Edward Enninful has been announced as the new editor of British Vogue, making him the first ever black male editor of the fashion bible.
Enninful, who hails from Ghana and is the son of a seamstress, has been fashion and creative director at W Magazine since 2011 and pipped Samantha Cameron’s sister, Emily Sheffield, who is currently the magazine’s deputy, to the coveted role.
The first-ever male editor, 44, will assume his role on August 1 and Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive, Jonathan Newhouse, says he is ‘supremely prepared’.
Enninful won an OBE in 2016 for services to diversity within the fashion industry so his appointment at the helm of the world’s biggest fashion magazine is a sign of the times. He also spearheaded Vogue Italia’s Black Issue, which he hoped would end the ‘white-out that dominates the catwalks and magazines.’
The magazine, which featured only black models such as Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell, was such a sell-out success that 40,000 more copies had to be printed to meet demand.
In a statement, Jonathan Newhouse dubbed Enninful ‘an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist’ and said that ‘by virtue of his talent and experience, Edward is supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue.’
Enninful, who grew up in London as one of six children, was scouted as a model age 16 and has gone on to become one of the most famous faces in fashion, counting Naomi Campbell as a best friend.
The journalist was the youngest-ever fashion director for i-D magazine age 16 and has worked for Italian and American Vogue, and served as a consultant on major fashion campaigns, including Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Dolce and Gabbana.
At the helm of W Magazine, he boosted ad pages by 16 percent in 2012.
The new editor, whose mother was a seamstress, was honoured at the British Fashion Awards in 2014 with the prestigious Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, and he also won an OBE in 2016 for services to diversity within the fashion industry.
Current Editor-in-chief of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman announced in January that she would be stepping down from her role this summer.
In her statement, Alexandra, 59, admitted it was ‘hard to find a rational reason to leave’ but she ‘wanted to experience a different life.’
However, rumours swirled that her feud with the editor of US Vogue, Anna Wintour, could have contributed to her decision.