British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, one of few black editors in UK publishing, has said ‘we cannot let the world return to how it was’ after being racially profiled and told to enter via the loading bay by a security guard as he reached his office on Wednesday this week (15 July).
It is understood the security guard, who did not work for Vogue owner Conde Nast but for a third party contractor, was dismissed from the site immediately and was being investigated by their employer.
Enninful said “change needs to happen now” and that the old cultures of discrimination and insularity must be dispensed with as people begin to return to the workplace.
He has been editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine since 2017 and was appointed an OBE in 2016 for services to diversity in the fashion industry.
Today I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place. As I entered, I was instructed to use the loading bay. Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was. Change needs to happen now.
— Edward Enninful OBE (@Edward_Enninful) July 15, 2020
Using social media to publicise the incident he said: “Today I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place. As I entered, I was instructed to use the loading bay. Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was.”
In a separate post to his one million Instagram followers, he said: “It just goes to show that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’ve achieved in the course of your life: the first thing that some people will judge you on is the colour of your skin.”
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Earlier this month, when accepting the award of PPA Editor of the Year for a consumer magazine, Enninful said: “It would be disingenuous of me not to point out that I am the first black person to ever win this award – the first black person in 40 years.
“Diversity is making its way into our commissioning and on to our pages. But what about inside our workplaces?
“Who are we hiring? Who are we nurturing? Who are we promoting? How do our office environments treat people? Who is allowed to get to the top?”
According to the BBC, when taking the job at Vogue three years ago he said he wanted the magazine to reflect diversity and about “showing different women, different body shapes, different races, different classes [and] tackling gender”.
Enninful’s experience comes in a week which started with widespread consternation at racist abuse aimed on social media at black footballers Wilfried Zaha – which saw a 12-year-old boy arrested – and David McGoldrick.