Edward Enninful is the UK’s most influential Black person in 2024 Powerlist

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Outgoing British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful has been named the most influential Black person in the UK.

Now in its 18th year, the Powerlist is part of an annual publication designed to provide professional role models for young people of African and African Caribbean heritage.

The publication is distributed primarily to schools and universities in the hope of inspiring students.

Also on this year’s list 2024 is the social media entrepreneur Patricia Bright, the comedian Mo Gilligan and Dragon’s Den star and podcaster Steven Bartlett.

Enninful’s former colleague, chief business officer at Condé Nast Britain, Vanessa Kingori, is also on the list.

Everyone on the list will be celebrated at the Powerlist Black Excellence Awards ceremony, which takes place in London on Friday (27 October).

Enninful’s achievement comes after the news that the 51-year-old will be stepping down from his role as editor-in-chief at British Vogue. His successor is Chioma Nnadi, who was the editor of Vogue’s American website.

It also follows his inclusion at no. 4 on The Independent Pride List 2023, which celebrated 50 LGBT+ change-makers and their contribution to modern life.

 (Stefan Ruiz / Vogue)
(Stefan Ruiz / Vogue)

Enninful was awarded an OBE for services to diversity in fashion in 2016. Following his departure from Vogue, will become the publication’s global creative and cultural adviser, in addition to being an editorial adviser at British Vogue.

Commenting on the news, he told The Guardian: “Ever since I moved back to take over British Vogue, the Powerlist has always been so supportive, always there in one shape or another.

“But apart from me, it’s incredible that it shines a light on black people really breaking boundaries, who are unafraid and champion what it means to be truly diverse in their own industries. So, I’m honoured, more than anything, to be a part of this family.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Michael Eboda, chief executive of Powerful Media, added: “As we celebrate the Powerlist’s 18th edition I am so proud of its legacy of celebrating remarkable and inspirational black people in Britain.

“We were doing it before diversity was a trend, and even now data shows that trend is sadly reversing, our commitment to recognising and celebrating the achievements of these incredible role models remains as strong as ever.

“We send our huge congratulations to Edward Enninful OBE, who thoroughly deserves to top the list this year. His vision and passion for fashion and diversity has influenced the industry at a global level. Edward’s impact will be felt for generations to come and for that, I applaud him.”

Enninful took over as editor-in-chief at British Vogue in August 2017, making him the first Black man to take the role.

During his six years there, he continued to break boundaries across the fashion industry, championing people of all races, genders and physical abilities, and bringing some much-needed inclusivity to the industry.

However, there have been rumours of a feud between Enninful and American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, for several years. Writing in The Mail Plus, ex-Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman claimed that despite Enninful’s “international influence”, he was “ultimately always playing second fiddle to Wintour within the company.

“He leaves amid an avalanche of rumours of rifts with Wintour,” she wrote. “But whether they are true or not, the announcement that he will be replaced by an ‘editorial content director’, reporting to a multi-step ladder ending in the New York office, delivers a death knell to all that I treasured about the job.”

Here’s the top 10 in the Powerlist 2024

1) Edward Enninful – editor-in-chief, British Vogue, and European editorial director, Vogue

2) Dean Forbes – chief executive, Forterro, and partner at Corten Capital

3) Afua Kyei – chief financial officer of Bank of England

4) Marvin Rees – mayor of Bristol

5) Tunde Olanrewaju – senior partner and managing partner, McKinsey

6) Joshua Siaw – partner at White & Case law firm

7) Syreeta Brown – group chief people and communications officer, Virgin Money UK

8) Paulette Simpson – executive, corporate affairs and public policy, Jamaica National bank and executive director, The Voice Media Group

9) Vanessa Kingori – chief business officer, Condé Nast Britain, and Vogue European business adviser

10) Simon Woolley – peer, co-founder of Operation Black Vote and principal, Homerton College, Cambridge University.