Edward Enninful (Edward Kobina Enninful), British Vogue editor-in-chief who succeeded Alexandra Shulman , who resigned in January 2017, in August of the same year. Enninful was born 22 February 1972, Ghana, grew up in London and at 16 was scouted as a model on the train. He soon began assisting stylists at shoots, becoming fashion director under Terry Jones at i-D at age 18. Over the next two decades, he built a close-knit group of collaborators — Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Pat McGrath, Nick Knight, Craig McDean and David Sims among them — and styled some of the industry’s most celebrated issues, including Vogue Italia’s all-time bestselling “All Black” issue in July 2008.
He gave W a singular, fashion-forward visual identity as its style director for six years before being chosen to replace Alexandra Shulman at British Vogue in 2017.
When it was announced Mr Enninful would take over British Vogue, he said he had grown up reading the fashion bible.
“I am so honoured and humbled to be taking up the mantle of editor,“ he said in an interview with British Vogue.
“I realise 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.”
Since taking the helm of the British publication, Edward Enninful has put Rihanna and Oprah on the cover, and overseen a 1.1 percent increase in the magazine’s circulation amid a drop in overall circulation of British publications.
Edward Enninful Biography and Profile
I want to share with you my story. The un-edited version. My obstacles, my opportunities, my failures and my successes. Today I work as the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, but my personal story starts many, many years ago right here in London. I grew up as a gay young man in the 1980s and at the age of 16, I had never met another gay person.
Then I found fashion – or it found me on the London tube. I was discovered by a photographer on my way to university… it didn’t seem like it at the time, but that was the exact moment my life would change forever. I was asked to model, and against my parents’ wishes I decided to embark on a modelling career that would lead me to an amazing new set of friends and collaborators who introduced me to a whole new world of fashion.
And what a world! It didn’t seem brave at the time, but now I look back and that was the turning point for my life. Each one of you will encounter many moments throughout life that could change your trajectory forever. Be brave and take them. My parents always instilled in me hard work. Being black, working class and gay I didn’t have the luxury of failure, it wasn’t an option on the table. Don’t allow obstacles to deter you. During my modelling days, I felt rejection. I was told I wasn’t good enough, not talented enough, not straight enough, and even not good-looking enough. That hurt, and I am telling you all that someday you will encounter rejection too. Rejection is painful but it teaches you a very important lesson about empathy. I will never forget the way I felt, and because of that it serves as a daily reminder in my current job at Vogue to have compassion for others, and to represent the underrepresented.
Rejection can also fuel you to work harder, which was true in my case as my career navigated from model, to stylist, and now as an editor. I vividly remember going to Paris Fashion Week as fashion director of W and all my industry peers were sat in the first row, but I was sat second row behind them. I was doing the same equivalent job as them… I was just as important as they were… I was working the same gruelling hours and under the same pressure as them. It’s because I was black, gay and not thin that I was sat second row. Not because of my hard work, or job title. It was because I didn’t look like them. And in that moment, I remembered where I came from, all the long hours and hard work I had put into my career, all the obstacles I had faced, and I stood up for myself.
The courage to stand up for yourself, or others, in times where you know something isn’t right, is important. Be courageous. Fight for things that mean something to you. When I was announced as editor-in-chief of British Vogue, I faced criticism again. Challenges will come over and over again throughout your life. I expect more will come throughout my career. Again, fight for things that mean something to you. I wanted my work at British Vogue to appeal to a whole new generation and highlight diversity and inclusion across the board… gender… race… class… size… everything.
To see a new generation of young people like yourselves who are redefining our identities is powerful. Be Forces For Change in the world. Be brave. Don’t let obstacles deter you. Be courageous and fight for things that mean something to you. And have compassion for others.
Edward Kobina Enninful Biography and Profile (Edward Enninful)