British Vogue editor Edward Enninful steps down

British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful will be stepping down from his role after six years of breaking boundaries at the top fashion magazine.

The 51-year-old will remain as an editorial advisor to the UK title but move into a newly-created job next year aimed at growing the brand globally.

His new portfolio as Vogue’s global creative and cultural advisor will also allow him to take on external projects.

Enninful will be involved with the recruitment search for his successor.

The Ghanaian-British creative is the first black man to hold the top job at the British fashion magazine.

British Vogue recently featured its first disabled models, including actress Selma Blair who lives with multiple sclerosis and Ellie Goldstein, a 21-year-old model with Down’s syndrome.

In an interview last year about his favourite Vogue covers, Enninful said the inspiration behind his first one in December 2017 featuring mixed race model Adwoa Aboah was aimed at resetting “the image of modern Britain”.

“It was important to create a cover that represented the Britain of today, a multicultural society where everyone was welcome – where my family was welcome,” he said.

Other notable cover stars from Enninful’s time as editor include:

  • Timothée Chalamet, who was the first man to grace the cover in October 2022
  • Dame Judi Dench, who became the oldest star to appear on the cover of British Vogue in June 2020, aged 85
  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was the cover star for September 2019’s Forces for Change issue, edited by the Duchess of Sussex
  • Three front-line workers from London, who featured in an issue during the Covid pandemic
  • Footballer Marcus Rashford, who was part of the Vogue activism issue in September 2020 which Enninful described as a “rallying cry for the future. He was photographed by Misan Harriman, making him the first black male photographer to shoot a British Vogue cover

Last month, Enninful attended the King and Queen’s Coronation. He has helped the King’s charity, the Prince’s Trust, with its work in Africa and worldwide as a global ambassador.

Edward Enninful and Kate Perry at the CoronationIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
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Edward Enninful, pictured alongside singer Katy Perry, attended the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla last month

Enninful has been a high-profile champion for greater inclusivity in the fashion industry.

He took over as editor-in-chief of British Vogue in August 2017 from Alexandra Shulman, who had been in the job for 25 years. One of his first priorities was to diversify his staff at the publication.

And in 2018, model and writer Paris Lees became the first openly transgender woman to be featured in British Vogue as part of a feature celebrating 100 years since women have had the right to vote in the UK.

Enninful has been open about his struggles with racism and being a black gay man.

A few years ago, while working as editor-in-chief, Enninful said he was racially profiled after being told to “use the loading bay” by a security guard as he entered work.

In interviews with the BBC, he has also shared concerns about losing his eyesight, his struggles with alcoholism and being estranged from his father for 15 years.

British Vogue’s contributing European sustainability editor Dana Thomas told the BBC she was “thrilled” by the news of his new role.

“This gives him more freedom to do what he does best, and what clearly brings him joy, which is the creation of beauty,” she said.

“His influence has been immense. I write for British Vogue because I found him so inspiring. His leadership in the areas of inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability – what he calls the three pillars of British Vogue – have been unmatched in any publication.”

Selma Blair on the cover of British VogueIMAGE SOURCE,VOGUE
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Selma Blair on the cover of British Vogue
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In a memo sent to Vogue staff, Enninful said he would “continue to contribute to the creative and cultural success of the Vogue brand globally” in his newly-created job, “whilst having the freedom to take on broader creative projects”.

A head of editorial content for British Vogue will also be hired, he said, adding: “For now everything remains the same, and I’m so excited about what the future holds for us.”

Enninful thanked editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Roger Lynch, the chief executive officer of publishers Condé Nast, “for their continued support”.

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