Have you ever heard the name Edward Enninful? Edward Enninful has been named the UK's most influential Black person by Powerlist 2024. He contributed a lot to making the fashion world more diverse and inclusive.

A mural depicting a group of people of different races. Photo by Miles Peacock on Unsplash

Discover 3 lessons we can learn from his story.

Edward's background

Edward Enninful was born on a military base in Ghana on February 22, 1972. He was the fifth child among six siblings. His father served as a military officer, while his mother was a skilled seamstress. Flaticon Icon

Edward was a sickly child and spent most of his time with his mother. She introduced him to the world of creativity, women's beauty, and fashion.

I saw from my mother how to talk to women about clothes. I never imagined, then, that I’d make a career out of fashion.

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When he was 13 years old, his family emigrated to England, where he started his career.

A fashion show with diverse models walking down a runway in fashionable clothes. Photo by Michael Lee on Unsplash

1. Be yourself

At the age of 16, Edward began modeling for a fashionable magazine. Two years later, he became the youngest-ever fashion director of the international publication, i-D magazine.

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But his father, who wanted Edward to become a lawyer or a doctor, didn't support him. When Edward's father found out about his son's passion for fashion he kicked him out of the house. Flaticon Icon

Edward knew who he was and what he wanted to do in his life. So, he never returned home.

A Black woman saying:

Don't be afraid to stand out and be true to who you are, just like Edward Enninful did.

2. Don't give up

In 2017, Edward became the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue. He decided to change this journal and make it diverse and inclusive. Nobody believed that a Vogue issue with a Black woman on the cover would sell. But it did and he succeeded!

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My Vogue is about being inclusive. It is about diversity — showing different women, different body shapes, different races, different classes, tackling gender.

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Besides his career obstacles, Mr. Enninful had serious problems with his eyesight. But he proceeded to work hard, so nobody suspected that anything was wrong.

A man climbing a mountain. Photo by NEOM on Unsplash

Keep pushing forward toward your goals, just like Edward did on his journey to success.

3. Work isn't everything

In Edward's life, there was a period when he had achieved recognition but still felt lonely and empty. At that time, he was struggling with addiction to alcohol and recreational drugs.

After overcoming his addictions, he realized that he should think about his mental health and care about himself.

A sunrise on a beach. Photo by Ravi Pinisetti on Unsplash

While striving for success, don't forget about your mental health. Be kind to yourself.


Imagine that you study hard at a college, work part-time, and volunteer. You're very tired and you feel constant stress. What should you do to help yourself? Select all that apply:

Take Action

Looking at the life of Edward Enninful can help you understand that hard work, persistence, and following his goals made as a young boy from Ghana an influential man.

Watch the video below to see Edward's inspiring speech after accepting the Trailblazer Award from the British Fashion Council:

So, what can you do to contribute to your success?


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