British Vogue will soon release its first issue under the tenure of its latest editor, Edward Enninful. His hiring, as a working class gay black man with background as a model and creative director, has helped to shake up a staid fashion industry in the UK, but it’s also raised a few dog-whistles.
After stepping into the shoes of former editor Alexandra Schulman, as editors are prone to doing, Enninful cleaned house and let go of some of the old team, including Emily Sheffield, who had been considered the favourite for the top job (and is also the former Prime Minister David Cameron’s sister-in-law). When Lucinda Chambers, the magazine’s fashion director for 25 years, gave an interview about her sacking, she admitted that she hadn’t read the magazine in years and called it irrelevant. Sources started mumbling about a ‘posh girl exodus’ and whether Enninful would keep the magazine ‘classy’. Yeah, you know what that really means.
Now Alexandra Schulman is gone, and none other than Naomi Campbell got in a final parting shot. Campbell is very good friends with Enninful and has been named a new contributing editor to the magazine, and if there’s anyone you can trust to not mince their words on the fashion industry’s lack of diversity, it’s her. In an Instagram post, she photographed a page of Schulman’s final issue, featuring the shockingly white editorial team.
As you can imagine, publishing is very white and so is fashion, but for a London based publication to be THIS white? That takes effort. Schulman tried to avoid accusations over lack of diversity in her offices by claiming she didn’t want to treat people of colour like tokens, but that would still require hiring a few, which she seemingly never did.
With Enninful at the helm, British Vogue looks set for a new era of relevance, innovation and inclusiveness. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the fashion world embrace something a little less fucking boring?