In April 2017, Edward Enninful OBE was appointed editor of British Vogue, following the resignation of Alexandra Shulman, who had served at the helm of the magazine for 25 years. Described by Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International, as "an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music", who "by virtue of his talent and experience... is supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue", Edward Enninful heads to Vogue with a with army of influential connections; including Naomi Campbell, Grace Coddington, Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, Skepta, Zadie Smith and Jourdan Dunn. Enninful's appointment as Editor of Vogue is quite significant for the British fashion industry as he is the first male (black) editor to be appointed to British Vogue in its 101-year history. An outspoken advocate for more diversity in fashion, Enninful, was born in Ghana (yay he's African) and raised in London. He was previously a style director at W and i-D magazines.
Edward's appointment as Editor of British Vogue was not without controversy. In a column on The Business of Fashion, Alexandra Shulman, former Editor of Vogue wrote “It’s certainly not a job for someone who doesn’t wish to put in the hours, and thinks that the main part of their job is being photographed in a series of designer clothes with a roster of famous friends”. Also on
Friday 10 November, she told The Guardian she “would sell fewer copies” if she put a lesser-known black face on the cover. This led to accusation of racism from the fashion world, including supermodel, Naomi Campbell who pointed out to The Guradian that during Shulman's 25-year tenure as editor of British Vogue, she only gave two black models (Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell) solo covers. Naomi was also quick to take a swipe at Alexandra Shulman on her Instagram, posting "Looking forward to an inclusive and diverse staff now that @edward_enninful is the editor”.
Anyhow back to Enninful, for his debut edition of British Vogue, he selected Adwoa Aboah, as his cover girl to usher in the era of #NewVogue. According to Enninful, #NewVogue celebrates Great Britain above all else; the talented, diverse creatives who brilliantly represent it, both at home and on the world stage. The use of Adwoa for the December issue of Vogue illustrates the magazines willingness to embrace diversity, inclusiveness and change. The 14-page shoot was photographed by Steven Meisel.