The New Vogue
I have finally got my hands on the December 2017 edition of Vogue; the first edition with Edward Enninful as the editor-in-chief.
Enninful addresses the diversity debate with his first cover for British Vogue. I definitely feel that this was a huge risk, especially since Alexandra Shulman was the longest serving editor in the history of British Vogue and therefore he has a lot to live up to. He may have attempted to push the fashion word aside with his focus on politics and culture, with mixed-race model and feminist activist Adwoa Aboah as cover star. I can’t even fathom how much pressure and scrutiny Enninful would have been under for his first edition; the comparisons would have been endless.
The greatest difference that I noticed between previous covers and this one is that the coverlines make no mention of trends or popular, must-have products. Instead there is a list of power players in politics and the arts, including Sadiq Khan, Skepta, Steve McQueen and Zadie Smith. This to me was Enninful’s way of making a statement; all of the names are diverse in age, ethnicity, and also familiarity. If I am honest, I was expecting a more visually led publication with a heavy celebrity presence because of Enninful’s A-list contacts book and background as a stylist.
I did not know anything about Enninful until I did a little bit of research. Aged 16, he was scouted by stylist Simon Foxton, who introduced him to the world of fashion as a model. While modelling, Enninful caught the eye of Trish and Terry Jones, the founders of i-D magazine, and assisted on fashion shoots at the publication. At 18, he was appointed fashion director at i-D, which launched him into the fashion stratosphere. He developed his reputation for producing groundbreaking shoots which captured the energy of the 90s' creative playground. He stayed with i-D for two decades before moving to Condé Nast’s W magazine as style director in 2011.
As a stylist, Enninful has worked on countless campaigns for high-fashion houses, including Lanvin, Carolina Herrera and Tiffany & Co, and has held contributing editor positions on the American and Italian editions of Vogue.
I was in some ways surprised by the choice of this new editor; he is the first man to edit the UK edition. It is definitely a change for British Vogue but I really do feel that the magazine needed a re-brand. The issues were, in my opinion, getting more and more similar each month just with a change of celebrity features. He is a strong advocate of diversity in the industry and I admire how open he is about his desire to promote greater racial inclusivity in Vogue.
I am excited to see what the up-and-coming issues will look like and what their contents include. I am certain that Enninful will be unafraid to make bold statements and may even push boundaries to have a greater impact. I am also interested to see whether Enninful will be about to turn the magazine around. He arrived at Vogue during a challenging time for the glossy magazine industry. This August, it is said that British Vogue saw a 3% drop in circulation. I would not be surprised if that magazine does not reduce the amount of printed issues released each year and opt for a more digital-first strategy with a focus on their online editions.
What are your opinions of the ‘new’ Vogue?