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First Look: Edward Enninful’s Memoir

The editor-in-chief of British Vogue is set to release his first memoir, A Visible Man, in September. In it, he documents his experiences as a Ghanaian refugee in London to those at the top of Vogue’s masthead.
book cover edward enninful
The cover of Edward Enninful's memoir, A Visible Man, shot by Rafael Pavarotti. Courtesy.

“My whole life has been about duality,” Edward Enninful, British Vogue editor-in-chief and Vogue European editorial director, said on a recent Zoom call with BoF. The acclaimed editor, whose family fled to London from Ghana as refugees, said the traditional clothes and foods his mother would make served as reminders of their original home, but stepping onto the streets of London would show him how far they’d come.

“This duality, it’s probably been one of the biggest helps in my life and my career, being able to look from the outside in ... You’re on the inside, but you’re always on the outside, you know? I left a country or left a home. So maybe this eternal search for a home always sort of helps your view.”

It’s this sort of introspection that fills the pages of Enninful’s upcoming memoir, A Visible Man, which will be released in September. BoF is exclusively revealing the memoir’s cover, shot by photographer Rafael Pavarotti. In the book, Enninful outlines his experiences from childhood to the fashion world. He became i-D’s youngest fashion director at age 18 and eventually ended up as the top editor of British Vogue in 2017, becoming the first Black person to hold the role. He said that he hopes the book helps readers understand how to navigate spaces where they may not see themselves reflected.

“People, they look at me and they don’t see this a story. You don’t see the journey. They see a successful man and I just really wanted to sort of show that there are challenges you’ll face but in the end, you just have to keep going,” Enninful said.

While overseeing British Vogue, the title has become known for artful and at times provocative, covers, including its February 2022 “All African” cover featuring nine models of African descent, which was also shot by Pavarotti. Among Enninful’s accolades is an Order of the British Empire awarded in 2016, The Business of Fashion’s Global VOICES Award in 2019 and the British Society of Magazine Editors’ Editor award in 2021.

“Shortly after the George Floyd murder happened, that was a real moment ... I thought this was the perfect moment to tell my story as a Black person, as a person, as a human being, as somebody who’d been othered my whole life,” Enninful said. “It was the right moment to tell the story. So, I did.”

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