Posting a group shot of the staff at British Vogue taken just prior to the departure of editor-in-chief, Alexandra Shulman, iconic super model Naomi Campbell wrote in the Instagram caption, “This is the staff photo of [British Vogue] under the previous editor Alexandra Schulman. Looking forward to an inclusive and diverse staff now that Edward Enninful is the editor [in chief].”
Campbell’s caption was a reference to what appeared to be an entirely white staff. Having a homogeneous staff doesn’t mean the editorial content will follow, however, in the case of British Vogue, the magazine often came under criticism for the paucity of covers featuring black models.
When U.K. model Jourdan Dunn was featured for the first time on the cover of British Vogue’s February 2015 issue, she was the first solo black model to appear on the cover in 12 years. Prior to Jourdan, the last black model to appear was Naomi Campbell, who landed the August 2002 cover. Dunn was on a British Vogue cover in 2008, but it was a group shot with white models.
Since Dunn appeared in 2015, there have been no covers featuring a solo black model. Rihanna landed the April 2016 cover.
Enninful was installed as editor in chief of the magazine in April 2017, making him the first non-white person to lead the magazine since it was founded 100 years ago. At the time of the announcement, Enniful said he was adding four contributing editors to his masthead: models Campbell and Kate Moss, director Steve McQueen and former U.S. Vogue editor Grace Coddington.
Enninful also brought on makeup artist Pat McGrath as beauty editor at large, and also added Val Garland, Sam McKnight, Guido Palau, and Charlotte Tilbury to his beauty team.
Enninful officially began his tenure at British Vogue at the start of August 2017.