New boss starts restyling Bri­tish Vogue

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Ed­ward En­nin­ful took over as editor of Bri­tish Vogue yes­ter­day, launch­ing a new Snapchat edi­tion as he seeks to rein­vig­o­rate the fash­ion bi­ble that one exstaffer warned was los­ing its rel­e­vance. The 45-year-old for­mer model and stylist is the 101-year-old mag­a­zine's first male, first black and first gay editor, and is known for his po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism, provoca­tive shoots and Alist friends. He has lost no time in bring­ing in a new team, in­clud­ing his close friend, model Naomi Camp­bell, award-win­ning film­maker and artist Steve Mc­Queen and Grace Cod­ding­ton from US Vogue and is also launch­ing a new Snapchat edi­tion

"Bri­tish Vogue is a great mag­a­zine with a legacy of cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion," he said. "I look forward to con­tin­u­ing to pro­duce an ex­cit­ing beau­ti­ful mag­a­zine for its read­ers." On his first of­fi­cial day in the job, the mag­a­zine made its de­but on Snapchat's Dis­cover plat­form, promis­ing edi­tions on the ap­pli­ca­tion three times a week as it seeks to reach out to new au­di­ences. Many more changes are ex­pected from the new boss, who cuts a sharply dif­fer­ent fig­ure from his pre­de­ces­sor, Alexan­dra Shul­man, who edited Vogue for 25 years. While she is a down-to-earth fig­ure who largely avoided the spot­light, En­nin­ful reg­u­larly posts up­dates on so­cial me­dia of his celebrity life­style. His dog Ru, a Bos­ton ter­rier named after drag artist RuPaul, has more than 11,000 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram. Jonathan Ne­w­house, head of Vogue publisher Conde Nast In­ter­na­tional, de­scribed En­nin­ful as "an in­flu­en­tial fig­ure in the com­mu­ni­ties of fash­ion, Hol­ly­wood and mu­sic which shape the cultural zeit­geist".

'Ir­rel­e­vant for most peo­ple'

Sev­eral se­nior staff mem­bers have left Vogue since En­nin­ful's ap­point­ment was an­nounced in April. One news­pa­per dubbed it a "Posh Girl ex­o­dus" that looks set to change the largely white, mid­dle-class and fe­male face of the mag­a­zine. But one of those who was fired, fash­ion di­rec­tor Lucinda Cham­bers, has ac­knowl­edged the need for change-ad­mit­ting she had not read the mag­a­zine for years. Say­ing the clothes fea­tured in fash­ion shoots were "ir­rel­e­vant for most peo­ple-so ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive", she also warned it had lost its au­thor­ity.

"In fash­ion we are al­ways try­ing to make peo­ple buy some­thing they don't need," she said in a candid in­ter­view with in­dus­try pub­li­ca­tion Vestoj.com. "We don't need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we ca­jole, bully or en­cour­age peo­ple into con­tinue buy­ing."

'Re­vi­tal­ize the brand'

Born in Ghana and brought up in west Lon­don with five sib­lings, En­nin­ful was scouted as a model at the age of 16, and be­gan his ca­reer as a stylist. He be­came the youngest fash­ion di­rec­tor in the in­dus­try when he joined i-D, a Bri­tish youth cul­ture mag­a­zine, at the age of 18. He later worked at Vogue US and as con­tribut­ing editor at Vogue Italia, be­fore mov­ing to "W" mag­a­zine as cre­ative and fash­ion di­rec­tor in New York in 2011. En­nin­ful has long pushed for greater di­ver­sity in fash­ion, cre­at­ing a ground-break­ing "All Black" is­sue for Vogue Italia in 2008. He has styled next year's Pirelli cal­en­dar fea­tur­ing ex­clu­sively black stars in­clud­ing ac­tress Lupita Ny­ong'o and rap­per-turned­busi­ness­man Diddy. En­nin­ful also helped or­ches­trate a short film in protest against US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's travel ban, en­ti­tled "I am an im­mi­grant" and star­ring 81 fash­ion fig­ures. En­nin­ful was awarded an OBE for ser­vices to fash­ion last year-after which Camp­bell and Kate Moss threw him a huge party. "In his at­ti­tude to­wards celebrity and so­cial me­dia, En­nin­ful is some­thing of a bridge be­tween the tra­di­tional fash­ion es­tab­lish­ment and the next gen­er­a­tion," the Busi­ness of Fash­ion web­site wrote in an ed­i­to­rial ear­lier this year. —AFP

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