The guard, who was at the front desk, told Enninful to “use the loading bay” which is located at the back of the building, a block away.
The guard, who worked for a third-party contractor, was dismissed from the site immediately and placed under investigation by the contractor, according to a Condé Nast spokesperson. The publisher had contracted the third-party security firm during lockdown.
Enninful, who is Black and has made diversity a priority at British Vogue since he arrived in 2017, recounted the incident late Wednesday on his Instagram account.
“Today I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place. As I entered, I was instructed to use the loading bay,” Enninful wrote. He said that while Condé Nast moved quickly to dismiss the guard, “it just goes to show that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’ve achieved in the course of your life: The first thing that some people will judge you on is the color of your skin.”
He added that just because work schedules and weekends are returning to normal following the easing of lockdown, we cannot let the world return to how it was: “Change needs to happen now.”
Enninful, winner of many industry accolades, received an OBE, or Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his services to diversify the fashion industry in 2016, shortly before being named the first male, and first Black, editor of Vogue.
Born in Ghana, Enninful moved to London as a child, growing up with his five siblings in Ladbroke Grove. He began in the industry as a model, and later took up the fashion director role at i-D magazine, where he worked for decades. He worked for Italian and American Vogue before becoming creative and fashion director of W Magazine.
In his three years at British Vogue, he has championed diversity, most recently spotlighting Britain’s National Health Service workers on the front lines of COVID-19, shooting them in their scrubs with hospital ID tags slung around their necks.
His first cover for British Vogue featured the model and activist Adwoa Aboah, shot by Steven Meisel, and last summer he invited Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, to guest edit the magazine’s September issue last year, which focused on women change makers.
While working at W Magazine in New York, Enninful directed the video, “I Am an Immigrant,” which featured fashion industry figures talking about their personal experiences in the wake of President Trump’s travel ban on Muslim countries.
In 2017, he told WWD that British Vogue had to represent “real women, and to be reflective of the society we live in. Diversity is very important for me. I want Vogue to feel like a shop that you’re not scared to walk into, one that’s quite welcoming.”
In that same interview, he talked about growing up an as immigrant in Britain. “London welcomed my family, I grew up in Notting Hill in a multicultural society. I lived in two worlds. One was the world of school, Britain, and then I’d go home to another one with different colors and smells. My view of the world has always been very open.”