A visible man A memoir

Edward Enninful

Book - 2022

"From one of our culture's most important changemakers, a memoir of breaking barriers. When Edward Enninful became the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue, few in the world of fashion wanted to confront how it failed to represent the world we live in. But Edward, a champion of inclusion throughout his life, rapidly changed that. Now, whether it's putting first responders, octogenarians or civil rights activists on the cover of Vogue, or championing designers and photograp...hers of colour, Edward Enninful has cemented his status as one of his world's most important changemakers. A Visible Man traces an astonishing journey into one of the world's most exclusive industries. Edward candidly shares how as a Black, gay, working-class refugee, he found in fashion not only a home, but the freedom to share with people the world as he saw it. Written with style, grace, and heart, A Visible Man shines a spotlight on the career of one of the greatest creative minds of our times. It is the story of a visionary who changed not only an industry, but how we understand beauty."--Publisher.

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2nd Floor New Shelf 746.92092/Enninful (NEW SHELF) Checked In
New York : Penguin Press 2022.
Physical Description
xvi, 270 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Main Author
Edward Enninful (author)
  • Ghana
  • London
  • I-D
  • Grunge
  • America
  • Steven
  • Everybody rise
  • Megaphone.
Review by Booklist Review

In his not-to-be-missed memoir, Ghanaian British stylist Enninful charts a determined path to his current dual role as editor-in-chief of British Vogue and European editorial director for Condé Nast. In evocative descriptions of his family's life in Ghana, he pays affectionate tribute to his five siblings, talented dressmaker mother, and his father, a stern military officer who provoked fear in the young author, a "watchful, shy, spacey" kid. When political turmoil in Ghana prompted the family's move to dreary London, "we showed up excited to be in the glittering home of cool pop stars and the Queen, and landed into Margaret Thatcher's hateful mess." Ensuing decades move at a clip, with Enninful's tireless pursuit of his artistic aspirations: When his father learned that the nineteen-year-old Enninful had quit attending college classes, he threw him out. That same day, the author was promoted to fashion director of the edgy and esteemed i-D Magazine. Expressive and forthright, Enninful's memoir is lush with visual storytelling and generous personal refrains, such as the author's deep work ethic and appreciation for powerful women, his battles with impostor syndrome and racism, and his embrace of change and commitment to lifting up fellow Black creatives at every opportunity.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Enninful, British Vogue's editor-in-chief, makes a dazzling debut with this chronicle of his remarkable path to becoming a world-renowned style visionary. Born in Ghana in 1972, Enninful fell in love with fashion early on, devouring his dressmaker mother's sketchbooks and reveling in "glamour and women and their style." After his family escaped to London following a political coup in 1981, Enninful weathered Britain's racist, repressive attitudes and harsh working-class life by finding solace in fashion. In nimble prose that moves at a brisk clip, he recounts his dizzying rise from model to stylist, to writer, and at age 18, fashion director of i-D magazine, where he brought in diverse models, making it his mission to shake up an outdated fashion industry in which, he writes, the conversation of diversity never made it outside "the occasional special issue." Determined to vanquish "the stupid, tired adage that Black girls on covers don't sell magazines," Enninful dreamed up Vogue Italia's "Black Issue" in 2008 before going on to become British Vogue's first Black editor-in-chief in 2017. Readers will relish Enninful's glamorous ascent as much as they will his willingness to detail the "ceaseless struggle"--"rejections, aggressions both macro- and micro-, overnight flights"--it took to build a "bolder, more inclusive" industry. Fashion mavens and forward thinkers alike will be mesmerized. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

When he became the first Black editor in chief of British Vogue, Enninful lit up the insular, exclusionary world of fashion by putting first responders, octogenarians, and civil rights activists on the cover and championing diverse designers, models, and photographers. His memoir chronicles the life of a gay, working-class refugee from Ghana who found a home in fashion and has helped change not just our sense of style but our understanding of what beauty really means.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A memoir from the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue. The son of a Ghanaian military officer and his gifted dressmaker wife, Enninful (b. 1972) discovered his love of fashion early in life. He spent his boyhood in his mother's workshop, "transported by the whole experience…the colours, the fabrics, the loving attention of my mother and her staff." Hiding his love of fashion and glamour from his disapproving father ("The Enninful boys would be doctors and lawyers: respectable, distinguished, cerebral, credentialed, dull"), he began exploring what would later become a career as a fashion stylist. In 1981, after a political coup in Ghana, the family moved to London, where the author suddenly came face to face with racial prejudices he had not experienced in his birth country. At the same time, the ethnically diverse working-class neighborhood where he spent most of a closeted gay adolescence helped Enninful establish the beginnings of an identity based in the vibrancy of street culture. His entree into the world of fashion came when he accepted a modeling job for the independent London fashion magazine i-D, "the closest you could come then to a pure documentary of British youth and their culture tribes." Enninful soon stepped behind the camera to work as a photographer's assistant, a fashion commentator, and, finally, a stylist. His professional successes eventually gave him the courage to come out as a gay man and endure the wrath of a father who threw him out of the family home. His forced independence became the catalyst that propelled Enninful to increasing levels of success at i-D, Vogue Italia, and Vogue in the U.S., where he worked with the legendary Anna Wintour and pushed for greater diversity among the magazine's models. That experience led Enniful to British Vogue, where, as editor-in-chief, he transformed staid layouts into groundbreaking statements about fashion, culture, and race--all of which he captures in this vibrant memoir. Inspiring reading for the style-inclined. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.