May 13, 2021

Vogue has a new editor. Bad news, it’s not me – but here’s my advice | Hadley Freeman

Listen up, Edward Enninful: British style is about so much more than rich people and skinny models

Last week the British Vogue editor of 25 years standing, Alexandra Shulman, held her leaving party, which means the new editor is now incoming and, astonishingly, it is not me. The high-ups at the magazine’s publisher, Condé Nast, decided to go with Edward Enninful, an internationally respected fashion editor-stylist with an OBE, as opposed to someone who makes jokes about skinny jeans for a living. Imagine how hard they must be kicking themselves right now.

This is one of those pieces of news that both matters and doesn’t. It doesn’t matter in the sense that, of course, the vast majority of people in this country do not read Vogue, let alone know who its editor is. But it also matters, because Vogue – above the hundreds of other fashion magazines out there – remains a cultural bellwether. No one would have taken the slightest notice of The Devil Wears Prada if it had been set in a fictionalised version of, say, Harper’s Bazaar, instead of Vogue. When Theresa May was interviewed by US Vogue, British newspapers reported the story with a mix of mockery (the PM talking fashion? Pah!) and craven awe, as if the ultimate Mean Girl had taken note of the heretofore ignored school nerd. It is the one magazine even those who could not care less about fashion have heard of: if Jeremy Corbyn were asked to cite a style magazine, he would, after adjusting his cords and gazing around his allotment, undoubtedly name Vogue.

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