Bridgerton star Simone Ashley has praised British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful for “changing what it means to be part of fashion”.
The actress joined famous faces including Maya Jama, Rita Ora and James McAvoy on the red carpet of the 2022 Fashion Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Monday night.
The annual ceremony showcases British and international individuals and businesses who have made the most outstanding contributions to the fashion industry during the year.
Enninful was confirmed as editor in chief of British Vogue in April 2017, making him the first black head of the magazine, and was also appointed the editorial director of Vogue in Europe in 2020.
Ashley, who features on the December cover of British Vogue, said she was “grateful for everything” that Enninful had done for diversity in the industry.
“I’m excited to see Edward, he’s given me such amazing opportunities this year including the (December) cover,” she said during the awards red carpet ceremony.
“Edward’s really changed what it means to be a part of fashion, especially for girls that look like me, so I’m very grateful for everything he does.
“I’m excited to see him and just gassed to be here with Marco (Capaldo).”
Ashley wore a sparkling light purple pencil dress, with a matching head veil, designed by Capaldo, co-founder of 16Arlington.
In a recent episode of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Enninful recalled how his first edition of British Vogue had been a “love letter to Great Britain”, despite facing a racist backlash over his appointment.
The stylist and editor said his “manifesto” had been to create a magazine that was “inclusive and about diversity, where every woman will see themselves”.
Jama, who has recently been announced as the new host of Love Island, said she was invited to the awards personally by Enninful.
“You get a bit nervous when it comes around again because you’re like, ‘if someone doesn’t invite me I’m not going – everyone else I know is’,” she said on the red carpet.
“I didn’t get my invite until maybe, like, two weeks ago… but then I was invited by Edward so I’m on Vogue’s tables, so that’s, like, posh, isn’t it?”
Jama wore a shoulderless black crop top with a matching wide-brimmed hat.
Actor McAvoy, who attended with his wife Lisa Liberati, said of the Fashion Awards: “We’ve always had a good time. It’s really different from the movie events.
“There’s less pressure and there’s just more fun and there’s more self-expression. It’s really nice to come.”
Stars including Stormzy, Naomi Campbell and Florence Pugh were also pictured at the event.