News & Runway

Edward Enninful Is British Vogue’s First Black Editor-in-Chief

Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful, OBE; Image: Timur Emek/Getty Images

Beginning August 1, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Edward Enninful will replace Alexandra Shulman as editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Enninful, a living fashion legend, will be the first man and the first black editor to helm the 100-year-old magazine, not to mention the first man of color to control any mainstream women’s fashion publication.

This is hardly the first time Enninful has broken an industry record. At age 19, Enninful became one of the youngest-ever leaders of a fashion publication when he succeeded Beth Summers as fashion director of i-D. He spent nearly two decades at i-D before accepting his current role as creative and fashion director of W magazine in 2011. The Ghana-born, London-bred editor has also contributed extensively to both Italian and American Vogue, producing iconic, diversity-celebrating issues like “The Black Issue” and “The Curvy Issue.” He’s also ideated slews of notable advertising campaigns and editorials, among them that famous shot of Linda Evangelista clothed in Chanel, her face swathed in bandages.

Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse announced the news today by way of an internal memo in which he called Enninful “one of the most talented and accomplished editors in the world,” citing his “ground-breaking, highly admired editorial work” for W. Newhouse also praised the fashion director as “an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood, and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist.”

“Edward is an exceptionally talented stylist who will no doubt bring an exciting new creative aesthetic to the magazine,” added Shulman. “Every Vogue editor arrives with their own range of talents and experience and Edward is very known, respected and liked within the fashion industry. I look forward to finding out his plans as soon as possible and working with him over the next few months of transition so that British Vogue continues to be the leading magazine in this market.”

A sad day for W, but we’re anxious to see how Enninful reinvigorates the bland glossy with his conceptual, quirky aesthetic. Forget snafus like Shulman’s poorly named “Real Issue” — we’re confident Enninful will use his new platform to further a more comprehensive message of diversity.

[ via the New York Times ]