Edward Enninful is editor-in-chief of British Vogue, taking the helm of the magazine on August 1, 2017. In just over two years as editor-in-chief of the famed publication, he has helped shape a new vision for fashion media — not just in the UK, but globally — where he has placed a “diversity of perspective” at its core.
Enninful has described his vision for British Vogue as “about being inclusive. It’s not just the colour of your skin but the diversity of perspective.” His digital prowess and drive to break the storied title into previously unreported coverage areas has seen the publication reach new, younger audiences across social media, video and online. Digital traffic at the title grew by 7.8 percent in 2018 to 14.8 million monthly unique users, while print circulation has increased 1.1 percent since 2017.
Ghanaian-born Enninful began his career as fashion director of British youth culture magazine i-D at age 18, the youngest ever to have been named an editor at a major international fashion title. After moving to London with his parents and six siblings at a young age, Enninful was scouted as a model on the train at 16 and briefly modelled for Arena and i-D magazines before assisting stylists Simon Foxton and Beth Summers on fashion shoots. During this period, he was introduced to i-D Founder Terry Jones, who named him fashion editor after Summers left.
Inspired by London’s club scene in the 1980s, Enninful’s work during this period captured the frenetic energy and creative zeitgeist of the time. It was also during this time that he befriended many of his future fashion collaborators, including David Sims , Pat McGrath , Craig McDean , Mario Sorrenti , Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell . His fashion stories, often infused with a provocative elegance and strong narrative, have also appeared in American Vogue and Vogue Italia, where he was a contributing editor, frequently collaborating with photographer Steven Meisel , including on the famous “makeover madness” issue of July 2005, featuring Linda Evangelista in plastic surgery bandages.
In 2011, Enninful was tapped to take the style directorship at W magazine, a high-end Condé Nast title that had struggled in the late 2000s. He brought relevance to the magazine’s fashion editorials and put a twist on many of its cover stars’ public image, such as dressing the outré R&B artist Nicki Minaj as a French noblewoman. W’s editor, Stefano Tonchi , credited Enninful in part with the magazine’s 16 percent growth in ad page in 2012. In February 2017 Enninful gathered 81 of the fashion industry’s most recognisable faces for a powerful short film for the publication, titled "I Am An Immigrant," in defiance of US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies.
For British Vogue’s print editions, Enninful’s covers have consistently featured strong women who promote messages of empowerment: Stella Tennant, Oprah Winfrey, Adwoa Aboah , Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, not to mention his September 2019 edition guest-edited by Meghan Markle HRH Duchess of Sussex, which featured 15 trailblazing female changemakers including Greta Thunberg and Jane Fonda on the cover. The issue was a quick sell-out and, according to estimates provided by Condé Nast Britain, the release of the September cover in the first 24 hours alone, generated more than double the entire PR value of Enninful’s previous blockbuster September issue, featuring pop star Rihanna.
Enninful was awarded an OBE for his services to diversity in the fashion industry, and in 2018 he received the Media Award in Honour of Eugenia Sheppard from the CFDA in recognition of his career-long contribution to the fashion industry.