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August 2 2014

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Edward Enninful, W‘s New Fashion And Style Director, On His Vision For The Mag

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Stefano Tonchi did plenty to shake up W when he departed from T to take the reins at the Condé Nast fashion title, but his most recent appointment is likely to have the largest impact yet. The magazine announced last week that its longtime creative fashion director, Alex White—a 16-year veteran at the glossy—is stepping down to pursue other projects; in her place, Tonchi has appointed Edward Enninful, formerly fashion director at i-D (where he made history as the youngest person ever appointed to the fashion director spot, at 18) and contributing fashion editor to U.S. Vogue and Vogue Italia, as fashion and style director. Style.com caught up with Enninful (on a shoot, of course) to talk young guns and big plans.


Congratulations on the new post. What can we expect from your W?
I want editorial to be filled with ideas. It’s very important to capture the mood of the collections and bring narrative onto the pages. It’s also very important to be forward-thinking but remain wearable. We should project what’s going to come, take from the past and bring something new, and document what’s around now.

And what, do you think, is the mood of the current mood?
The past couple of months there’s been a bit of mobility at these big houses. Now it’s perfect moment to put young designers—whether they’re from America or Europe—it’s very important to put them forward. It’s a new day. Not to do a young designer story separately, but keep them in the mix.

Any young designers in particular that stand out?
I love Alexander Wang, I love Joseph Altuzarra, I love Christopher Kane, and Mary Katrantzou. But for me, fashion is one universe. I don’t break it into young designers, [per se]…they all have amazing voices and I want to embrace that. Alongside the designers we all know and love, I want to create something new and exciting—to bring a new energy.

And how do you see W in particular as an outlet for that—say, versus the other fashion magazines?
W is an American institution. It’s one of the rare places where you can express yourself through photography, through the arts, through music, through film…For me, I always thought W was a perfect balance of fashion, society, celerity, and subcultures. In America, it’s the one place where all these things combine perfectly. You read W and it’s very intelligent but it’s also visual.

Photo: Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com

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Dept. of Culture