‘Edward Enninful’ was born in February 1972, in Ghana, but at a very young age, moved to Ladbroke Grove, London, along with his parents and five siblings. His mother worked as a seamstress, and inspired him with the vividly patterned colours and fabrics she used while creating clothing for her British-Ghanaian friends. Enninful, is the first African man to edit a mainstream women’s fashion magazine.
The Ghanaian-born former model and stylist, who was the creative and fashion director of W magazine will take over from Alexandra Shulman in August, Vogue confirmed on Monday the 10th of April, 2017.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Edward Enninful, OBE, as Editor of British Vogue effective August 1, 2017,” said Jonathan Newhouse chairman and chief executive of Condé Nast International in a statement. “Edward is one of the most talented and accomplished fashion editors in the world.” Newhouse referred to Enninful “an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist” and added that he was “supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue.”
At age 16, Enniful was spotted in London by stylist Simon Foxton and his fashion career began. In an interview for Telegraph Magazine he said “I was 16 and I had no idea who Simon Foxton was” and about two weeks, he was approached by a Model-scout who told him how awesome Simon was and weeks later he was with Simon at his house shooting with him alongside Nick Knight, a founder-photographer of i-D.
At the age of 18, Enninful’s position as fashion director at i-D made him the youngest ever fashion director for an international publication. He was assisting the title’s fashion director Beth Summers while simultaneously studying for his degree at Goldsmith’s. When Summers left the title, the then-18-year-old Enninful was appointed to her role.
It was announced in April 2011 that Enninful would be taking over as fashion and style-director of W, a position formally held by Alex White. He stated in an interview to WWD, “Now I’m going to be focusing my editorial prowess on W” ending his 10-year relationship as a freelancer with American and Italian Vogue.
Through his work as a brand consultant and stylist, Enninful has partnered with many of the fashion industry’s major players, including Calvin Klein, Fendi, Hugo Boss, Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Lanvin, Giorgio Armani and Valentino. He was awarded the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the 2014 British Fashion Awards, one of many plaudits), the British monarchy has also acknowledged his contribution to fashion, making him OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – last October.
While highly regarded inside the fashion industry, Enninful was not widely tipped for the job – he was named last month as a “surprise outsider” by the London Evening Standard, amid widespread speculation over the appointment.
Shulman announced in January that she was stepping down after more than 25 years as the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Likewise accepted to be in the running for the editorship of British Vogue was Jo Ellison, fashion editor of the Financial Times, and Edward Enninful OBE, who is at present deputy editor at British Vogue. Enninful’s arrangement has been welcomed with acclaim from the fashion community, in which he is very much enjoyed and broadly regarded.