In scathing online column, Alexandra Shulman appears to cast aspersions on celebrity obsession of Edward Enninful

Former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has hit out at what she described as a new guard of editors who she said were no longer publication journalists but instead” celebrities or manner personalities with substantial social media followings “. Her statements appear to be a thinly veiled swipe at her successor, Edward Enninful, who often shares pictures of himself with Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and other producing fashion models across a string of websites.

Writing for the Business of Fashion website, Shulman asked the issues to ” what makes a great magazine editor ?~ ATAGEND” She concluded that editing was ” certainly not a job for someone who doesn’t wish to put in the hours and thinks that the main part of their chore is being photographed in a series of decorator clothes with a roster of famous pals “.

Shulman did not mention anybody by epithet but her remarks emerged amid signs of a growing rift between her and her successor at the influential magazine, which she edited for more than 25 years.

In August Enninful’s friend, Campbell, criticised the absence of diversity at the publication under Shulman’s tenure by posting a photo of Vogue’s staff under her leadership. It demonstrated there were no black employees in a personnel of around 50 and thanked Enninful for appointing her as a contributing editor to the magazine.

However, in her article, Shulman questioned the value of appointing high-profile” lending editors” asking again whether they were prepared to work hard enough to justify their status.

Shulman wrote:” It has been interesting and educative to watch over the years which of the more dilettante or famous benefactors actually set some endeavor into their contributions and which liked the relevant recommendations of an association to the magazine without the tedious business of actually doing any work .”

Enninful, the first male editor to be appointed to British Vogue in its 101 -year history, started the job in August, replacing the privately educated Shulman, who had run the name since 1992. An outspoken advocate for more diversity in fashion, Enninful, who was born in Ghana and raised in London, was previously a style director at titles including W and i-D publications, where he befriended Campbell and Moss.

Alexandra Shulman edited Vogue from 1992 to July 2017. Photograph: David Levenson/ Getty Images

Since Shulman’s departure, several senior editors have left the Conde Nast-owned title in what appeared to be a clear-out orchestrated by her successor. Lucinda Chambers, the outgoing style administrator, gave an angry interview in which she said she had been fired and that the clothes in the publication had now become “irrelevant”.

But the former editor grumbled that the printed publication was being starved of resources while its publisher was switching its focus towards digital content. She warned that British Vogue was in danger of losing some of its identity because” a massive investment” was being induced in” a digital hub to service names internationally with an element of one-size-fits-all content “.

Shulman said that while” the digital curveball thrown at print is powerful” that” doesn’t mean that magazine brands don’t involve editors who actually edit … who sweat the small material “. She said that Vogue and titles like it would otherwise be at risk of” chasing clickbait that is reflected in a zillion websites and cravenly following a small pond of short-term celebrity epithets “.

Shulman dedicates much of her article to defending the importance and value of print publications over digital, describing them as” not only information and recreation but also image-defining accessories, endowing the purchaser with membership of a certain tribe when carried or even placed on a coffee table or kitchen counter “.

Conde Nast declined to comment on Shulman’s article. Nonetheless, a source with knowledge of British Vogue also claimed that staff were concerned about their jobs under the Enninful regime, which they said was overly focused on celebrity figures.

The insider said that staff were” all so excited about this new section- and current realities is like working on the define of Zoolander. Hardworking staff … are being culled to free up money for lavish hits and celebrity appointments. Alexandra Shulman’s column is sadly spot on. In terms of positives, they’re very glad to see a genuine diversity of models and flair being represented in the upcoming issue .”

Others, though, have taken Enninful’s side. A blogger writing for the Spectator under the pseudonym Pea Priestly has been highly critical of Shulman’s editorship, claiming it will be” defined by mediocrity, idiocy and flip-flops”, that Vogue was ” borderline racist” during her reign- because it had only two coverings featuring solo black frameworks since 2002- and that Enninful’s first act should be” to get rid of the whole anaemic team- every last Sloaney sloth “.

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