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British Vogue features 40 ‘legendary’ cover stars for editor Edward Enninful’s final issue

By Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

(CNN) — For British Vogue’s final issue under Edward Enninful, the outgoing editor-in-chief put not one superstar on the cover, but 40 of them.

The Ghanaian-born fashion editor unexpectedly stepped down in June after more than six years at the helm. His outro cover assembles supermodels, Hollywood megastars, pop icons and other fashion darlings with whom he has worked, including Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Miley Cyrus, Linda Evangelista, Jane Fonda, Dua Lipa, Kate Moss and Serena Williams.

Photographed in Manhattan by Steven Meisel (for the cover) and Ned Rogers (for the inside pages), the 40 women flew in from London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles and elsewhere to be part of the historic issue, Enninful noted in his final editor’s letter.

“When it came to my last issue, I knew the cover would be dedicated to women. Of course! Women have shaped British Vogue for close to 108 years now, and have certainly informed every moment of my six-and-a-half-year tenure here, to say nothing of leading and guiding me through my entire life,” Enninful wrote.

“It was clear to all of us on the team that no one woman could or should encapsulate these past few years for the magazine,” he added. “What we needed was a group, to lean into the power of the collective to bring to life what I hope has been a daring, disruptive and evolutionary period in Vogue’s history.”

The news of Enninful’s departure sent shockwaves through the fashion world last year. After a career influencing the top echelons of the industry through postings at i-D, W and American Vogue, Enninful championed diversity at the latter magazine’s British edition in what many saw as a much-needed new direction for the storied publication.

His tenure saw several historic firsts, such as the hiring of Black photographers Misan Harriman and Kennedi Carter to shoot cover stories, both in 2020, and a series of five covers starring disabled activists, models and creatives for the May 2023 issue.

Enninful also eschewed the industry’s ageist norms with a 2019 issue dedicated to women over 50 years old (starring Fonda on the cover). His other cover stars included 82-year-old Miriam Margolyes, who posed nude for last year’s Pride Month issue, and a then-85-year-old Dame Judi Dench.

For Enninful’s final issue, 55-year-old Christy Turlington, one of the 40 cover stars, acknowledged a shift in acceptance, telling the magazine: “We are getting better at celebrating women of all ages.”

In 2022, Enninful was rumored to be next in line for the top job at American Vogue, though he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the time he “didn’t want” Anna Wintour’s role and that she wouldn’t be stepping down anytime soon. He will now take on an advisory position at Vogue’s publisher Condé Nast, a move he has previously said gives him “the freedom to take on broader creative projects.”

Chioma Nnadi, American Vogue’s former digital editor, will meanwhile take the helm at British Vogue, making her the first Black woman to be appointed to the role. Enninful has previously called Nnadi “a brilliant and unique talent with real vision, who will take the publication to ever greater heights.”

Referencing his new role in his final editor’s letter, Enninful he is “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.”

“We always say it, because it always needs to be said: There is a great deal yet to be done,” he added.

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