The editor of British Vogue, Edward Enninful, said he was racially profiled after being told by a security guard to “use the loading bay” as he entered the magazine’s offices in London this week.
Mr. Enninful, who in 2017 became the first man and the first Black editor to take the helm of Britain’s most powerful fashion publication, described the incident to his one million followers on Instagram in a post on Wednesday.
“Today, I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my workplace. I was instructed to use the loading bay,” he wrote. “Just because our timelines and weekends are returning to normal, we cannot let the world return to how it was. Change needs to happen now.”
Mr. Enninful said that Condé Nast, which owns British Vogue, “moved quickly” to dismiss the security guard. The magazine publisher, which also owns titles such as Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and GQ, has been hit with criticism after widespread Black Lives Matter protests for failures to support diversity in the workplace. Two senior editors left the company over racial insensitivity, and last month the artistic director, Anna Wintour, and the chief executive, Roger Lynch, offered apologies to the staff and acknowledged that Condé Nast had too few employees of color.
“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators,” Ms. Wintour wrote in a note. “We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.”
Mr. Enninful, who was awarded an O.B.E. in 2016 for his services to diversity in the fashion industry, has long been an outspoken force for better representation in the sector. When he took the helm of British Vogue three years ago, when fashion continued to have a dearth of powerful Black personalities, Mr. Enninful — who migrated to Britain from Ghana as a child — said he hoped to create a more diverse magazine that was “open and friendly.”
“My Vogue is about being inclusive,” he said at the time. “It is about diversity — showing different women, different body shapes, different races, different classes, tackling gender.”
Condé Nast said that the security guard, who worked for a third-party contractor at Vogue’s London headquarters, was dismissed from the site and “placed under investigation by their employer.” Scores of boldface names rushed to offer public commiserations under Mr. Enninful’s Instagram post, at a time when the fashion industry has faced more scrutiny than ever before about its entrenched hierarchies and widespread racist and sexist attitudes.
On Twitter, however, several users suggested that some of the response to the incident reflected how the fashion sector — and Condé Nast itself — had some way to go in its ongoing reckoning with racism and in engendering widespread sustainable change.
Mr. Enninful, whose post became a trending topic on the platform and who recently spotlighted Britain’s National Health Service workers in his magazine, had a final note to add in his social media post about his encounter: “It just goes to show that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’ve achieved in the course of your life: the first thing that some people will judge you on is the color of your skin.”
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