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The End of the Edwardian Age

Prior to taking over British Vogue in 2017, Enninful was a contract person, meaning he could style high-paying advertising campaigns and pursue other cash-rich projects with ease. Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
Lauren Sherman
June 5, 2023

The fashion media in-crowd’s use of the word “promotion” to describe Edward Enninful’s impending exit as editor in chief of British Vogue, announced last week, seemed odd to me, and obviously a bit contrived. It was clear that Enninful was not being promoted, but instead going freelance in 2024. The move itself manifested a few unspoken realities of how fashion works these days. 

First, being a glossy E.I.C., once a fantasy job, now no longer competes with the commercial opportunities afforded to styling ad campaigns and consulting brands. And second, it is now more abundantly clear than ever that Anna Wintour isn’t going anywhere any time soon. After all, the only thing that could have presumably kept Enninful warm in his seat was the promise of one day succeeding her at Vogue, the American masterbrand. And it either wasn’t happening, or not on his timeline.