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Chioma Nnadi to interchange Edward Enninful as head of British Vogue Specific Instances

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By the point London trend week had begun final weekend, it was already the trade’s worst stored secret.

However after months of conjecture surrounding who would substitute Edward Enninful, the 51-year-old outgoing editor of British Vogue, Condé Nast has advised the Guardian that London-born journalist Chioma Nnadi will take over the position on 9 October.

As soon as in put up, Nnadi, at the moment editor of the US version’s web site, shall be often known as head of editorial content material, moderately than editor-in-chief. She will even develop into the primary Black lady to edit the storied trend journal.

“Is there stress? Yeah, there’s undoubtedly stress – it’s Vogue,” Nnadi mentioned whereas talking from her house in New York.

“It nonetheless means one thing to be in Vogue, it nonetheless has authority. [And there’s pressure] due to Edward. He broke new floor. It’s greater than being a part of {a magazine} – it’s a part of the cultural dialog.”

The announcement adopted a weekend of trend exhibits that have been partly eclipsed by Vogue World, the profitable arts/trend occasion engineered by the journal, which was additionally dubbed by attendees as “Anna Wintour’s flex”. Maybe sensibly, Nnadi remained in New York in order to not stoke rumours.

The brand new job title will not be insignificant. Nnadi mentioned her focus shall be on “digital storytelling” and preserving Vogue “interactive” with readers – however it is usually a part of a shift that has seen the starry editors of Vogue’s European editions, who as soon as stuffed the entrance rows, changed by world heads after Condé Nast’s 2020 company-wide restructuring.

As such, Nnadi is prone to work alongside Wintour, who has described Nnadi as a “beloved colleague” who will give attention to “music and tradition” as a lot as trend. For her half, Nnadi has credited Wintour with “bringing Vogue into the longer term”.

Talking after Vogue World, she added: “Working beneath Anna, you get a way of what’s going to be subsequent. I haven’t checked my electronic mail however she’s most likely on to the subsequent factor already.”

Born to a Swiss-German nurse mom and a Nigerian father who got here to the UK to review within the Sixties, Nnadi grew up in central London, working at indie magazines akin to Hint and the Fader, with which she credit her “scrappy” nature, earlier than a stint at London’s Night Customary.

In 2010, she moved to New York to work for Vogue, the place Nnadi at the moment runs the US website, co-hosts the podcast and is among the journal’s star writers, and the dwelling embodiment of Wintour’s mantra: “All platforms – on a regular basis”.

She mentioned she anticipated comparisons to be made between her and Enninful, however provided an evaluation of their variations: “As a Black lady, but in addition as a biracial lady, how I view the world can be how I see it – by means of a lens that’s influenced by my background, by the place I dwell, and by having dad and mom from completely different cultures and having to maneuver between these cultures.

“Issues have modified rather a lot. Once I began out, there was one different Black individual working within the constructing, and we each went to the identical faculty. It wasn’t the identical place it’s now. Clearly issues of variety and inclusion ought to all the time be on the agenda, nevertheless it seems like extra of an open dialog now, and that feels to me like progress,” she mentioned.

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Chioma Nnadi: ‘When I started out, there was one other Black person working in the building, and we both went to the same college.’ Photograph: Evelyn Freja/The Guardian

Nnadi is an editor and writer while Enninful came through styling. She said she recognises Vogue is first and foremost a fashion magazine, but felt that “the impulse is the same, regardless of whether you style or write. Edward had that instinct, even though his background is different to mine. But the question will always be, how do we capture the zeitgeist. It’s important to think about who is telling the story, and whose story we are telling.”

Enninful announced he would be leaving Vogue after the March 2024 issue hits newsstands. His departure came as a shock after a successful but brief six-year tenure as both its first male and first Black editor, during which he was praised for featuring people of all skin colours, body shapes and backgrounds. Enninful plans to stay on at Condé Nast in an advisory role, and will cross over with Nnadi in the immediate future. “[The British office] are already my colleagues due to the way in which we work globally,” she mentioned, including they have already got three conferences per week.

Nnadi is effectively versed on the criticism levelled in opposition to the journal, significantly its usually out-of-touch trend value level. “Once I began at Vogue it was about having the newest new factor,” she mentioned. “Now, there’s a way of archival trend being simply as necessary. I grew up going to Portobello Street each single weekend in search of classic clothes. That was earlier than it was tremendous cool to do it.” Will this satan put on classic? “I all the time cease by Rellik after I’m in London, and go down Ladbroke Grove on a Friday, so most of my wardrobe now’s resale and classic”, she mentioned. “After all as I progressed, I used to be capable of afford new issues too,” she mentioned. Considered one of her most prized possessions, although, is an Edwardian costume.

Nnadi mentioned she was nonetheless home searching in London, and deliberate to stick with household till she discovered someplace to dwell. Regardless of being overseas for over a decade, she mentioned she continues to be a Londoner at coronary heart, though since discovering her buddies had moved to east London, admitted “the axis of cool has undoubtedly modified since I used to be right here. It’s a homecoming, however clearly a second to be taught too.”

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