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Chioma Nnadi Becomes First Black Woman Head of British Vogue

(Image from Fashionista).


In recent news, fashion journalist and podcaster Chioma Nnadi has been named new head of editorial content at British Vogue.


Nnadi and Her New Position at Vogue


This means that she will become the first black female head of the industry-leading fashion title. Nnadi has stated that she was “beyond excited and honoured” to be taking over from editor-in-chief Edward Enninful (BBC News, 2023). 


This comes after Enninful announced he would be stepping down from his role in June after six years of breaking boundaries at the top fashion magazine. He would officially leave Vogue after the March 2024 issue hits newsstands (The Guardian, 2023). Enninful will now be an editorial adviser to the UK title but move into a newly created job next year aimed at growing the brand globally (BBC News, 2023).  His successful but brief sex-year tenure as both its first male and first Black editor has and will continue to be praised for featuring people of all skin colours, body shapes, and backgrounds, and it looks fruitful that Nnadi will continue on this legacy (The Guardian, 2023). 


Born to a Swiss-German nurse mother and a Nigerian father who came to the UK to study in the 1960s, Nnadi grew up in central London until she moved to New York in 2010 (The Guardian, 2023).


Prior to Vogue, Nnadi began her career on the features desk of the Evening Standard Magazine, before moving to New York to write for the independent style magazine Trace (BBC News, 2023). She then went on to cover fashion and its links to music for Fader before joining Vogue in 2010 (BBC News, 2023).


Nandi, whose latest cover stories have featured major celebrities like Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, and Erykah Badu, has spent thirteen years as a writer and news director for Vogue. Alongside this, she co-hosts the publication’s podcast, The Run-Through, with fellow co-host Chloe Malle, another long-time writer and editor for Vogue (Vogue, 2023). This podcast’s episodes feature conversations with Vogue editors, creatives, and cover stars, including but not limited to: Olivia Rodrigo, Anna Wintour, and Margot Robbie (Vogue, 2023). As editor of New York-based, she recently led its online coverage of major events, such as the Met Gala (BBC News, 2023).


In the middle of London Fashion Week, Nnadi said in a statement last Monday: “As someone who was born and raised in London, the energy of the city – its boundary-pushing style and creative scene – has shaped the way I look at the world. Now, more than ever, it feels like a moment to look beyond borders while also celebrating the broad scope of what it means to be British. I’m looking forward to engaging a loyal and inspired digital community that is energised by our access, point of view, and storytelling.” (BBC News, 2023).


Moreover, in an interview with The Guardian, Nnadi went on to say, “It still means something to be in Vogue, it still has authority. [And there’s pressure] because of Edward. He broke new ground. It’s more than being part of a magazine – it’s part of the cultural conversation.” (The Guardian, 2023).


She said she expected comparisons to be made between her and Enninful, but also clarified their differences: “As a black woman, but also as a biracial woman, how I view the world is also how I see it – through a lens that is influenced by my background, by where I live, and by having parents from different cultures and having to move between these cultures. Things have changed a lot. When I started out, there was one other Black person working in the building, and we both went to the same college. It wasn’t the same place it is now. Obviously, matters of diversity and inclusion should always be on the agenda, but it feels more of an open conversation now, and that feels to me like progress.” (The Guardian, 2023).


Her new job will commence on 9 October. . 


Nnadi’s Warm Reception


Anna Wintour, Vogue’s chief content officer and global editorial director, said Nandi was “beloved among her colleagues” (BBC News, 2023). She further added that Nnadi is “an editor and writer with an impeccable reputation – both here and in the fashion industry at large. I’m so grateful to Edward Enninful for everything he’s accomplished at British Vogue, and we’re all looking forward to a productive and creative relationship with him in his new role.” (BBC News, 2023).


Enninful himself stated he was “thrilled” at the news of his successor, calling Nnadi “a brilliant and unique talent with real vision, who will take the publication to ever greater heights” (BBC News, 2023).


An insider told The Times: “Chioma is a great choice. She is serious and clever and really knows her stuff. She doesn’t suffer fools.” (The Times, 2023).


Another Condé Naste insider said: “Chioma isn’t the terrifying fashion editor of old. She’s quite shy one-on-one, and very calm. She’s one of those people that pauses before she answers a question.” (Daily Mail, 2023).


It would seem the fashion world, and lovers of it, are excited to see what Nnadi and her new role will entail for the future of British Vogue.

Edited by: Shahnawaz Chodhry

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Tags: History Journalism Fashion Magazine Couture Vogue Journal British Vogue Anna Wintour Chioma Nnadi Fashion Magazine


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