British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful has said the recent case of him being racially profiled at work was not an “isolated incident” and it had happened before.
Enninful, who has been in the top job since 2017, last month revealed a security guard told him to “”use the loading bay” as he entered the building.
He has now opened up on the incident and revealed it was not the first time. Enninful told CNN: “As a black man it’s not the first time I’ve been profiled and it certainly won’t be the last.
“But also it wasn’t an isolated incident.”
Asked if it happened before in the Vogue building, he replied: “Yes, it wasn’t an isolated incident.”
Enninful added: “Had I been younger I might have been so upset I wouldn’t be able to say anything, but now I can talk about it.
“I’ve got the platform to speak about it and I don’t want this to happen to the next generation, to think it’s OK, that kind of behaviour.”
In a wide-ranging interview to mark the September issue of Vogue, traditionally the most important edition of the fashion bible, Enninful discussed his vision for the magazine and how he was working to make it more inclusive.
The September issue features England footballer Marcus Rashford and model Adwoa Aboah on the cover for an edition that celebrates activists.
He revealed Vogue’s London office recently hired a diversity and inclusion officer, saying: “I won’t stop until everyone is equal.”
Responding to a question about Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s record on diversity and parent company Conde Nast’s culture in general, Enninful said he can only speak for the British arm of the operation.
He said: “Here in this building in England, we don’t take diversity lightly, or inclusivity, or unconscious bias, or micro aggressions. We tackle this every day. We’ve just brought in a diversity and inclusion officer.
“So I can speak for England and say I won’t stop until everyone is equal.”
He also said he wanted the magazine to reflect what was going on in the wider world.
Enninful said: “I think what’s happening now in the world is a great thing because people are talking about subjects that they never did before. Hard subjects … racism, unemployment, climate change. Every month we try to reflect what we see in the world out there.”
Fashion should not only confront racism but also climate change, Enninful said, adding the industry-wide slowdown caused by the pandemic had “made all of us think and take a deep breath”.
He said there are currently “too many seasons, too many shows” and “so much waste”, and now was the time to reset “not just the environment, but also our minds, our perspectives”.
Enninful, who was awarded an OBE in 2016 for his services to diversity in the fashion industry, also addressed the possibility of following Wintour as Vogue’s editor-in-chief.
Asked if he would “answer the call”, he said: “I mean it would be rude not to answer anyone’s call, but I’m very happy where I am.”
The September issue of British Vogue will be available on newsstands and digital download on Friday August 7.