British Vogue editor Edward Enninful said that career success and a prominent position did nothing to keep him from being racially profiled by a workplace security guard.
Enninful, who became the publication’s first Black editor in 2017, took to social media this week to describe how he was denied entry into Vogue House in Mayfair, a posh area located in the West End. The security guard didn’t recognize Enninful and told him to use a loading dock at the back of the building to enter instead.
“Today I was racially profiled by a security guard whilst entering my work place,” Enninful wrote in a Wednesday, July 15, Instagram post. “As I entered, I was instructed to use the loading bay. 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.”
In the caption of his post, Enninful said the security guard was quickly terminated by Condé Nast, Vogue’s owners, and he blasted the guard for racist behavior.
“Condé Nast moved quickly to dismiss the security guard, but 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 colour of your skin,” he stated.
CNN reports that the security guard was employed by a third-party contractor, not by Vogue directly, and was “placed under investigation by their employer.”
Enninful received instant support after posting his message as people like Naomi Campbell wrote in the comments, “When will this change? Been happening in UK for so long … so sorry you had to go through that!! Don’t let it deter you. Stay STRONG.”
Actress Yara Shahidi also left a comment.
“This is a Egregious!” she wrote. “You’re absolutely right. The work and the fight continues ⚡️.”
Other famous names who sent Enninful support include actress Cynthia Erivo and “Insecure” co-star Kendrick Sampson.
“💯💯💯 We have to create a new normal – one with real accountability and one free of anti-Blackness and white supremacy, ✊🏽” Sampson commented.
Born in Ghana and raised in West London, Enninful became British Vogue’s editor after being fashion and creative director at W Magazine.
He’s been a constant voice for diversity at Vogue, wanting not only to highlight Black models, but also others who don’t usually grace the pages of high-end fashion magazines.
“Diversity for me is not just about skin color but of perspectives,” said Enninful in in a 2018 Vogue interview. “It should be part of the language of the magazine always. That’s just what the world is.”
Enninful has also faced political topics and race issues head-on, like in 2017 when he created a PSA titled “I Am an Immigrant.” The release was a response to Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, otherwise known as Executive Order 13769.
The London raised-editor replaced Alexandra Shulman at British Vogue, who announced her departure in January 2017.
Shulman is the same person Naomi Campbell called out that same year for a lack of diversity by posting an Instagram photo of British Vogue’s editorial staff, which was all white.