In a captivating turn of events at Condé Nast, Edward Enninful is stepping up his career ladder, moving beyond his role as the editor-in-chief of British Vogue to assume a new, globally focused position in 2024. Following his commendable six-year stint as the chief editor, Enninful will take a step back, or rather a step up, to embrace a broader role that places him as a strong contender for succeeding the iconic Anna Wintour.
Enninful is set to become Vogue’s global creative and cultural advisor, and additionally take on the role of editorial advisor at British Vogue, according to information relayed from a Condé Nast spokesperson.
“I am thrilled to announce that beginning next year, I will transition to the newly established roles of editorial advisor of British Vogue and global creative and cultural advisor of Vogue“, Enninful wrote in a Friday staff memo. In these positions, he expressed excitement to contribute to Vogue’s creative and cultural progress on a global scale and also engage in wider creative projects. However, the specifics of these new roles remain undisclosed.
The promotion emerged from discussions with Wintour, American Vogue’s editor, and Condé Nast’s CEO Roger Lynch, regarding how Enninful could further expand Vogue’s global impact. Despite the promotion, Enninful will continue to report to Wintour, who serves as Condé Nast’s global chief content officer and the editor-in-chief of American Vogue.
Starting from Friday, Enninful will start searching for a new head of editorial content for British Vogue, aligning with Condé Nast’s new management structure which encourages global content sharing and the obsolescence of the editor-in-chief title. Instead, the title “Head of editorial content” will be used.
Enninful reassured his team that the incoming head of editorial content will work closely with them and Wintour. The new appointee will initially report to Enninful, and subsequently to Wintour, mirroring the reporting structure of other content chiefs at the company. This move aligns British Vogue with Condé Nast’s broader consolidation strategy, where primary editors manage titles across various markets and content is globally shared. This strategy, introduced in 2020 following years of financial setbacks, is aimed at driving the company back to profitability.
Despite the fact that Vogue covers remain distinctive for each country, numerous fashion shoots and interviews are now globally shared content.
Enninful, who has been part of the Condé Nast family for over 25 years, is highly esteemed as an editorial gem and is often speculated to be Wintour’s successor. This new role further positions him at the forefront when the time for succession arises.
Named as the successor to Alexandra Shulman in 2017 when she left British Vogue after a 25-year tenure, Enninful made history as the first man and first black editor to hold the title. Prior to this, he had an impressive record as the fashion director of W magazine, another Condé Nast publication, since 2011 and had been a contributor to Italian Vogue since 1998 and American Vogue since 2006.
Since his appointment, Enninful has received widespread praise for his commitment to diversity and inclusivity, featuring a spectrum of cover stars, from global pop stars like Rihanna to activists like Greta Thunberg, soccer player Marcus Rashford, 85-year-old Judi Dench and a leading group of disabled talents.
Recently, British Vogue unveiled its first-ever braille edition, which, along with an audio format, broadened access for blind and partially sighted individuals. While Enninful remains loyal to Condé Nast, he hasn’t hidden his ambition to venture beyond the realm of magazine publishing, putting Condé in a position of needing to maintain him within their ranks and ensuring he’s ideally positioned to step in should Wintour decide to depart.
Enninful’s success as an editor at British Vogue is undeniable, as he’s seen as an influential figure among the fashion, Hollywood, and music circles that are instrumental in shaping cultural trends. His push for diversity and inclusivity, as well as his innovative ideas, have played a significant role in revamping the publication’s image.
Enninful has made clear his excitement about the future under the new role and structure, thanking Wintour and Lynch for their continuous support. He reassured his team by saying, “For now, everything remains the same, and I’m incredibly thrilled about what the future has in store for us“.