Ever since Edward Enninful announced last June that he was stepping down from his role as editor-in-chief of British Vogue, fashion fans have been wondering what he might choose to front his farewell issue.
On Thursday, Enninful put rumours to rest, wrapping up his reign with a March issue featuring not one but 40 cover stars including the supermodels Naomi Campbell and Iman, the tennis star Serena Williams, the TV producer and talkshow host Oprah Winfrey and the fashion designer Victoria Beckham.
Each woman has previously appeared on a British Vogue cover during Enninful’s six and half years as editor.
A video on the magazine’s Instagram page reveals that the group gathered at a New York studio to be shot all at the same time by the American photographer Steven Meisel. Beneath a gold Vogue masthead (the word British almost obscured by the large assemblage) each of the women wears a simple black or white outfit. The cover line reads: “Legendary! 40 Vogue icons. 1 epic shoot … The ultimate fashion issue.”
In a farewell editor’s letter, Enninful writes: “So here it is: my 76th and final edition of Vogue, six and a half years and 153 cover stars later, including the 40 legendary women who feature on this cover. It’s been an extraordinary ride and an absolute honour.”
Enninful’s debut December 2017 issue was dedicated to Great Britain and featured the black model and activist Adwoa Aboah on the cover. In a full circle moment, Aboah appears again, this time pictured next to the plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, who previously fronted a size-inclusive special issue in April 2023 under the tagline “The new supers” alongside Precious Lee.
Lee also returns for Enninful’s finale appearing in between the British actor Jodie Comer and the model Amber Valletta. The actor Laverne Cox, who became the first trans person to appear on the cover of British Vogue for its September 2019 issue, also reappears, this time next to the Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy and the models Irina Shayk and Cindy Crawford.
Enninful’s appointment at British Vogue made him the first man, and the first black editor, to hold the title. He may no longer be editor-in-chief but he will stay on at Condé Nast to become Vogue’s global creative and cultural adviser.
“I’m determined to keep championing the incredible array of voices in fashion and media, and ensure we keep the energy explosion of the last few years going,” he added in his final letter. “We always say it, because it always needs to be said: there is a great deal yet to be done.”
Attention now turns to who Enninful’s successor, the London-born journalist Chioma Nnadi, will choose to front her debut issue in March. Nnadi adopts the title of head of editorial content, rather than editor-in-chief. She is the first black woman to edit the illustrious fashion magazine.