Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of Vogue UK, has addressed the controversy and stiff criticism of Meghan Markle’s recent magazine editing venture, with many calling out, in particular, the Duchess’ choice of women and the fact that she didn’t include the Queen. Some found fault with Prince Harry’s wife editing the magazine at all, which is, incidentally, something other royals have also done, as many brought up on Twitter.
The attacks are personal, it's like the critics have no boundaries. The mix of racism and personal attacks makes the whole anti-Meghan criticism sinister. The hatred is deep.— Duchess Meghan Forums (@ForumsMeghan) September 21, 2019
Speaking to The Guardian, Enninful asserted that the root of all evil is racism, explaining in further detail why such attacks were directed against Meghan, who guest edited the September edition of the iconic fashion magazine - titled "Forces for Change" - and even reportedly found time to send personal thank-you letters to the models:
"Was the criticism racist? Some of it, yeah”, he said. “Actually it was more than racism. I thought it was personal – attacking someone you don’t know, attacking her".
Enninful explained how greater representation has been a determining factor in his vision for British Vogue since he took over from Alexandra Shulman in 2017, who led Vogue UK for 25 years and was often criticised for the lack of diversity on magazine covers.
She hit back at the claims, noting to Vogue Ukraine that she was no stranger to diversity, citing, for instance, Kate Moss and the grange style, which the model famously pioneered and promoted in Vogue when it became all the rage.
Enninful’s recent cover stars, meanwhile, include Rihanna, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Halima Aden, who was the first model to wear a hijab on the cover of the edition.
“My work always involves documenting what’s around me, and to keep normalising the marginalised", Enninful said, adding that he regularly reviews his own choice of models himself:
“Every month I can put my hand on my heart and say it’s all there: the black woman, the curvy woman, the Asian woman. We don’t even think about it".
Speaking about previous criticisms of Vogue’s lack of diversity, Enninful said that it “really bothered” him that the publication was regarded this way, arguing it should be a universal reflection of the everyday, of casual life as it is:
“Why shouldn’t a woman who is black, or Muslim, or gay, or a refugee, or plus-size, see themselves reflected in what we do? Our job is simple: to keep moving the needle”.