By Leisha Chi-Santorelli
BBC News Culture
British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful will be stepping down from his role after six years of breaking boundaries at the top fashion magazine.
The 51-year-old will remain as an editorial advisor to the UK title but move into a newly-created job next year aimed at growing the brand globally.
His new portfolio as Vogue’s global creative and cultural advisor will also allow him to take on external projects.
Enninful will be involved with the recruitment search for his successor.
The Ghanaian-British creative is the first black man to hold the top job at the British fashion magazine.
British Vogue recently featured its first disabled models, including actress Selma Blair who lives with multiple sclerosis and Ellie Goldstein, a 21-year-old model with Down’s syndrome.
Other memorable editions from Enninful include having actor Timothée Chalamet as the first man to grace the cover in October 2022.
In an interview last year about his favourite Vogue covers, Enninful said the inspiration behind his first one in December 2017 featuring mixed race model Adwoa Aboah was aimed at resetting “the image of modern Britain”.
“It was important to create a cover that represented the Britain of today, a multicultural society where everyone was welcome – where my family was welcome,” he said.
His wide network and celebrity friendships have also led to editions such as September 2019’s “Forces for Change” edited by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
Force for Change
Enninful has been a high-profile champion for greater inclusivity in the fashion industry.
He took over as editor-in-chief of British Vogue in August 2017 from Alexandra Shulman, who had been in the job for 25 years. One of his first priorities was to diversify his staff at the 107-year-old publication.
Enninful has been open about his struggles with racism and being a black gay man. In interviews with the BBC, he has also shared concerns about losing his eyesight, his struggles with alcoholism and being estranged from his father for 15 years.
British Vogue’s contributing European sustainability editor Dana Thomas told the BBC she was “thrilled” by the news.
“This gives him more freedom to do what he does best, and what clearly brings him joy, which is the creation of beauty.
His influence has been immense. I write for British Vogue because I found him so inspiring. His leadership in the areas of inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability – what he calls the three pillars of British Vogue – have been unmatched in any publication”.
The memo sent out by Enninful to staff at Vogue is printed in full below:
Anna, Roger and I have been discussing how I can play a broader role in enhancing Vogue globally.
I am excited to share that from next year I will be stepping into the newly appointed position of Editorial Advisor at British Vogue and Global Creative and Cultural Advisor, Vogue, where I will continue to contribute to the creative and cultural success of the Vogue brand globally whilst having the freedom to take on broader creative projects.
To optimise my increased global responsibilities, and to give British Vogue the new focus it will deserve, we saw the opportunity to hire, in concert with our global editorial structure, a Head of Editorial Content for British Vogue. The position will partner very closely with you all and Anna, and will initially report to me until we have onboarded them.
For now everything remains the same, and I’m so excited about what the future holds for us.
I would like to thank Roger and Anna for their continued support.
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British Vogue’s Edward Enninful to take on new global role