INSTA-DEBATE: British supermodel Naomi Campbell stirred up a debate on diversity in fashion publishing — or the lack thereof — after sharing a photo of British Vogue’s editorial team on her Instagram account.
“This is the staff photo of British Vogue under the previous editor Alexandra Shulman. Looking forward to an inclusive and diverse staff now that Edward Enninful is the editor. Let’s hear your thoughts?” wrote Campbell, who was appointed contributing editor at the British title last month, by longtime friend Enninful.
Campbell’s post was met with thousands of comments and likes; followers, including activist Livia Firth, applauded Campbell for raising the issue, talked about how they haven’t been able to relate to the content of the magazine for years and expressed their enthusiasm at the shift in direction, following Enninful’s appointment.
Enninful is known to have championed diversity throughout his career and since being named editor he has highlighted his commitment of making the pages of British Vogue more culturally diverse.
In 2016, he was awarded an OBE, or Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his services to diversify the fashion industry. One of his most recognizable projects includes the Vogue Italia “Black Issue,” which he worked on with the late Franca Sozzani, while more recently he directed and styled a campaign for Gap which features models of a range of ages, races and religious backgrounds.
The December issue will be the first issue Enninful will edit.
The lack of diversity in the British title has long been a source of debate. Earlier in the week, the same staff photo created a frenzy on Twitter after the fashion blogger Bryan Yambao — known as Bryanboy — shared it on his account: “I love that London fashion publishing does not have a single person of color. This is institutionalized racism at its best,” he wrote.
British Vogue declined to comment.