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Celebrating Ghanaian Ingenuity: The Rise Of Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful has been appointed editor-in-chief of British vogue, succeeding Alexandra Shulman, who resigned in January 2017. Enninful takes the title after a six year stint as style director of W Magazine.

The Ghanaian-born, London-bred is one of the most influential fashion icon in the world, he has almost thirty years of experience in the industry under his belt but that’s not cause to rest on his laurels. He was scouted on the train at age 16, having moved to London with his parents and six siblings at a young age. After a brief stint in modeling for Arena and i-D Magazine before asissting stylists Simon Foxton and Beth Summers on fashion shoots. He was introduced to Terry Jones i-D’s founder, who named him fashion editor after Beth Summers left.

Enninful became the youngest fashion editor for an international publication when he was appointed to this position at i-D Magazine at just 18 years of age. His signature style quickly became recognizable, a sort of edgy elegance, inspired by streetwear and the grunge culture of the 1980’s. it was also during that time he befriended many of his future fashion collaborators including Noami Cambell, David Sims, Pat McGrath, Craig McDean, Kate Moss and Mario Sorrenti. He became a contributing editor at Vogue Italia, notably going on to lead the production of the 2008 “Black Issue”, which featured only black models throughout. The issue was so successful that, the original run sold out in just 72 hours, and a further 40,000 rush copies had to be made to accommodate the demand.

Enninful was tapped to take the style directorship at W Magazine in 2011 a high end Conde Nast title that struggled in the late 2000s. Enninful reshaped the publication into an edgy social commentary, underpinned by his distinctive aesthetic and of course, a powerful voice on the subject of diversity in fashion. Enninful continued to be outspoken about the diversity problem in the fashion industry. whilst, the director of W Magazine, he lead the way by providing a platform for young black creatives in the fashion industry and featuring established professionals to a degree not matched by many other high end publications. He consistently publishes editorials that use only black models and uses his position to keep the conversation of diversity current.

The 45 year old remains positive on the prospect of more diverse representation, at all levels of the fashion industry, saying that we are headed in the right direction. Even with his ever rising status in the industry and social prowess, his humility shines through, deeming himself one of the lucky ones and saying that it’s his insecurity that drives him to produce his work.

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