After months of speculation, British Vogue has a new editor. The London-born journalist Chioma Nnadi has been appointed head of editorial content, rather than editor-in-chief, and will assume her position on October 9.
Replacing the outgoing Edward Enninful, Nnadi will become the first black woman to edit the fashion magazine, which was launched in New York in 1892. British Vogue debuted in 1916, and is considered the jewel in a portfolio of 28 international editions.
Currently the editor of American Vogue’s website, Nnadi has been promoted from within the fold at publisher Condé Nast. She began her career as a features writer on London’s Evening Standard Magazine and wrote for Trace and The Fader, before moving to New York in 2010. She joined American Vogue as a staff writer, and rose through the ranks over 13 years to become head of the magazine’s digital output. In a statement, Condé Nast described Nnadi as a “Vogue veteran”.
As a writer, Nnadi’s priorities and interests will be obviously different to those of her predecessor, Enninful, who was a stylist and imagemaker first and foremost. The decision to revert to an editor with a background as a writer (as per Alexandra Shulman, who edited British Vogue between 1992 and 2017) indicates a shift in priorities at the magazine.
Vogue is predicted to pool resources and share more of its expensive photo shoots across its international editions, allowing local editors to focus on features that matter to their market. Nnadi emphasised that she looked forward to “engaging a loyal digital community” and “storytelling” in her new role.
Enninful and Nnadi will overlap by a couple of months – Nnadi should be in place in the London office to see Enninful complete his final two issues of the magazine; his ultimate will be March 2024. Nnadi is already familiar with her London colleagues, attending three virtual meetings a week with the British Vogue team.
Given that Enninful plans to stay on at Condé Nast in an advisory role, Nnadi is considered a steady pair of hands rather than a clashing ego or outré personality. A consummate professional, Nnadi has long been an advocate for young designer talents, both from London and New York, and has interviewed Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Michaela Coel for the magazine. In May 2022, after working at the Met Gala, she admitted that she found red carpet events daunting. “Put me under the glare of a thousand flashing light bulbs and I’m a wobbly mess,” she wrote.
Dame Anna Wintour (who is the editor of American Vogue as well as overseeing all of the publisher’s magazines globally) described Nnadi as “beloved” by colleagues and praised her “impeccable reputation”.
“I can’t think of a more worthy person to follow in [Edward’s] footsteps than Chioma,” Wintour said. “She has proven herself adept at speaking to our digital audience.”
Nnadi, who is of Nigerian and Swiss-German descent, will be based in London. So as not to fuel rumours, she stayed at home in New York rather than attending London Fashion Week, which kicked off on September 14 with a spectacular Vogue World event orchestrated by Enninful and Wintour. Now that the news is out, she is expected to be spotted at fashion shows in Milan and Paris in coming weeks.