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New British Vogue editor set to take center stage

(Edward/Flickr)

On April 10, Condé Nast announced that former British Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman will be leaving her legacy to Edward Enninful, former creative and style director at W Magazine. Enninful will be taking over the editor position at British Vogue Aug. 1. The position entails overseeing all operations of the editorial, marketing and design department of the British Vogue magazine on a daily basis in order to maintain a lucrative stream of success for both the publication and its parent company, Condé Nast.

“It’s a brilliant choice, and I am thrilled for him,” said United States Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. “Edward will undoubtedly shake things up in a way that will be so exciting to watch.”

In British Vogue’s 100-year history, there has never been a male candidate or black candidate chosen to fulfill the role of editor-in-chief. Though the decision surprised many because of this long history of choosing white women for the role, Enninful comes with quite the impressive resume. As a teenage model scouted at 16, he quickly grew accustomed to the fashion industry and took it by storm. With his lighthearted sense of humor and wit, Enninful generated a large following and grew close to friends Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, pushing him further into the designing aspect of the fashion industry.

By age 17, Enninful was immersed in the fashion culture as a photography assistant for the British publication he modeled for, i-D. At 18, he took over the role of Fashion Editor within the company and soon after became Fashion Director and one of the youngest leaders within a major fashion publication. His tenacity and courage throughout his teenage years carried on into his adulthood, proving his loyalty to brands and his desire to move quickly within the fashion industry.

Enninful is most well-known for his presence within W Magazine, a popular fashion magazine in both the United Kingdom and the United States. W Magazine is known for its edgy outlook on garments and unique choices in celebrity models. As the Creative Director, Enninful was tasked with the opportunity to piece together how the magazine spread would look, which models to use, which brands to represent and more.

Enninful is also no stranger to the spotlight. With dozens of celebrity friends by his side such as Kate Moss, Mario Testino, Pat McGrath and Rihanna, he has proven to be quite an influential figure in the world of fashion. During his time before his applying to British Vogue, he ran campaigns with brands such as Giorgio Armani, Mulberry, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Fendi and Gucci.

Less than three years ago, Enninful was given the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards. The award is given annually to candidates who make phenomenal strides as a member of the fashion community.

It is no secret that a good leader, especially within the world of fashion, must not succumb to becoming numb to or intolerant of the events occurring around them. Past the glamorous world of fashion, Enninful still makes time to update his social media accounts with proclamations of social justice. Pro-immigration tweets populate his feed as he continues to stand up for issues some celebrities would be worried to talk about because of potential criticism.

What is significant about this hiring is how much of a beacon of hope Enninful will be this time next year. I cannot help but think of all the individuals who have applied for such an opportunity in the past and felt shut out because of their race, origin or gender.

Cassidy Kotyla can be reached at ckotyla@umass.edu.

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