British Vogue editor Edward Enninful claimed he couldn’t hail a taxi because taxi drivers wouldn’t stop for him because of his skin color.
Enninful, whose celebrity friends include Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, says he still has to ask his assistant – who is not black – to flag down a car for him.
The Ghana-born fashion executive is no stranger to alleged racial profiling.
A security guard at Enninful’s offices in Mayfair was sacked in 2020 after refusing him entry to Vogue House. To add insult to injury, the guard told him to use the merchants’ entrance at the back of the building.
The latest allegations come after Enninful, who turned 50 in February, revealed last week that he had spent 14 years in Alcoholics Anonymous and had been estranged from his father for 15 years.
The publisher, who married longtime partner Alec Maxwell earlier this year and will publish his autobiography on Tuesday, also spoke about his fear of losing his sight after undergoing four eye surgeries in recent years.
British Vogue editor Edward Enninful (pictured on Sunday) claimed he couldn’t hail a taxi because taxi drivers wouldn’t stop for him because of his skin color
Enninful alleged taxi drivers were racially profiling him, forcing him to ask his assistant to hail cars for him.
“My assistant still has to hail a cab – despite the position I’m in,” he said, speaking at the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Center in London to promote his memoir, A Visible Man.
“I am a black man in the world; It wasn’t the first time this happened and it won’t be the last time.
In 2020, Enninful revealed he had been the victim of “racial profiling” in his own office.
The publisher claimed he was refused entry to Vogue House in Mayfair by a security guard who apparently did not recognize him.
He then confirmed that the security guard was immediately fired by bosses at Conde Nast, the magazine giant that owns Vogue.
“When these incidents happened, it made me realize: don’t forget who you are, remember where you come from and don’t think you’re so amazing that these things won’t affect you,” said Enninful at the promotional event. , followed by an evening at Claridge’s.
It was speculated that the Duchess of Sussex might attend, but she was notable for her absence. Meghan guest edited Vogue’s September 2019 special.
Enninful, who is pictured with Michaela Coel on Sunday while promoting his upcoming memoir, says he has yet to ask his assistant – who is not black – to flag down a car for him.
Enninful, who was born in Ghana but grew up in West London, became the first non-white person to be appointed editor-in-chief of Vogue in 2017.
His arrival prompted a mass exodus of staff, including deputy editor Emily Sheffield, the daughter of a baronetcy and sister-in-law of David Cameron, who lost the top job.
After the former stylist took over from Alexandra Shulman in 2017, he reportedly said his priority was to “get rid of the chic girls”.
He now says of Shulman: “She represented another era. In 25 years, there had only been 12 color models on the cover.
‘I just thought, ‘Let me bring a new world, let’s create an inclusive magazine that everyone can see themselves in.’ ‘
Enninful opened up about the difficulties in his life before the publication of his memoir, including his battle with alcoholism and how he underwent four eye surgeries in recent years.
He explained that the detached retina, among other issues, led him to undergo the procedures – and during recovery time he was left to live in the dark and stare at the floor for several weeks.
Edward also addressed rumors that he could take over as editor-in-chief of American Vogue when Anna Wintour, who had served as editor since 1988, steps down.
Describing the recovery as “psychologically intense”, he explained that he had always had problems with his eyesight.
He said The BBC‘s Amol Rajan last week: ‘But what I also learned is… that you don’t have to have perfect vision to create. You don’t need 20/20 vision to see images.
“So that’s the irony of the situation: even though I have poor eyesight, I’m still able to create images that people seem to resonate with.”
In addition to eyesight problems, Enninful suffers from thalassemia, a blood disease, which becomes inflamed and causes him pain.
As a child living in Ghana, he had to undergo several blood transfusions, before finally moving to the UK aged 13 amid political unrest in the country.
His mother, who ran a tailoring business, decided to stay in Ghana for a little while after a young Enninful, his father and five siblings moved to Vauxhall in south London where they lived with his aunt .
Enninful’s father, who had been in the Ghanaian army, spent three years seeking asylum in the UK.
At the age of 16, Enninful was spotted on public transport by stylist Simon Foxton, who told him he could be a model, and he began shooting with photographers for iD magazine.
After assisting magazine fashion director Beth Summers, Enninful gained more experience and when Summers quit her job shortly before the model’s 18th birthday, she was asked to take on the role, becoming the youngest fashion director of an international publication.
However, the work came at a price as Enninful had skipped classes at Goldsmiths University in order to pursue his career. When his father found out, he threw him out of the house and the couple didn’t speak for 15 years.
Edward, who married longtime partner Alec Maxwell in February this year, also said he was estranged from his father for 15 years.
A-list friends including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham gathered at Longleat House – the home of Enninful’s close friend Emma Thynn, the Marchioness of Bath – to watch Edward and video producer Alec get married in an intimate ceremony at the Orangerie (above)
During the interview, Enninful also revealed that he had suffered from bouts of depression throughout his life and had been in the Alcoholics Anonymous program for 14 years, where he said he found a “fraternity”.
The editor said: “It turned out very badly because imagine how I was, you know – I lost a home, which was Africa, and came to England.”
“Then I lost a second home when I was evicted. And then I entered the gay scene thinking I had found my tribe and again I got so many rejections.
Enninful eventually found love in her longtime partner, creative director Alex Maxwell, and the couple tied the knot in February this year.
Prominent friends including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham gathered at Longleat House in Wiltshire – the home of Enninful’s close friend Emma Thynn, the Marchioness of Bath – to watch Edward and video producer Alec get married in an intimate ceremony in the Orangerie before partying all night.
The star nuptials coincided with Enninful’s 50th birthday. He is pictured with a handful of his relatives for dinner in Laylow in west London (pictured)
The wedding is estimated to have cost at least £600,000, according to event experts, but Edward may have received favors from friends, including use of the historic wedding venue, which would have been a wedding gift from Emma and her husband, the 8th Marquess of Bath.
The star nuptials coincided with Enninful’s 50th birthday.
After teaming up with Meghan Markle who edited British Vogue in 2019, Enninful put to rest rumors that the Duchess of Sussex had asked to delay publication so US media would see the edition first.
He claimed “nobody really interfered” with the release process.
Enninful also addressed speculation as to whether he would take the place of fellow Brit Anna Wintour, 72, to head up American Vogue when she finally steps down after first taking over as editorial director in 1988.
Although he said he was “so happy” to run British Vogue, he added: “You never know what the future holds.”