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British Vogue editor Edward Enninful named most influential Black person in UK

British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful attends premiere of 'Killers of the Flower Moon' at the Cannes film festival, May 2023
British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful attends premiere of 'Killers of the Flower Moon' at the Cannes film festival, May 2023 Copyright Scott Garfitt/AP
Copyright Scott Garfitt/AP
By David Mouriquand
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Edward Enninful tops the 2024 Powerlist. Now in its 18th year, it highlights Black role models to young people.

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Edward Enninful, the outgoing editor-in-chief of British Vogue, has been named the UK’s most influential Black person.

The fashion journalist was voted top of the Powerlist, which was started in 2006, to showcase Black role models to young people across sectors including business, science, technology and the arts. The annual list celebrates people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage.

Entrants are judged on their “ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner”.

Commenting on the announcement, Enninful 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. So, I’m honoured, more than anything, to be a part of this family.”

This year’s Powerlist Black Excellence Awards for 2024 take place today (Friday 27 October) at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The news comes as a recent survey alarmingly shows that more than half of Britons are incapable of namong a single Black British historical figure. Commissioned by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and conducted by YouGov UK, the survey of 2,268 UK adults revealed that while 75% of those surveyed acknowledged that they did not know “very much” or “anything at all” about Black British history, more than half (53%) could not recall any Black British historical figures, and only 7% could name more than four.

Edward Enninful (right), with Anna Wintour (centre) and Baz Luhrmann (left) at the Vogue World event on Thursday 14 Sept. 2023 in London
Edward Enninful (right), with Anna Wintour (centre) and Baz Luhrmann (left) at the Vogue World event on Thursday 14 Sept. 2023 in LondonVianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Enninful, who announced he was stepping down as editor of British Vogue in June, has confirmed that his last edition will be March 2024.

The 51-year-old, who started his editorial career as fashion director of British youth culture magazine i-D at the age of 18 - making him the youngest person to be named an editor at a major international fashion title - will become Vogue’s global creative and cultural adviser, as well as editorial adviser at British Vogue. 

His successor will be Chioma Nnadi, who is editor of Vogue’s US edition website.

Michael Eboda, chief executive of Powerful Media, the publisher of the Powerlist, said: “As we celebrate the Powerlist’s 18th edition I am so proud of its legacy of celebrating remarkable and inspirational black people in Britain. We were doing it before diversity was a trend, and even now data shows that trend is sadly reversing, our commitment to recognising and celebrating the achievements of these incredible role models remains as strong as ever."

“We send our huge congratulations to Edward Enninful OBE, who thoroughly deserves to top the list this year," added Eboda. "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.”

Here is this year’s Top 10 of Powerlist 2024:

  1. Edward Enninful – Editor-in-chief, British Vogue, and European editorial director, Vogue

  2. Dean Forbes – Chief executive, Forterro, and partner at Corten Capital

  3. Afua Kyei – Chief financial officer of Bank of England

  4. Marvin Rees – Mayor of Bristol

  5. Tunde Olanrewaju – Senior partner and managing partner, McKinsey

  6. Joshua Siaw – Partner at White & Case law firm

  7. Syreeta Brown – Group chief people and communications officer, Virgin Money UK

  8. Paulette Simpson – Executive, corporate affairs and public policy, Jamaica National bank and executive director, The Voice Media Group

  9. Vanessa Kingori – Chief business officer, Condé Nast Britain, and Vogue European business adviser

  10. Simon Woolley – Peer, co-founder of Operation Black Vote and principal, Homerton College, Cambridge University.

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