For British Vogue’s final issue under departing editor-in-chief Edward Enninful...
The fashion visionary eschewed the usual convention of a solo cover star. Instead, he assembled 40 legendary models, actors, musicians and activists whose careers he has impacted and been impacted by during his groundbreaking six-and-a-half year tenure. Photographed in New York City by Steven Meisel and Ned Rogers, the multi-generational constellation of stars converges to commemorate Enninful’s ambitious editorship and lasting influence on diversity in fashion.
Edward Enninful’s Remarkable Tenure
Ghanaian-born Enninful unexpectedly announced his resignation mid-2022, sending shockwaves through the industry. After revolutionizing fashion from within publications like i-D and W Magazine as a stylist and later Vogue’s first Black fashion and style director, Enninfular continued broadening fashion’s horizons as British Vogue’s editor-in-chief since 2017.
Enninful championed diversity and inclusivity in the elite fashion world, orchestrating barrier-breaking firsts. 2020 saw the magazine’s inaugural covers shot by Black photographers Misan Harriman and Kennedi Carter. Disabled models, activists and creatives starred on a series of five history-making covers in May 2023. Ageism norms were challenged with a 2019 issue dedicated to women over 50 and 2022 covers starring 82-year-old actress Miriam Margolyes and then 85-year-old Dame Judi Dench.
“It was clear no one woman could encapsulate these past few years,” Enninful penned in his final editor’s letter, referring to his regulations-redefining era. “What we needed was a group, to lean into the power of collective to bring life to what I hope has been a daring, disruptive and evolutionary period in Vogue’s history.”
Illustrious Cast of Forty Cover Stars
Among the terrain-shifting cover stars are nineties supes Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista, pop supernova Rihanna, silver screen royalty Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda and Cate Blanchett and seminal stylist Kate Moss.
Golden-era warriors like the age-defying Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell join fellow contemporaries ranging from Salma Hayek Pinault and Demi Moore to Maria Grazia Chiuri and Precious Lee. Generation Z and millennial disruptors Kamala Harris, Florence Pugh, Adwoa Aboah and Paloma Elsesser lend fresh vision. Models Aweng Ade Chuol, Shalom Harlow and Guinevere Van Seenus bridge age spectrums.
In paying homage to Enninful’s lasting influence, the issue also celebrates shifts in acceptance hard-won during his commendable tenure. “We are getting better at celebrating women of all ages,” remarks 55-year-old Turlington.
The Enduring Legacy of Edward Enninful
While Enninful passes British Vogue’s torch, his remarkable influence endures through risk-taking successors and the industry’s promising trajectory toward diversity and inclusion. The visionary editor caps off an era during which he repeatedly championed underrepresented women with his swan song issue doing the same. Though Enninful steps down, his extraordinary editorship leaves behind an empowered lineage of creatives carrying fashion forward.