British Vogue is one of the premier titles in the magazine world. Across its 101-year history, the title of editor-in-chief has been held by a woman.
Until now. Because after months of speculation, the most coveted job in fashion has gone to a man; Edward Enninful, a British fashion stylist.
The appointment of Enninful, who replaced the iconic Alexandra Shulman, the longest serving editor in British Vogue history, was hailed a success for diversity. Born in Ghana, the 45-year-old is the first non-white male editor in the magazine’s history.
Reactions were full of praise:
— Marc Jacobs (@marcjacobs) April 10, 2017
But in some quiet corners of the industry, some have lamented the move. Women have so few high-profile media positions. And if Vogue is a fashion and lifestyle magazine targeted at women, how did it end up with a man at the helm?
It’s the second time in recent memory that the female editor in chief of a women’s magazine has been replaced by a man. After the editor of Italian Vogue, Franca Sozzani died in December 2016, she was replaced by Emanuele Farneti.
Mia Freedman, former Editor of Cosmopolitan, says to see men take these positions is a giant step back, and there were plenty of highly qualified women who were in the running: (post continues after audio)
“There are very few icons that are women in the media. Because women are traditionally not given the opportunity to rise to those levels. The editors of newspapers are routinely, almost without exception, men. The chief programmers of television stations and television networks are almost always men. One of the few areas of in them media where women can rise to prominence, and power, influence and seniority is women’s magazines.” she says.