Edward Enninful: Taking the fashion world by storm


There’s a new kid on the fashion block and critics say he’s about to shake up the fashion world with insight, pizzazz and a relevance that brings the industry into the 21st century.

Edward Enninful is a Ghanian born stylist who has lived here in the UK since he was six. He first burst on to the scene as a young model, then at the age of 18 as the youngest ever editor of the youth culture magazine I-D. I-D founder Terry Jones saw something special in this young man and duly gave him the reigns.

Enninful, always aware of the dominant white world around him and particularly his industry, made history in 2008 when he persuaded Vogue to have an all Black model edition. That publication still remains as one of the company’s best -selling editions.

Fast forward nearly ten years, and he’s now in charge of this iconic fashion magazine. One of Enninful's first announcements was to bring in editorial collaborators such as Academy Award-winning Director Steve McQueen, and fashion super models Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. A bold step some argued; working class supermodels are seen in high end magazines for their beauty but rarely heard for their insight.

Equally brave was his decision to remove long standing contributors such as Lucinda Chambers. That act  ensured the knives were truly out for him: ‘Who is this Black upstart removing our established figures? I’m sure some muttered.

We can only wish this young man further great success. Today in the UK he is the only Black editor of any major British publication. Furthermore, his vision for style and fashion could be the cultural catalyst that helps our society to see beauty beyond the narrow western prism of blonde hair and blue eyes.

No doubt Enninful will now be scrutinised, criticized and undermined by some, as never before. Thankfully he has friends such as Naomi Campbell, who know a thing or two about surviving in a cruel environment. He’ll be fine!

Simon Woolley