I am often asked, both casually and formally, the question: what is the one thing that inspires you the most about fashion? The answer to this question has been the same from the first time until now, and it is "the people." In complement to my brand and mission statement, the people are my passion. Fashion is just the technology that has blessed me to be able to connect with and serve some of the best. Having said that, one of my greatest inspirations in the business of fashion has been Fashion and Creative Director, Edward Enninful.
I learned who Mr. Enninful was some 11 years ago when I first decided to pursue a career in the fashion industry. I began researching every publication and subscribing to glossies like crazy. Of course, I then began to familiarize myself with the mastheads and learning who the gatekeepers were. (A term I didn't learn until later but I had the concept correct.) From that time I 'followed' Mr. Enninful's career right up until I walked up on him in person during New York Fashion Week SS17 in September. Literally, I was walking with my business partner and an industry friend and there he was waiting on a car. I just had to take the moment and speak with him and to my surprise, he actually took the time to talk with me and was interested in who I was and what I did in fashion. Now, there is an immense list of life lessons I can pull from this moment to teach here but I will save that for an #ecLIVEat10. However, the main point is: what you've been looking for is looking for you...you've just got to get in the right position! It's all about "places and spaces" which New York has continued to prove to me.
I didn't want anything from Mr. Enninful or expect anything. I just wanted to make that in-person connection. (Well, of course I wanted a picture.) He serves as a model of inspiration; a paradigm for me. Just after the age of 18, he became the youngest fashion director for an international publication with i-D Magazine. Since then, he as served with Italian Vogue, American Vogue and most recently W Magazine, as well as a creative on numerous campaigns. During the 2014 British Fashion Awards he was awarded the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator and in October 2016 received acknowledgement by the British monarchy as OBE - Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Incredible!
The blessings don't stop there for Mr. Enninful. As of August 1, 2017, he will serve as the Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue leaving his current position as Fashion and Creative Director of W Magazine based in New York City. Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse calls Enninful "an influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist", adding that "by virtue of his talent and experience, Edward is supremely prepared to assume the responsibility of British Vogue."
Congratulations, Mr. Enninful! It's a great day in fashion!
ELLIOT CARLYLE | the brand. the voice.