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From Ghana to UK’s Most Powerful Black Person: Inspiring Story of Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful OBE, the Ghanaian-born stylist and British Vogue editor-in-chief, has been awarded the UK’s most important Black person. Enninful topped the 18th edition of the 2024 Powerlist. The annual list honors individuals of African, African Caribbean, and African American descent.

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It began in 2006 with the goal of highlighting Black role models to young people in fields such as science and technology, business, and the arts. Entrants are judged on their “ability to change lives and alter events over a long period of time and in a positive manner.”

Afua Kyei, the Bank of England’s chief financial officer, and Dean Forbes, CEO of Forterro and Partner at Corten Capital, were also named to this year’s list.

Enninful, the first Black man to be appointed as Vogue editor in the United Kingdom, said earlier this year that he will step down to focus on other projects.

Enninful migrated to London with his parents and five siblings after being born in Ghana. His modeling career began at the age of 16 after a chance meeting with fashion scout Simon Foxton on a train ride. His modeling career was brief, and at the age of 17, he was working as an assistant to the fashion directors of the newly launched i-D magazine. He managed to balance this responsibility with his studies at Goldsmith University, and two years later, at the age of 19, he was elevated to the position of fashion director, making him the youngest director of an international fashion magazine.

Enninful rose to prominence at i-D magazine for his edgy style, which he stated was inspired by the streets. His mother, a brilliant seamstress who fashioned vibrantly patterned African attire for her Ghanaian-British friends, was also an early inspiration for him.

The 51-year-old, who has long fought for much-needed diversity in the fashion business, said being named to the 2024 Powerlist was an honor. The list, he said, “shines a light on black people really breaking boundaries, who are unafraid and champion what it means to be truly diverse in their own industries” .

Here’s the Powerlist 2024 top 10:

  1. Edward Enninful, OBE – editor-in-chief of British Vogue, European editorial director of Vogue
  2. Dean Forbes – CEO, Forterro, Partner Corten Capital
  3. Afua Kyei – chief financial officer, Bank of England
  4. Marvin Rees – mayor of Bristol
  5. Tunde Olanrewaju – senior partner and managing partner, McKinsey & Company
  6. Joshua Siaw, MBE – partner, White & Case
  7. Syreeta Brown – group chief people and communications officer, Virgin Money UK
  8. Paulette Simpson, CBE – executive, corporate affairs and public policy, Jamaica National Bank; executive director, The Voice Media Group
  9. Vanessa Kingori, CBE – chief business officer, Condé Britain, Vogue European business advisor
  10. Lord Woolley of Woodford – co-founder, Operation Black Vote, and principal, Homerton College, Cambridge University

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