Kate Moss & Co Cover Alexandra Shulman's Last Vogue Issue But What Can We Expect From Edward Enninful?

The September issue of a fashion magazine is always the most eagerly awaited as it offers the biggest edition, packed with a first look at next season's trends, directional shoots, celebrity features, exclusive stories and the best advertisers. But for British Vogue, the September 2017 issue, unveiled today and out on Friday, is particularly special as it marks the last ever issue from former editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, who left at the end of June after 25 years at the helm.
Vogue veterans, supermodels Kate Moss and Stella Tennant are joined on the cover by relative newbies Nora Attal, Jean Campbell and Edie Campbell, all wearing Alexander McQueen and captured by Mario Testino. The cover story was styled by former Vogue fashion director, Lucinda Chambers, who shockingly announced that she was fired by Edward Enninful, after 36 years at the title, in a controversial interview with Vestoj, published at the beginning of July.
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This morning, Alexandra Shulman took to Instagram to proudly share the image, accompanied by the caption: "So excited to receive my final issue of Vogue as Editor-in-chief. Filled with fashion and memories and the women who made a difference in the past quarter of a century. Thanks for starring on my last cover by @mariotestino @sammcknight @valgarland @jean_campbell @ediebcampbell @stellatennant @noraattal @katemossagency #lucindachambers @alexandermcqueen @britishvogue."
While Moroccan-born model Nora Attal (who you may recognise from the J.W.Anderson x Uniqlo campaign) makes her British Vogue cover debut, this marks the 33rd cover for Kate Moss, who was recently announced as one of Edward Enninful's new contributing editors to the magazine. It makes sense that Shulman's last issue would reflect on her reign over the past quarter of a century, with a cover that celebrates the past, present and future with a range of models both established and emergent. But perhaps it also reaffirms Shulman's narrow vision for a magazine, which has been distinctly unrepresentative for far too long. Yes, it may feature one Moroccan model but aren't we sick to death, in 2017, of seeing white, willowy models on the front of the magazine? Of all the British Vogue covers this year, including Alexa Chung, Gigi Hadid, Amber Valletta and Kate Moss (again), there has been next to no diversity, bar the February issue which featured Egyptian/Moroccan model Imaan Hammam on a shared cover with Taylor Hill and Anna Ewers. I need not remind you that just two years ago, in 2015, Jourdan Dunn graced the front of the February issue of Vogue and was the first black model to have a solo cover in 12 years, since Naomi Campbell in August 2002.
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Quite frankly, the appointment of Edward Enninful, who has long challenged the industry with directional, compelling imagery and a genuine, unapologetic promotion of diversity, is long overdue. While focus today might be (fleetingly) on Shulman's swan song, yesterday marked Enninful's official first day as editor-in-chief; his first magazine will be the December issue. So what can we expect from the 45-year-old man feted to transform the face of Vogue?
Yesterday Enninful explained: "I grew up reading British Vogue – I am so honoured and humbled to be taking up the mantle of editor... I realise I am stepping into the shoes of a hugely respected editor in the shape of Alexandra Shulman, someone who has chosen to leave at the top of their game with a legacy of 25 years of success... British Vogue is a great magazine with a legacy of creativity and innovation. I look forward to continuing to produce an exciting beautiful magazine for its readers."
Enninful has hand-picked an impressive team from across the industry to help him bring these plans to fruition. Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and film director Steve McQueen were announced as contributing editors, while legendary fashion and creative director and British Vogue alumni Grace Coddington also joins as a contributor. Supermodels and Oscar-winning filmmakers are all well and good, but what about the actual editorial team tasked with driving the magazine forward? Well, Johan Svensson, formerly design director at W, where Edward also previously worked, has taken up the position of creative director, replacing Jaime Pearlman. Claudia Croft, previously at The Sunday Times, was appointed acting fashion features director, while Anders Christian Madsen, former fashion features director at i-D joins as fashion critic. Olivia Singer, previously fashion features director at AnOther was named executive fashion news editor and super-stylist Venetia Scott, who has worked for titles including i-D, The Face, AnOther and Vogue Italia joins as fashion director. Considering Vogue has for a long time catered to and been created by white, middle-class women, Enninful's dynamic new team, carefully selected from fashion's edgier, more directional titles, will certainly shake things up.
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Day One !!! Thank you @stellamccartney for the Major balloons xoxo

A post shared by Edward Enninful, OBE (@edward_enninful) on

It will be interesting to see how Edward's new team, featuring a number of men in senior positions – namely Svensson, fashion editor Jack Borkett (formerly at i-D, W and Hero), Anders Christian Madsen and of course Enninful himself – will change the tone of the somewhat stagnant women's magazine.
While Enninful has championed diversity throughout his career, which will undoubtedly open British Vogue to a considerably wider audience, his close-knit circle of A-list friends including Rihanna, Bella Hadid, Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Katy Perry and Adwoa Aboah will provide the magazine with unparalleled access to the biggest names in not only fashion but music, film and politics. The number of celebrities who took to social media to congratulate Enninful on his appointment was certainly testament to his pop culture status and influence, and recognised the significance of hiring a black, gay man to lead one of the world's most influential publications.
While the full print team appears to have been assembled, few details have been announced regarding any changes to the digital team, though yesterday the magazine launched on Snapchat Discover, suggesting Enninful is keen to re-engage Vogue with a younger, millennial audience.
Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse referred to Enninful as "an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist," adding that "by virtue of his talent and experience, Edward is supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue."
Enninful certainly has the credentials, commitment and contacts to make sure British Vogue is the aspirational, representative, informative and industry-leading title that it ought to be. Forget the September issue; there are just three months until the most eagerly anticipated magazine of the year is revealed.
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