Supermodel Naomi Campbell, a newly appointed contributing editor to British Vogue, has a bone to pick with her new employer.
On Tuesday, Campbell took to Instagram to decry the lack of diversity under former editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, in response to an image of Shulman staff in the publication’s September issue, intended to commemorate the final magazine under her stewardship. On first glance, the image appears seemingly innocuous — a bunch of smiling Brits atop the roof of Vogue’s London office — but as Campbell points out, there is not a single person of color in the photo.
In her caption, she notes the troublingly homogenous photo to her 4.3 million followers and expresses hope for a forthcoming era that embraces diversity under new editor Edward Eninnful, who is both the first male editor and person of color to act as editor-in-chief since the publication was founded in 1916. The photo has nearly 20,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments. (British Vogue said it has no comment regarding Campbell’s post.)
“This is the staff photo of @britishvogue under the previous editor #AlexandraSchulman [sic]. Looking forward to an inclusive and diverse staff now that @edward_enninful is the editor,” Campbell wrote in the caption, about the glaring oversight.
Even before Enninful effectively took over the helm on August 1, he has made significant efforts toward shaking up British Vogue’s masthead. In the months leading up to officially joining the team, he appointed notable contributing editors of color — along with Campbell, Enninful is bringing makeup artist Pat McGrath aboard — as well as male contributors including hairstylists Sam McKnight and Guido Palau.
Lack of diversity has been a pervasive issue for British Vogue. According to Jennifer Davidson, editor-in-chief of The Fashion Spot, in the last 14 years, only six models of color have been featured individually on British Vogue covers, and in 2016, only one model of color held the cover spot. Davidson said that, over the years, readers of The Fashion Spot have repeatedly expressed that the editorship of British Vogue exudes an elitist attitude that has exacerbated a lack of diversity.
“British Vogue has historically lacked diversity, both on its pages and in its staff,” she said. “There was a general feeling on our forums that British Vogue was run by ‘posh girls of London,’ and that was certainly reflected in the magazine. With Enninful’s hire and some of his diverse high-profile contributors, we expect to see some dramatic and inclusive changes at the magazine.”