Edward Enninful Opens Up

As part of Prada’s The Iconoclast series, W’s Fashion and Style Director Edward Enninful reimagined the interiors of the Prada stores on Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone. Here, Enninful discusses his transition from teen model to fashion editor, the influence of the Harlem Renaissance on his designs for Prada, and more. View the exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs.

Released on 2/26/2014

Credits

Starring: Edward Enninful

Transcript

00:09
Hi, my name is Edward Enninful,
00:11
and I'm the fashion and style director
00:14
for W magazine, in New York.
00:17
When I was 16, I was stopped on a train.
00:19
I was on my way to school
00:21
and I was stopped by a photographer
00:23
called Nick Knight, and a stylist,
00:25
and I was asked to be a model.
00:28
So, I was essentially a teenage model,
00:30
from about 16 until about 18.
00:35
But then from then I transitioned
00:36
to sort of assisting on an English magazine called i-D,
00:40
when I was about 17, sort of running around the office,
00:42
and helping out the fashion director.
00:45
And then when I was 18, I was made fashion director for i-D.
00:50
So, essentially my whole teenage years was spent
00:53
sort of, from model to an editor,
00:56
and then from there I kind of worked for years,
00:59
went to work for Italian Vogue as a,
01:01
sort of a contributor and editor,
01:04
and then to American Vogue,
01:06
and then to my current position at W.
01:08
And all the while I was freelance styling,
01:10
so it was like wearing a lot of different hats.
01:13
So yeah, so it was a strange journey.
01:15
Fashion, to me, is about self-expression.
01:18
It's about
01:19
creativity.
01:23
You can say so much with fashion, you now.
01:25
It speaks about the time we live in.
01:28
You know, it really sums up
01:29
a time, really.
01:31
So yeah, that's what I think fashion is.
01:34
I remember just before Christmas, I received a call
01:38
from Miuccia's team,
01:41
asking if
01:42
I would participate
01:43
in the 2014 Iconoclast project.
01:48
Of course I was, I thought they were joking because I,
01:52
I'm just such a huge fan of Miuccia Prada,
01:55
I mean her work, her accomplishments, her vision.
01:58
So I was very, very excited when I got the call.
02:02
I mean, we had a short time to put everything together,
02:04
but it's been quite an incredible journey.
02:07
The shoot with Emma Summerton, in New York, was
02:12
sort of inspired by the whole idea of first of all,
02:16
when I spoke to Miuccia's team, the Prada team,
02:20
I thought it would be great to do something in the store
02:23
where, which was almost like a
02:26
three-dimensional experience.
02:28
So I thought the idea for the photo shoot was
02:30
to sort of create a world,
02:33
which we did, sort of, using Prada models.
02:37
The beautiful Spring/Summer collection,
02:39
as well as some vintage pieces, but to create a world,
02:42
and then to have the shop look like it stepped
02:45
into that picture.
02:47
You know, you'd walk into that picture.
02:48
That was the initial idea behind the photographs
02:51
with Emma Summerton.
02:52
When I first saw
02:54
the Spring/Summer '14 collections by Miuccia Prada,
02:58
I was just struck by how, the level of shear creativity.
03:03
From the prints in the men's, the vibrant colors,
03:08
the mixes, and the women's, all the
03:11
the craftsmanship, the artisanal, the feather,
03:14
the feathers in the hair, the faces on the coats,
03:18
the murals, it was such a high level of creativity.
03:22
It was joyful, it was colorful, it was
03:25
like a celebration of art, music, and culture.
03:30
And that's what the Harlem Renaissance was.
03:31
It was a period in America where people were celebrating,
03:34
you know, fashion, music, art, so literally, I saw
03:38
the show and it was like,
03:40
oh my god, what a perfect marriage that would be.
03:43
So, you know, yes, Prada did inspire that thought.
03:46
That original thought.
03:48
I like to think.
03:49
Working on the Iconoclast project,
03:52
has really been a high point of my career.
03:55
You know, there've been a few moments
03:57
that I'll always cherish, you know, sort of
04:00
stuff in my career, you know, being at W,
04:03
and this is definitely one, you know,
04:05
the level of professionalism,
04:08
and the level
04:12
Prada's just like the highest level of everything.
04:14
From the team building,
04:16
to the press,
04:17
to, it's like such a well-oiled machine, you know.
04:21
And also, being able, you know, I was allowed
04:24
to work with Stefan Beckman, who's like
04:27
probably the best
04:29
set designer in the world.
04:30
And, you know, he was also embraced by the Prada team,
04:32
and it's been a really unforgettable experience.
04:35
And definitely cherish it,
04:37
for a long time.
04:38
(jazz trumpets) (drum beat)