Over the past year we’ve made sure to tell you guys about new ranges of modest clothing, hijabs you can workout in, runway shows with Muslim models, and makeup lines that suit a wide spectrum of skin colours.
There’s been a reason for this, and it goes beyond our commitment to hyping up all things Islam. These changes not only boost Muslim faces into the mainstream, but they signal a wider push towards diversity in fashion, an industry notorious for maintaining a very narrow standard when it comes to – one sec while we draw a deep breath – models, photographers, managers, editors, agents, designers and so on.
Take, for example, the famous titan of fashion, Vogue. Between 2002 and 2014, only two solo black models graced the cover of the British version of the magazine. Not great tbh. However, some moving and shaking in the Vogue office earlier this year suggested the UK incarnation of the magazine was looking to address its diversity issue.
It appointed a new editor, a black man called Edward Enninful. Born in Ghana, Enninful grew up in London where he went on to build an enviable CV in the fashion industry. He’s been an influential stylist, an editor at Italian and American Vogue, and a director at W magazine.
Perhaps the most impressive part of his CV (the bit that really makes you go ‘what am I doing with my life?’) is his twenty-year tenure as fashion director at influential style/culture magazine i-D. He got the job age 18, when most normies like us are worrying about A-level results 🙁
On top of this, he’s been a champion of a more diverse fashion, one that includes different races and genders and sizes, while recognising how its cultural influence can have a wider effect on society and politics.
Enninful’s ethos is clearly shining on the cover of his first issue of Vogue, which was released earlier this week:
Credit: Steven Meisel/Vogue.
As you can see, the cover gives no space to subheadings about trends or makeup or whatever. Instead, it features mixed-race British model and feminist activist Adwoa Aboah, and a roll call of famous names, including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, author Zadie Smith, and rapper/national treasure Skepta.
Vogue, it seems, is looking to tackle issues beyond the catwalk.
You can find out if that is the case when the issue drops on Friday. For now, all we’ll say is that we’re pleased to see this cover. Britain is a diverse, inclusive place, where people of different beliefs and cultures and skin tones walk the same streets and breathe the same air.
It’s great to see that more and more of them are now being represented in a force as significant as fashion.