When you think of Vogue magazine, what do you think of? Anna Wintour’s infamous bob, a Devil Wears Prada-esque matriach demanding a latte, like NOW, or maybe those terrible ’73 Questions’ videos that have an awkward opening-scence-of-a-porno type vibe? But at British Vogue, things are changing, and it’s all for the better.
Last month, Naomi Campbell called out Alexandra Schulman — the publication’s previous editor of 25 years — on Instagram for the shocking lack of diversity within her editorial team, with a picture that really does say it all.
But in the same breath, she praised the mag’s new editor Edward Enninful for kick-starting a new run of inclusive hires, marking a huge turning point in Vogue‘s very white, very elitist history.
Ghana-born Enninful prevoiously held the fashion director position at i-D magazine for over two decades, with stints at W and Italian Vogue, before becoming British Vogue‘s first ever male and black editor-in-chief in its 101 year history back in April of this year. And boy has he got to work.
EDWARD ENNINFUL IS SHAKING THE TABLE pic.twitter.com/5gaU5t5Yvq
— Yomi Adegoke (@yomiadegoke) September 25, 2017
He started making monumental changes almost immediately, offering major roles and opportunities to several people of colour. Naomi Campbell, film director Steve McQueen and model Adwoa Aboah were all appointed contributing editors, diversifying the voice and world view that soon will run through its glossy pages.
Make-up artist Pat McGrath, hailed as the “most influential make-up artist in the world” by the publication, was also awarded the position of beauty-editor-at-large.
Then, only yesterday, Enninful announce the magazine’s new publisher Vaness Kingori MBE via Instagram, welcoming yet another person of colour to the team.
Finally, it seems the outlook of that all-white picture taken less than a year ago is starting to change. And it’s change that’s been needed at Vogue towers for so long, with Edward Enninful making notable, noticeable differences in a matter of months.
However, this isn’t the first time he’s pushed things in a more inclusive direction. Earlier this year, he famously styled the 2018 Pirelli calendar, casting a completely black line-up in an Alice in Wonderland world — a unprecedented event in its over 50-year history.
But rewind a few more years and you’ll see his dedication to diversity is nothing new. In 2008, he spearheaded the direction of Italian Vogue’s ‘Black Issue’, which only featured models of colour throughout its pages. It was so successful, Condé Nast had to print an additional 40,000 copies to keep up with demand.
With a history of commitment to diversity and representation, Enninful’s appointment is truly the start of a new, improved and extremely exciting time for Vogue. As its circulation currently sits at 190,00, down from 200,000 in 2016, we’re sure his influence will open the somewhat stale publication up to whole new generation. Quite frankly, we cannot wait to see what the Enninful era has in store.