The British edition of the Vogue fashion magazine has named Edward Enninful as its editor-in-chief. In the century-long history of the magazine, Enninful is British Vogue's first male editor. The 45-year old Ghanaian-British stylist will be succeeding Alexandra Shulman and will take the helm in August this year. He will be the 11th editor of British Vogue.
Big shoes to fillImmediately he was announced as the new editor following Shulman's 25-year long reign, Enninful acknowledged that the challenges that lay ahead of him were enormous.
"I grew up reading British 'Vogue' - I am so honored and humbled to be taking up the mantle of editor. I realize I am stepping into the shoes of a hugely respected editor in the shape of Alexandra Shulman, someone who has chosen to leave at the top of their game with a legacy of 25 years of success," Enninful said in an interview with the publication he will soon be heading.
After the appointment was announced, one of the first people to congratulate Enninful was Marc Jacobs, the American fashion designer.
Diversity wins -- editor Edward Enninful is gayOthers included Naomi Campbell who noted that the appointment was historic as it served to promote diversity in the fashion world. British Fashion Council's chief executive, Caroline Rush, also hailed the appointment for having promoted gender equality as well as diversity though she pointed out that Enninful had rightfully earned the position due to his talent. Anna Wintour, the legendary editor of American Vogue, said that with the appointment, exciting times lay ahead for the fashion industry.
"It is a brilliant choice, and I am thrilled for him. Edward will undoubtedly shake things up in a way that will be so exciting to watch." Wintour told the New York Times.
Early startEnninful began his fashion career at the age of 16 when a scout model spotted him on a train. This led him to a stint modeling for i-D and Arena magazines. He also became an assistant for stylists such as Beth Summers and Simon Foxton whom he helped when they were on fashion shoots. He was soon introduced to Terry Jones, the found of i-D and after Beth Summers left the UK youth culture magazine, Enninful became its fashion editor.
At the age of 18, Enninful was named as i-D's fashion director, making him the youngest person to ever rise to that position for a major fashion title. Most of his work around this time was inspired by the 80s London club scene and it tried to capture the creative zeitgeist and frenetic energy of the period. Around this time Enninful got to befriend fashion icons who would go on to become future collaborators. This included Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Mario Sorrenti, Craig McDean, Pat McGrath, and David Sims.
Sold outSome of the most influential work done by Enninful appeared in Vogue Italia where he had a stint as a contributing editor. One memorable piece of work was the July 2008 'All Black' Vogue Italia issue where only black models were featured. It became the top-selling issue in the magazine's history, selling so well that extra copies numbering in excess of 40,000 had to be printed. Collectors were so eager to get their hands on the issue that they were willing to pay a premium price for a copy.
For promoting diversity (the new British Vogue editor, Edward Enninful, is gay and of African descent), the talented stylist has received recognition from none other than the British monarchy. Last year, the Order of the British Empire was bestowed on him. On social media, Enninful confessed it was one of 2016's proudest moments for him."One of the proudest moments of 2016 was when I was awarded an #OBE for Services To Diversity In The Fashion Industry by The Royal Princess, Anne at Buckingham Palace. If You had told my 18-year-old self that this would one day be possible, He wouldn't have believed you. Xoxo" Enninful wrote on Instagram.