British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful tops Powerlist 2024 – these are his career milestones so far

Edward Enninful has been a huge influence on British fashion (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Edward Enninful has been a huge influence on British fashion (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Edward Enninful has been named the UK’s most influential black person by The Powerlist 2024.

The editor-in-chief of British Vogue, 51, topped the annual list of the most powerful people of African, African-Caribbean and African-American heritage in Britain.

Other famous faces on the list include Sex Education and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa, actor Sir Lenny Henry, grime musician Stormzy and comedian Mo Gilligan, who makes his list debut.

Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya, YouTuber KSI, former England football captain Alex Scott, Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett and TV historian David Olusoga also feature.

Ghanaian-British journalist Enninful took over as editor-in-chief in August 2017 as the first black man to hold the top job at the British fashion magazine, and in December 2020 was promoted to European editorial director of Vogue.

On topping The Powerlist, he said: “Ever since I moved back to take over British Vogue, the Powerlist has always been so supportive, always there in one shape or another.

“But apart from me, it’s incredible that it shines a light on black people really breaking boundaries, who are unafraid and champion what it means to be truly diverse in their own industries. TV 100 power list
Ncuti Gatwa features on The Powerlist (Jane Barlow/PA)

“So, I’m honoured, more than anything, to be a part of this family.”

During his six years at the top of British Vogue, Enninful has continued to break boundaries and been a champion for greater inclusivity in the industry.

In June, he announced he would be stepping down from the post and will take a newly created role next year as editorial adviser at British Vogue and global creator and cultural adviser to Vogue – aimed at growing the brand globally.

Michael Eboda, chief executive of Powerful Media, which publishes the Powerlist, said: “We send our huge congratulations to Edward Enninful OBE – who thoroughly deserves to top the list this year.

Sir Lenny Henry
Sir Lenny Henry (Yui Mok/PA)

“His vision and passion for fashion and diversity has influenced the industry at a global level.

“Edward’s impact will be felt for generations to come – and for that, I applaud him.”

The Powerlist was launched in 2006 to showcase black role models to young people, and judges – including Tim Campbell, Lord Sugar’s aide on The Apprentice – assess the entrants’ “ability to change lives and alter events” over time in a positive way.

Previous winners, including seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, automatically enter the Hall of Fame.

Those honoured on the 2024 list will be celebrated on October 27 at the Powerlist Celebration of Black Excellence Awards, hosted by businessman Mr Campbell at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Edward Enninful’s career highlights so far

Starting out in the fashion industry as a model after being scouted on a Tube carriage when he was 16, Enninful transitioned into styling and was appointed fashion director of i-D at the age of 18 – the youngest-ever person to hold the position at an international fashion magazine.

In his mid-20s, he became a contributing editor for Italian Vogue and was instrumental in the production of the magazine’s sell-out Black Issue in 2008, which featured only black models, as well as the June 2011 cover story celebrating plus-size models.

In 2014, the British Fashion Council named Enninful fashion creator of the year by, and two years later, he received his Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to diversity in fashion as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s 2016 Birthday Honours List, attending the ceremony with supermodel and long-time friend Naomi Campbell.

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Edward Enninful with Naomi Campbell after receiving his OBE (Philip Toscano/PA)

After stints at W magazine and American Vogue, Enninful began his reign at British Vogue, with the December 2017 cover starring mixed-race model and activist Adwoa Aboah.

Continuing his commitment to diversity, Enninful produced the Disability Issue in May 2023, putting a range of disabled people on the cover, including activist Sinead Burke and actor Selma Blair.

Other headline-making cover stars during his tenure have included music icons Rihanna (sporting controversial pencil-thin eyebrows) and Beyonce (shot by the youngest-ever photographer to shoot a Vogue cover), as well as actor Judi Dench (British Vogue’s oldest cover star at 85).