so much. People were ready to embrace something that reflected them. And for me, it was all about bringing Vogue back to what it was like in the ‘70s and ‘80s when it was about people, and you could see yourself. That’s all I ever wanted to do.”
Among his achievements as EIC of British Vogue are a 51 percent increase in digital traffic, an editorial team that is 25 percent people of color, and commissioning the first Black male photographer to shoot the September 2020 issue with
Today, Edward Enninful is widely credited with transforming British Vogue from the old archaic, white-led brand to a diverse, multiplatform, and inclusive one, according to The Guardian’s Chloe Mac Donnell. In 2020, he was named the 6th most powerful Black man in Britain, the third time he made the top 10 in three years.