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    Tuesday, September 19, 2023

    Chioma Nnadi Is New Editor-In-Chief Of British Vogue

    British Vogue has appointed a new editor “attuned to women’s rights” following criticism that the female fashion bible had lost its way.

    Chioma Nnadi, a London-born journalist, will become the first black woman to lead the prestigious title, replacing Edward Enninful – who previously said that his “tenure here at Vogue has always been about inclusivity and diversity”.

    The change comes following rumours of a split between Anna Wintour, Vogue’s famed editor-in-chief, and Mr Enninful, who was once considered the 73-year-old’s heir apparent. Many view the reshuffle as a centralisation of her power.

    Ms Nnadi said she was “beyond excited and honoured” to be appointed.

    “Now, more than ever, it feels like a moment to look beyond borders while also celebrating the broad scope of what it means to be British,” she said. 

    “I’m looking forward to engaging a loyal and inspired digital community that is energised by our access, point of view, and storytelling.”

    Her appointment came with a glowing endorsement from Wintour.

    “Chioma is beloved among her colleagues at Vogue and is an editor and writer with an impeccable reputation – both here and in the fashion industry at large,” she said.

    “I’m so grateful to Edward Enninful for everything he’s accomplished at British Vogue, and we’re all looking forward to a productive and creative relationship with him in his new role.

    “I can’t think of a more worthy person to follow in his footsteps than Chioma.”

    The announcement comes after years of speculation from insiders that Mr Enninful, who was named as the magazine’s first male editor in 2017, was the only “real threat” to Wintour.

    He made his mark on the magazine with its first transgender model, first visibly disabled cover star and first plus-size model.

    Ms Nnadi is known for her disinterest in the limelight, as well as her passion for women’s issues.

    “She’s good with young people, and attuned to women’s rights,” one former colleague told The Times, adding that her approach to progressive causes would be “more nuanced” than her predecessor.

    She will take up the role on Oct 9. The former stylist also oversaw the first cover in British Vogue’s history to feature a lone man, Timothée Chalamet. 

    Rumours abounded in recent years that he wanted the women’s fashion magazine to become “genderless”.

    Other notable issues included an instalment guest-edited by the Duchess of Sussex that featured Greta Thunberg on the front, which the Duchess claimed changed the “superficial” focus of the fashion industry into pages full of “inclusivity”.

    He also caused outrage by naming trans cyclist Emily Bridges as the only sportswoman on a 2023 year’s list of 25 “powerhouse” women. Gender-critical campaigners said the inclusion was a “real kick in the teeth for women”.

    Following her appointment, Ms Nnadi told The Guardian: “It’s important to think about who is telling the story, and whose story we are telling.”

    “Obviously, matters of diversity and inclusion should always be on the agenda, but it feels like more of an open conversation now, and that feels to me like progress.”

    Ms Nnadi, who by her own admission is “wobbly” when the centre of attention, is likely to enjoy less autonomy than previous editors under her new job title as head of editorial content, rather than editor-in-chief.

    Justine Picardie, the former editor-in-chief of Hearst title Harper’s Bazaar, said the move “suggests that the centralised power will lie with Anna Wintour, who is now in overall control of the global editions of Vogue, and every other Condé Nast title”.

    Jo Elvin, who edited Glamour magazine, a title within the Condé Nast empire, echoed that sentiment – saying that Ms Nnadi’s new role would be “much more at the coalface of producing digital and print content”, adding: “So they want someone strong in that arena but also someone who is happy to take creative direction from New York rather than expect the autonomy that the editor-in-chief role traditionally enjoyed.”

    Mr Enninful, who is set to take up a global advisory role at the publication, said: “I am so thrilled that Chioma is joining British Vogue – she is a brilliant and unique talent with real vision, who will take the publication to ever greater heights.”

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