Alexandra Shulman’s departure as Vogues editor in chief in January came as a shock to many in the fashion industry, the question on everyone’s lips, who was going to replace her? The lingering question was finally met with an answer last Monday and British Vogue welcomed Edward Enninful as its Editor and I couldn’t be more happier.
To many Edward Enninful’s appointment may seem totally out of the blue and I must admit I was rather stunned myself. But after a little Google search and reminiscing, it didn’t take much for me to realise that that this was indeed a match made in heaven and in fact long overdue. At the age of 18 he broke one of many records to come and became the world’s youngest fashion director for i-D Magazine. He has been the mastermind behind one of Vogues most influential work, Vogue Italia’s July 2008 ‘All Black’ issue, featuring only black models which included the likes of iconic supermodels Iman, Naomi Campbell alongside Rihanna. This became the magazine’s top-selling issue. (And they say Black women “aren’t marketable”).
If anyone were to break the record to become British Vogue’s first male editor, Enninful was certainly the man for the job. For many Black creatives around the world this is exciting times because not only is Edward Enninful the first man to hold the editor position, he is also the the black person to do so as well. It seems a long delayed cultural shift appears to be underway in the fashion industry and as an advocate for diversity and representation in the world of fashion this news is music to my ears.
Fashion is everywhere and its influences stem from various branches, something Enninful is very much aware of haven been born in Ghana, lived in Ladbroke Grove from a young age (when it was less hipster), being exposed and surrounded by all kinds of cultures and people, change is something Enninful is used to and it something he’ll be bringing to British Vogue.
As a Black British woman who lives and breathes fashion this shift couldn’t have come any sooner. I’m excited for what the future holds for British Vogue, it’s high time the publication reflected the society we live in and appointed people who have moved on with the times and saw the fashion world for what it is now and not what it once was. An editor that takes a bottom up approach rather than a top down approach is exactly what Enninful is and what Vogue needs. For a long time British Vogue had been very exclusive and rather elitist, it’s reluctancy to be inclusive is the very reason British Vogue does not resonate with many people of colour. All this will be set to change, or so we hope, with Edward Enninful as Editor.
If you can’t already tell I have high hopes for the future of fashion, as things move in the right direction it can only get better.