EDWARD REIGNS: Edward Enninful, British Vogue editor in chief since 2017, threw an intimate soiree at Claridge’s hotel Sunday night to celebrate the launch of his memoir, “A Visible Man.”
Salma Hayek, wearing a white tulle dress by Giambattista Valli, attended the event alongside her husband Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, alongside Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, and models Kate Moss, Kristen McMenamy, Adwoa Aboah and Jourdan Dunn.
Other attendees included Stella McCartney, Ozwald Boateng, Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina, “I Will Destroy You” star Michaela Cole, “Loki” actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Riz Ahmed, actor and “Talk Art” host Russell Tovey, Juergen Teller, Laura Bailey and Emma Weymouth, Marchioness of Bath, who arrived together with Enninful in a floor-length green dress by Sabina Bilenko.
Earlier that evening, Enninful was chatting with Cole at the Southbank Center about his book, which entails how a Black, gay and working-class refugee like him became a gatekeeper of one of the world’s most exclusive industries.
At the party, a cohort of Enninful’s close friends, including Condé Nast Britain chief business officer Vanessa Kingori, Hayek, Elba, Aboah and Enninful’s husband Alec Maxwell shared how his success has changed their lives and made the fashion industry more inclusive.
“His visibility is so important to me and so many people that I know.…Never ever have I worked with someone who is so celebratory of women’s strength,” Kingori said.
“Edward truly changed my life, which was on a great track. I was having a great career and we kept having these incidental bump-ins. We started talking and those conversations led to the career collaboration of my life, which has been so much fun,” she added.
Hayek said she and Enninful have shared “so much laughter for so many decades that you cannot begin to imagine because we look amazing for our age.”
“We started out in an era where the fashion industry was very icy. Yet Edward always brought the warmth. It was a time when arrogance and bitchiness regardless of the sex were celebrated. Yet he always brought kindness. And let’s not forget, it was a moment in history where if you were a person of color, or if you had curves, you didn’t necessarily feel welcome.
“But if you saw that ray of sunshine walk in, you felt safe and as you watch his incredible talents at work, you felt actually really hopeful. I think that is the greatest talent anyone can have — his soulfulness,” Hayek said.
She quoted Mexican socialite and fashion icon Gloria Guinness, who famously said, “Elegance it’s in the mind, in the body and in the soul.”
Elba recalled the time when Enninful asked him for advice on the book in a park during the pandemic when the nationwide lockdown only allowed people to leave their homes to exercise once a day.
“We were talking about the book, he was like, ‘How do I do it? What should I do?’ And I was like ‘Edward, you need to just put this in a book, and stop f–king around.’ And I’m so thankful that we had that moment. Because it led on to what we are doing today, which is celebrating one of the most magnanimous men in the world, one of the most beautiful human beings that all of us know,” he said.
Aboah, who fronted the first British Vogue cover under Enninful’s direction, said his visibility means safety to people like her.
“I had all these Vogue magazines that I collected over the years when I was younger, and I was looking through them, and I was like, ‘Why did I ever collect these magazines because I never saw myself in any of these pages?’ And then I got my moment, and you gave me an opportunity to be on something that represented me and all the other women and men that I sat down with and feel part of, and you created an environment and a space that I felt very welcomed.
“For that, I can’t thank you enough because that girl who hated her braids and hated and wanted to wake up the next morning with like long blonde hair and pale skin, has completely changed,” she added.
Maxwell, in comments aimed at Enninful, said he hopes his memoir can help people “understand you a little bit better than what they thought they knew of you.”
“I’m excited to see what the book brings next. Kind of very excited at the possibility of it becoming some kind of movie,” he added.
In response to their kind words, Enninful humbly said he “didn’t just appear and create this magical world.”
“I feel without your energy and your strength, I wouldn’t have been able to do what essentially needed to be done and I really appreciate everyone in this room,” he added.
At the end of the speeches, Enninful was presented with a cake shooting fireworks, decorated with his signature eyewear motif. — TIANWEI ZHANG
ELLE CHINA CHANGE: Nicole Xue, Elle China‘s editor in chief, is leaving the Hearst publication after almost three years.
Her departure was revealed to team members of the fashion publication last week, and an Elle China employee confirmed her exit to WWD.
Xue’s successor has yet to be named.
A graduate of China’s prestigious Peking University, Xue joined Elle China in 2005. She rose through the ranks to become feature director before being promoted to editorial director in 2019, replacing Xiao Xue, Elle China’s editor in chief and chief executive officer, who held the position for 14 years.
Industry sources said Xue’s departure comes amid a strategy shift under Daisy Wang, whom Hearst appointed as CEO of the Greater China region in early 2019. Wang was in charge of Hearst’s Taiwan region business before moving to the Greater China post.
Jingcai Zhou, editorial director and publisher of Elle Men since 2018, is seen as a strong proponent of Xue’s departure, according to ConCall, a local fashion industry-focused account under West Village (Beijing) Culture Media, a new publishing house co-founded by Paco Tang, former group publisher of Condé Nast China and managing director of Tatler Shangliu.
A successor could be handpicked from within the company, with Sujia Zhuge, deputy editorial director of Elle China and editor in chief and publisher of SuperElle, the sister publication of Elle, seen as a strong contender, according to industry insiders.
Zhou is also a strong frontrunner for the position, but according to ConCall, Wang’s ambition is to snatch the role of group publisher, a position left open since 2019.
Elle was the first international fashion magazine to enter the Chinese market in 1988.
According to data compiled by Admango, Elle China sold 1,506 pages of ads in 2018, while Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue China had 1,279 and 1,086 pages of ads, respectively.
The monthly publication expanded into spin-off publications including SuperElle, Elle Men, Elle Men Fresh and Elle Decoration in the China market.
Wang could not be reached for comment at press time. — DENNI HU
THREE PROMOTIONS: KCD has promoted Dale Westgarth, Julie Beynon and James Deeny to senior vice presidents of media relations. They are established leaders both globally and within their respective offices in London, New York and Paris.
During his eight-year tenure with KCD London, Westgarth has led several key clients through designer transitions and establishment of new codes and strategies. He has also engaged and secured new clients, helping to grow the agency’s European network.
Beynon joined KCD New York in 2018 after several years on the client side at companies such as Calvin Klein and Michael Kors, helping brands to grow within the editorial landscape, and she has developed key industry relationships.
Since Deeny joined the agency in Paris in 2021, he has leveraged his expertise in working with luxury brands and emerging voices in the industry. Earlier, he held public relations roles at Kenzo and Dries Van Noten.
“We are so proud to promote Dale, Julie and James as senior vice presidents in the media relations group. Collectively, they represent a network of industry knowledge and relationships that are invaluable to our clients and our team,” said Rachna Shah, partner and managing director, KCD.
The three executives will focus on strategic direction and will continue to work on business development and agency growth. — LISA LOCKWOOD
NEW COURSE: Daniel Marks has left the PR firm ScienceMagic.Inc, and industry sources say he’s working on a new project.
Partners Julietta Dexter, David Pemsel and Marks said in a brief statement that they mutually agreed that Marks would step down from the business in his role as chief engagement officer, partner and director.
Marks had been with ScienceMagic.Inc, and The Communications Store, the company that preceded it, for 20 years. He left on July 31.
Marks could not be reached for comment at press time.
The statement said Marks will remain a shareholder in ScienceMagic.Inc “and will continue to support the business. ScienceMagic.Inc will also support Daniel” in his future business projects.
“ScienceMagic.Inc would like to thank Daniel for his unique and outstanding contribution to the business and to the industry. His elegance, kindness, attention to detail, as well as his overall care of his clients, his colleagues and industry partners, is his hallmark and no doubt Daniel will continue to be an important part of the industry and our community,” the statement said.
As reported, ScienceMagic.Inc was formed two years ago as a new-generation public relations, branding and marketing company that aimed to connect the dots between data science, storytelling and digital technology in a bid to speak to the next generation of consumers and shopping tribes.
Marks and Dexter of The Communications Store teamed with Pemsel on the venture.
TCS merged with immediate effect into ScienceMagic.Inc., which is based in London and New York.
Until then, TCS had been in business for more than 25 years.
In an interview in late 2020, Marks and Dexter said it was time to futureproof, and to consider new ways of communicating and building businesses at a time when consumers were buying directly from companies and forming communities around their favorite brands, celebrities, influencers and other individuals. — SAMANTHA CONTI
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