The appointment of Edward Enninful as editor of British Vogue was a surprise choice for many. While his name had appeared in several lists of potential candidates before the appointment, few could picture Enninful in the role as first male editor for British Vogue and first black editor of any edition of Vogue.
Enninful is of course extremely qualified for the position, having spent his entire adult life from the age of 18 to his current 45 years working in the fashion industry. He’s also previously worked for Italian Vogue and American Vogue, as well as consulting for numerous fashion brands.
Here are some interesting facts you might not know about British Vogue’s new editor:
1. He planned to be a lawyer before starting his career in fashion
His family emphasised the importance of academics during his youth and Enninful had been planning a career in law before he was discovered as a young model.
2. He’s been close friends with Kate Moss since they were teenagers
Enninful met Kate during a model casting when he was 17 and she was 15. The two have been firm friends ever since.
3. He was the youngest ever fashion director of an international magazine
He was introduced to Trish and Terry Jones, the founders of i-D magazine as a 17-year-old model and was soon invited to assist fashion director Beth Summers. When Summers left the magazine a few weeks after Enninful’s 18th birthday, he was awarded the position by Terry Jones, making him the youngest ever fashion director for an international publication.
4. His family emigrated from Ghana to the UK when he was a child
Enninful was born in Ghana in 1972 and has five siblings. He moved to Ladbroke Grove with his family at a young age and his mother worked as a seamstress, no doubt inspiring the young Enninful with her use of traditional bright printed fabrics.
5. He was scouted as a model on the tube
At the age of 16, Enninful was spotted on a train on the Hammersmith and City line by stylist Simon Foxton. Foxton recalls the young Enninful wearing a duffel coat and “National Health” glasses but immediately spotted his potential. He started modelling in a shoot for i-D magazine soon after, only after asking permission from his mother. He modelled for two years before being appointed fashion director of the magazine.
6. He used to have a phobia of dogs
Enninful was treated of his fear of dogs by a hypnotist and got his Boston Terrier, Ru, just a few months later. The dog appears frequently on his Instagram account and even has his own profile on models.com.
7. He was awarded an OBE in 2016
Enninful was presented with the award to recognise his services to diversity in the fashion industry at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, accompanied by his friend Naomi Campbell.
8. He was behind the “all black” issue of Italian Vogue
The famous 2008 “all black” issue of Vogue Italia came in four different editions, featuring Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez, Jourdan Dunn, and Naomi Campbell on the cover. Every model featured inside the magazine was also black. The issue was so popular that the first print sold out within days and Condé Nast printed an extra 40,000 copies.
9. He’s a huge fan of Instagram
The fashion influencer boasts over 572k followers on Instagram (six times as many as previous editor, Alexandra Shulman) and recognises the power of Social media in the fashion industry – he’s been quick to work with models Bella and Gigi Hadid due to their large social media following.
10. He appeared in The September Issue
Enninful was working for American Vogue during the filming of The September Issue and appears in a scene where he is berated by Anna Wintour for not being good enough. He’s later seen on camera talking to Grace Coddington wailing that he wanted to kill himself.