Naomi Campbell is a new contributing editor at British Vogue, and she just pointed out something pretty jarring about her colleagues: They appear to be nearly entirely white, if not entirely white.
That’s according to the photo of “Vogue editorial staff” in the September issue, the last helmed by former editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman.
“This is the staff photo of @britishvogue under the previous editor #AlexandraSchulman,” Campbell captioned the photo. “Looking forward to an inclusive and diverse staff now that @edward_enninful is the editor.”
Enninful has long championed the need for diversity in fashion through his previous work at W Magazine, and the future of inclusion at British Vogue seems bright. In the past year alone far, he styled an all-black cast for the 2018 Pirelli calendar and directed a racially diverse (although not size-diverse) shoot for Gap.
That the magazine might also gain a more diverse staff matters: The voices of writers and editors and designers of color should be heard, too. And a slew of mags, Vogue and its various international editions included, regularly and painfully bungle issues of race and/or cultural appropriation. In 2015, Teen Vogue used a white model in a piece about Senegalese twists, for example, and in February 2017 Karlie Kloss appeared in American Vogue’s diversity issue in yellowface.
Just 29 percent of 679 magazine covers tracked by theFashionSpot in 2016 featured people of color, and that number’s an improvement over previous years. That so many of the fashion editors who select covers are white plays into the lack of representation, and Enninful has spoken about the need to change the industry “from the inside.”
“If you put one model in a show or in an ad campaign, that doesn’t solve the problem,” he told Time last year. “We need teachers in universities, we need internships, we need people of different ethnic backgrounds in all parts of the industry. That really is the solution, you have to change it from the inside.”
While Shulman did make some diversity strides during her tenure ― she tapped Ashley Graham for British Vogue’s first-ever plus-size cover in January 2017 ― she also came under fire for controversial remarks about the kind of person she thinks people want to see on the glossy’s cover.
“People always say, ‘Why do you have thin models? That’s not what people look like.’ But nobody wants to see a real person on the cover… People don’t want to buy a magazine like Vogue to see what they see when look at in the mirror,” she said in a 2014 radio interview. “They can do that for free.”
Campbell has worked with Enninful a number of times, including the Pirelli calendar. Although Vogue did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication, we have a feeling this not-so-subtle suggestion from one of the world’s most famous supermodels will not go unnoticed.