Edward Enninful steps down as British Vogue editor-in-chief to take on new Condé Nast role amid reports of rift

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Edward Enninful, the Ghanaian-British journalist known for championing diversity in the fashion industry, will step down from his role as British Vogue editor-in-chief. The fashion editor is set to take on a new role at Condé Nast as global creative and cultural advisor of Vogue.

On Friday (2 June), the 51-year-old editor announced in an internal memo to staff that he will step into an “editorial advisor” role in 2024. In the memo, per Vogue Business, he addressed the heads of editorial content at Vogue France, Vogue Italia, Vogue Spain, and Vogue Germany, all of whom report to him.

The move seemingly marks the end of his historic run as British Vogue’s first man, and first Black editor, to hold the title of editor-in-chief.

“I am excited to share that from next year I will be stepping into the newly appointed position of editorial advisor of British Vogue and global creative and cultural advisor of Vogue, where I will continue to contribute to the creative and cultural success of the Vogue brand globally while having the freedom to take on broader creative projects,” the memo read.

"For now everything remains the same, and I’m so excited about what the future holds for us. I would like to thank Roger [Lynch] and Anna [Wintour] for their continued support,” he said.

Since his induction as editor-in-chief of British Vogue in August 2017, Enninful has made strides towards diversity and inclusion in fashion. Most recently, he helmed the magazine’s first braille editions for blind and partially sighted people, and included activist Sinead Burke as one of five stars with disabilities on the cover of British Vogue’s May 2023 issue.

The new position comes amidst rumours of a rift between Enninful and Anna Wintour, the longstanding editor-in-chief of American Vogue.

Despite speculation that Enninful will replace Wintour as the head of American Vogue when she eventually retires, Condé Nast insiders believe that there has been a “great tension” between the two fashion powerhouses.

His stepping down comes just two days after Wintour announced the second annual Vogue World will make its way to London in September ahead of London Fashion Week. Sources say that her decision to hold the fashion extravaganza, which aims to celebrate British art and culture, in Enninful’s so-called dominion was “incredibly annoying for him” and that the US-based editor was treading on his toes.

Perhaps the biggest loss is for Condé Nast, who seemingly chose the 73-year-old global editorial director of Vogue over Enninful – despite his impact in fashion and diversity. However, both Enninful and Condé Nast have previously denied rumours of a rift between the fashion giants, and he thanked his former boss in the memo announcing his departure.

Enninful, who had once been considered a protégé of Wintour, began his career at Condé Nast when he was appointed fashion director at W magazine in 2011. He has also contributed to Italian Vogue since 1998 and American Vogue since 2006.

He succeeded Alexandra Shulman as British Vogue editor-in-chief in 2017, a role she had previously held for nearly 25 years.

In his internal memo, Enninful noted that Condé Nast will begin its search for “head of editorial content” at British Vogue, rather than the coveted title of editor-in-chief. He will continue to report to Wintour in his new role as global creative and cultural advisor of Vogue.