If you’ve been an long-term fan of British Vogue, you will have heard the announcement of its newly appointed editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful. The 45-year-old fashion stylist has become the first man to be appointed to this position in the fashion bible’s illustrious 100-year history.
As Alexandra Shulman stepped down from her 25-year reign at British Vogue, there was no doubt that there were going to be large and probably designer shoes to fill. Nevertheless, Enninful ticks plenty of impressive boxes himself. He is a talented image maker who comes from a styling background, credited with commercial success as the previous fashion and style director of New York-based W Magazine. His other recent achievements include receiving the prestigious Isabella Blow Fashion Creator Award in 2014 and receiving an OBE for service to diversity in fashion.
Enninful’s power of provocative story telling has been prevalent throughout his career and he is a definite jolt to the fashion world given his outspoken record in regard to tackling the fashion industry’s rather apprehensive attitude to diversity. He is expected to bring an exciting, attention-grabbing perspective to Vogue.
While it is inevitable that a black, openly gay man would be subjected to some scepticism despite his well-respected persona, his appointment may just reveal much more than a choice of boldness and progression. While some may fear what this signals for female empowerment (in a largely androgynous-led fashion industry), it is almost certain that Enninful will be able redefine empowerment in the direction of diversity during his career at Vogue.
Enninful is enthusiastic about championing diversity, and believes in efforts that move beyond mere tokenism. After all, as said by the man himself: “Beauty’s beauty.”