Well, what a week in magazines. It’s difficult to have missed Edward Enninful as the the new editor at the century-old British Vogue, but did you hear what happened at the title in Saudi Arabia? They lost an editor princess, no less. And back in the UK, Relx has sold its iconic title, New Scientist.
The arrival of Edward Enninful at British Vogue is seen as marking a switch to a more digital focus, with Alexander Schulman having wrung as much from print as there is to find. It is also the start of the change of the old guard, with Albert Read – Enninful’s boss in New York – set to take over from Nicholas Coleridge as MD of Condé Nast UK on August 1st.
But Read does not inherit the whole of Coleridge’s brief. Wolfgang Blau, digital chief of Condé Nast International, will take over as president of the international side. The fallout from the shenanigans in Saudi Arabia will no doubt still be reverberating then.
Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz was sacked on Thursday as editor of Vogue Arabia after just two issues. Abdulaziz – described last year as ‘a beacon of fashion in the region’ was appointed for the launch in July 2016. At the time, she said:
Don’t forget that we understand luxury almost better than anyone else on earth. Middle Eastern women have been serious couture clients since the late 1960s. We’ve been around long before the Russians and the Chinese ever came into the picture
However, putting Palestinian-American model Gigi Hadid wearing a veil on the cover for the first issue in March proved controversial. Cries of ‘cultural appropriation’ and accusations of plagiarism have bounced around social media.
Abdulaziz has since been quoted as saying:
I refused to compromise when I felt the publisher’s approach conflicted with the values which underpin our readers and the role of the editor-in-chief in meeting those values in a truly authentic way
Manuel Arnaut, a Condé Nast veteran and editor of Architectural Digest in the Middle East, has been parachuted in to calm things down. He has worked as a writer and editor at both Vogue and GQ in Portugal.
So, that’s three editions of Vogue with men at the helm.
To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design