Edward Enninful was named the editor of British Vogue after the departure of Alexandra Shulman earlier this month. While this may seem like an ordinary appointment, Enninful’s accomplishment is history making. In addition to being the first non female appointee, he is also the first ever non white person to take the job.
Why is this little nugget necessary? Well let’s take a look at this year’s British Vogue editorial staff photo below:
No that’s not a 1980s family gathering, but in fact the editors for British Vogue. The photograph has caused many, including super model Naomi Campbell, to criticize the magazine for its lack of staff diversity. While I do think a cry for more diversity can be over blown at times, this isn’t one of them. The above picture is ridiculous and in today’s day in age, it takes a special kind of effort to ensure NO black person gets an opportunity within your editorial staff.
With the new appointment, many believe Enninful will bring a new view to the magazine, and so far he has not disappointed. According to The Guardian, before “taking up the post at the beginning of August, Enninful announced a series of appointments that attempted to rectify the issue. Campbell, film director Steve McQueen and model and activist Adwoa Aboah were all named as contributing editors and a make-up artist, Pat McGrath, was named beauty editor-at large.”
While the majority of the editorial staff are white, these changes are massive from just a month ago. “Enninful has pledged that his time as editor will see diversity embraced on the pages of Vogue and behind it, a change from a world where only two black models have had solo Vogue covers in the past 15 years. Enninful was awarded an OBE for services to diversity in fashion in 2016 and has not shied away from the issue since being named editor, pledging to “change it from the inside”.”