i-D founder terry jones, naomi campbell, alexander mcqueen, and more on edward enninful's excellence
As the renowned stylist is announced as the new Editor of British Vogue, we look back to The Upbeat Issue in 2006, when Terry Jones and a handful of fashion luminaries celebrated the genius of the then i-D Fashion Director.
Jessica Stam, Photography Richard Burbridge, Styling Edward Enninful, Makeup Pat McGrath. [The New Dawn Issue, no. 247, September 2004]
"From the first day Edward Enninful walked into the i-D office, he established a special relationship with the magazine; initially as a model, working with Simon Foxton and Nick Knight, next as a stylist, assisting the then-fashion editor Beth Summers. When Beth moved on to have her baby, I remember asking the stylist Simon Foxton if Edward could be the new Fashion Editor. Simon assured me, with his droll sense of humor, that there was no one better. Edward's desk was always a magnet for ideas and people, and swiftly became the most glamorous corner of the office. The stream of talent that began to flow through the whole place was infectious. As Simon recalls, 'During his time as Fashion Editor, the i-D office became a drop-in center for the waifs and strays of the fashion and media world. I can't imagine the rest of the i-D staff were totally enamored with this ongoing party around the fashion desk, but we all had a fine time!'
The magazine's celebration of diversity brought a wealth of stylists and photographers on board, individuals who are now firmly ingrained in i-D's history and who have taken the fashion world by storm. Edward and world-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath grew up as friends in north west London (today she describes Edward as 'dynamic, charismatic, big fun, beyond creative, and a great friend'). Their passion for fashion ideas has continued to evolve to this day, and the collaboration between them, and the photographers they work with, has consistently provided iconic imagery that mark out the magazine each month.
Indeed as Edward's reputation has grown, so have the careers of the many photographers and stylists who completed their first editorial for i-D throughout the 90s. Names such as Craig McDean, Juergen Teller, Venetia Scott, Melanie Ward, David Sims, Tesh Patel, and Terry Richardson. Figures that defined a certain, critical moment in the industry's history, when perhaps the contemporary notion of fashion — and its relationship to both the celebrity and the common man — was forged. From personalities who no one had heard of until they got their first full covers with i-D to aiding The Rise of Supermodel ('Edward is like a brother to me, an extension of my family. In fact, people say he's like a male version of me!' says Naomi Campbell), Edward and his generation have created a compelling body of work over the past two decades.
As Jonathan Newhouse, Conde Nast publisher and close friend, puts it: 'From a modest upbringing in Ladbroke Grove, Edward has, through unstinting effort, talent, and an amazing eye, brought himself to the pinnacle of the fashion world. He was instrumental in the launch of Japanese Vogue and today works with Steven Meisel at Italian Vogue and as a regular contributing editor on American Vogue. The best people want to work with the best and that is why Edward is so in demand.' It's a notion that designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana concur with: 'We have always followed Edward's work with much interest throughout all these years, since his beginning at i-D,' they say. 'We love his creativity and his personal and strong style: his edgy take on fashion and his deep knowledge about tailoring, colors, and fabrics as shown through his amazing editorials for i-D and other worldwide-known magazines. We harbor great respect and admiration for the work of this sweet and brilliant guy, and besides, he's great to party with!'" Terry Jones
"I first met Edward on a fashion shoot for i-D magazine that was taking place at my house in Richmond in 1990. Also modeling on the same shoot were Zoe Bedeaux, Charlotte Knight, Craig McDean, Jason Evans, and David Sims's girlfriend of the time, Emma Balfour. Simon Foxton was styling the shoot and turned up at the door with a young, beautiful, shaven headed black boy. He was very shy and hardly spoke at all, but I remember he had a grace and melancholic beauty to how he modeled. Simon told me he had met him on the tube and that he was desperately fed up as his father wanted him to be an accountant, but he wanted to be a model. This was Edward..." Nick Knight
"Edward and I were separated at birth. We are both Pisces so typically, we fall in love too easily but help each other survive. I love him very much." Alexander McQueen
"It was such a thrill when Edward became the first 18-year-old Fashion Editor, the time when people of color started taking their rightful place in the fashion media." Judy Blame
"Edward has an innate ability to spot and cultivate up-and-coming talent, but just as easily collaborates with the most established. Happy anniversary Edward!" Beverley Streeter
"Edward Enninful's body of work is unique, because he succeeds in mixing English quirkiness with a refined elegance on an international scale." Roland Mouret