How British Vogue’s Edward Enniful is disrupting fashion.

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“If you see it, it might be you.” To Edward Enniful, Editor-in-Chief of Tracking British Vogue and European Editorial Director b Voguethe concept of visibility is always paramount.

In his memoir, Infinite shares his remarkable career. A visible personReleased today.

But it is much more than the life story of a young boy from a military base in Ghana who emigrates with his family to Ladbroke Grove, London. It’s the story of how a man who always felt “other” shook up the fashion industry, shattered preconceived definitions of beauty, and broke barriers in doing so.

Infiniful heeded the call – forging a new vision of magazines – and even after more than 30 years in the industry, the story is still being written.

Among some of Mr. Infinite’s amazing achievements: He is the first male editor-in-chief British Vogue In its 106-year history, it took over the post in 2017. He is also the first black editor-in-chief. Vogue In Britain or America. When he was hired by Terry Jones, he took the youngest title of any international fashion publication to hold the position of fashion director at Masthead magazine. Idat the age of 18.

“Entry British Vogue, I remember thinking, I want to create a magazine for all women, that reflects the world out there, these amazing women who tell these amazing stories,” Eninful shares. “And I remember thinking to myself, You will be fired for being inclusiveBut to myself at the same time. But that was great. Because at least I was being true to myself. So that’s really important to me – authenticity. Being true to myself and my vision.

As a lifelong advocate for diverse voices, Enninful presents “The Black Issue” in Italian VogueContains black models only. Finally, he became a fashion and style director. in a magazine.

“What I love about this world is that it’s not just about magazines anymore, but magazines are at the center of the video and audio ecosystem. It is also filled with youth and is changing to meet the needs of new audiences.

For Nineful, it helps to go back to the beginning, to get a front-row seat to how inspiring his story truly is, and to understand the methodology behind his mission-driven career and life as forward-thinking, thought-provoking.

“My whole life has been spent showing the next generation to do it – I always say, ‘If I can do it, you can do it’. I had Andre Leon Talley to watch, and I want the younger generation to know, if you can see it, you can be it. It’s so important.”

Here’s the thing: Enninful is not for nostalgia or retrospect. He strikes forward without fear. He is literally a visionary, not only looking toward a more inclusive future, but taking steps to make it happen.

“I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels,” explains Enninful. “And I mean, I’m not that kind of person. OK, I did it. I can sit up now. I am on a constant mission.”

When Anniefull applied for the role of editor-in-chief of British Vogue, he was armed with a manifesto – he wanted to create “a”. Vogue It represents women today just as it did in the 70s. Ordinary women’s stories, activism, stories about culture and the people who shaped the world.

At that time, the narrative was that black women on the cover did not sell magazines. Since Enninful took over—more than half of its covers featured women of color—its revenue has soared and its circulation has soared.

“I’m a doer. I did exactly what I said I would do five years ago,” Eninful said. “In this day and age, I look at the most diverse magazines and realize that in 2017 no one is talking about this. So I had to go against the grain. And I’m proud to say it. Now it’s normal for all women, sizes, shapes, colors, religious beliefs and sexualities to be able to express themselves. “

The origin story of Enniful, who developed superpowers, tells the story of a boy growing up in Ghana who is transported to the glamorous world of fashion magazines and introduced to the idea of ​​beauty by his mother. Couturier (dress maker). He always felt invisible until he realized that he was visible to others – just like Stylist Simon Foxton discovered when he was a teenager in Enninful on the train. And in London and France he appears as a black man; He shared an encounter in Paris, where he was stopped by the police at Place Vendome while on a fashion assignment.

I was going to be my true self and I had to be seen as all these labels that would otherwise make me invisible—poor, black, working-class, gay—I would turn them into positives. And they were going to work for me.”

Today, Enninful’s superpowers include curiosity, fearlessness, drive and empathy.

“The reason I’m able to do what I do, the book, A visible personI’m touching a lot of people because I emphasize a lot – I empathize with all kinds of women, different races, different ages, different sizes. I find beauty in all of them. And I sit here today in empathy. Thanks to Terry Jones and Simon Foxton for seeing me on the train and seeing and thinking about something in me. Let’s give this little black boy a chance. And I’ve tried to convey those to repeat that and advise that.

Speaking of mentors, mentorship is one of Enninful’s missions in life. He shares the experiences of his mentors in the book, which is why he is motivated to pave the way for the younger generation.

“One of the reasons I wrote the book was for the younger generation to really see the journey that got me here – the ups and downs, the struggles, the health issues, the things that make me who I am, and everything that got me here. This is why I often say ‘don’t let anything stop you from getting where you want to go’.

Among the things that commonly hold us back: fear and imposter syndrome.

“Imposter syndrome still pops up sometimes! Everyone He suffers from imposter syndrome. Incredibly, you can see a celebrity and I bet when you sit down with them, they share that they have imposter syndrome. So you are not alone,” said Ininiful. “You deserve to be where you are then. You have to believe. That’s what I told my younger self anyway.”

Fear goes hand in hand with impersonation syndrome and when faced with disruption, wanting to do things differently, rocking the boat and shaking up the status quo.

For Ininiful, “Disruption is important, because it’s the only way the world can move forward.” To the younger generation, I want to say that fear paralyzes people, so go with what you feel. Be as fearless as you can be and be disruptive in your own way.

And in an age where buzzwords like ‘quieting’ and setting limits in the workplace are on the rise, it’s worth reminding readers that it’s important to push on and work hard – never at the expense of your health and safety.

“You can’t sleepwalk. You have to give everything the best. I didn’t get here because I did well. I came here because I made a mistake. I have arrived here. because of From my mistakes. So you have to move on and learn from your mistakes – that’s a beautiful thing. Often, young people are afraid to make mistakes, they feel that everything must be perfect immediately. But making mistakes will get you where you want to go and lead to growth. Because you won’t repeat them – hopefully.

The book has an overarching theme of the visible, visible and invisible, as well as image-making, but there is also an underlying theme of creating waves, making noise, and viewing the publishing industry (or any platform) as a megaphone. turn into.

“My favorite question why?“Enninful shares. “My advice to any young person entering an institution is to tell them. We don’t do it this way. – be quiet Why can’t we do it this way? That’s what I did.”

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