Why Vogue’s New Editor, ‘Chioma Nnadi’ will Uplift Black Representation in Fashion

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September 21st— Monday morning, Anna Wintour announced through an e-mail naming Chioma Nnadi as the editor for vogue.com. Anna Wintour of course remains the artistic director of Condé Nast and the Editor-in-chief of Vogue,  but this position puts Nnadi in charge of all Vogue’s digital content as compared to her previous role as fashion news director of vogue.com

Chioma Nnadi is a London native of Nigerian and Swiss-German descent. She’s worked at Fader, Trace and London’s Evening Standard before joining Vogue as a fashion writer in 2010. In 2014, she was named Fashion News Director and has stayed in that position up until her newly announced promotion.

In Anna Wintour’s official release announcing Nnadi, she says,  

I am so thrilled that Chioma will be the new editor of vogue.com. Above all we know her as someone who intuitively understands fashion and brings to it a genuine love of discovery. She looks in unexpected places and all over the world to find out who is doing the best work and who we should be celebrating now. I absolutely rely on her eye and her cosmopolitanism and her taste. Even better, she is forward looking and understands that Vogue needs to reach new audiences and do so in new ways.

Nnadi’s work speaks for it self. She searches globally for raw fashion talent especially Black and multicultural talent. In a CFDA interview she says,

I believe black creatives are underrepresented in fashion at every level. Too often I look around the room during fashion week, and I’m one of a handful of black and brown faces. We need to create new pathways to success for the next generation of black talent—designers, stylists, photographers, models, editors, executives, and buyers. And that’s something that should be on the agenda all year round, not just during Black History Month.

Given the ongoing conversations about combating systemic racism in the fashion industry and uplifting Black representation in the industry, this new position for Nnadi is indeed a milestone that will take Black representation in fashion even further. Looking through the past works of Nnadi, she has always used her platform to start relevant dialogue with a wider audience, push narratives and promote positive change.

According to Yahoo!, as editor of Vogue.com, Nnadi will oversee all of Vogue’s digital content and will be charged with continuing to grow traffic. According to SimilarWeb data, Vogue.com had 8.37 million average monthly visits as of August, compared to 37.9 million at Elle.com and 16.2 million at Bazaar.com. Vogue.com’s own figures showed that it has on average 13 million monthly visitors. This means that vogue.com can be doing much better in terms of digital engagement, hence the need to reach a wider audience.

This year, in mid-May amid widespread Black Lives Matter movements , the hashtag #VogueChallenge began. The challenge went viral on both Twitter and Instagram, where thousands of Black users were imagining their own versions of Vogue covers. “Vogue Could’ve Looked Like This All Along”

The challenge begun as a response to the letter Anna Wintour sent amidst the BLM protests earlier this year to employees admitting that “Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators.” If the viral challenge served any good, naming Nnadi as editor of Vogue is an indication that they are paying attention.

Black and multicultural representation is lacking in the industry. Nnadi’s past works is an indication that she is keen on using this platform to expand and uplift. Her work has greatly added to the  diversity of cultural stories you find on Vogue. Most recent pieces she has covered has titles such as “This Nigerian Dance Academy Is Reimagining Ballet Style With West African Flair” ; or “ Why I Struggled to Let Go of My Braids in Quarantine” or “South African Designer Thebe Magugu Has Found His Voice—And The Fashion World Is Listening”.

In her most Instagram post, she humbly shares “super excited for the road ahead in my new role as editor of vogue.com”  

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