Vogue UK’s first Black Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful says he’ll always be an outsider.
“I grew up African in an African household in England,” Enninful told Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg’s From the Ground Up, a new video series meeting those who have risen to the top and exploring their journey. “Even when I took a job at British Vogue I was the Black gay working-class outsider. But I’ve been in the industry since I was 18, so I was in essence an insider.”
The challenges he’s had to overcome gave Enninful the guts to push for more diversity in an industry still focused on a narrow definition of beauty. Although he thought his first British Vogue cover featuring mixed-race model and activist Adwoa Aboah would get him fired, Enninful did it anyway.
“I wanted to create a magazine where every woman, regardless of their background, regardless of their age, could see themselves,” said Enninful, who’s since overseen a diverse cast of cover stars, from 85-year old Dame Judi Dench to medical staff at the height of the pandemic. “Now it’s the norm, but in 2017, that was a radical idea.”
Still, fashion brands have more work to do. Featuring Black models in catwalk shows or in Instagram posts is not enough. Enninful insists there’s a need for more diverse voices behind the scenes. “A variety of voices is always better than just one.”
Watch the full interview by clicking here
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