Vogue’s new editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, has released his first ever issue of British Vogue, appearing on newsstands last Friday. Previously criticised for its lack of diversity under Alexandra Shulman’s rule, Enninful has managed to create a Vogue that oozes positivity, inclusivity and solidarity.
Enninful has selected Adwoa Aboah, mixed-race British model and feminist activist, as his first cover girl. The model not only elicits a striking sense of zeal in the way Enninful has presented her, the bold and brightly coloured make up giving off positive vibes, she is also the founder of an online platform, Gurls Talk. Through this, girls are given a space that enables them to discuss mental health, addiction, sex and social media. It is clear that Enninful aims to get beyond the surface of beauty and style and construct a magazine that celebrates people and their differences, highlighting the personal values of his models and not just their beauty.
In a short video discussion between Enninful and Aboah that was posted on the Vogue website, the new editor explained how it was the ‘sense of honesty’ that radiates from Aboah that made him choose her as his first cover girl. Aboah responded to Enninful’s praise saying they shared a ‘knowing and understanding that we’re all in it together.’ The relaxed tone of the short video reinforced the sense of solidarity and togetherness that the issue represents, making it impossible for anyone to approach the magazine with anything but a positive and engaged outlook.
‘I wanted to create a magazine that was open and friendly. A bit like a shop that you are not scared to walk into.’
Instead of focussing on all the material things we’d expect from a fashion magazine, the cover solely lists the people who appear inside the issue. Enninful moves away from the models we might expect to see such as Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss and has introduced a whole spectrum of powerful figures, including Zayn Malik, Sadiq Khan, Millie Bobby Brown and Peter Blake. There is this idea of progress in every sense and the simplicity and boldness in the way in which Enninful has presented this makes the pairing of political messages with fashion statements seem natural and complete.
‘You are going to see all different colours, shapes, ages, genders, religions. You are going to see less of models who don’t look so healthy.’
With his first issue already having a huge impact on the fashion world, we can’t wait to see what other inspiring and ground breaking things Enninful has in store for us. Could this new (and improved) editor really change the way we engage and associate ourselves within the fashion world?
Image: Kevin Trageser/Redux