His September cover features Linda Evangelista, who talks about her nightmarish experience with CoolSculpting, a procedure that she said left her “brutally disfigured,” with permanent bulges on her face and body. To achieve her luminous cover shot by Steven Meisel — whom Mr. Enninful called “the best of the best” — Ms. Evangelista said, the makeup artist Pat McGrath had to tape back her face, neck and jaw.
Mr. Enninful has been doing this kind of work for decades. In the book, he recalls his anger at fashion week in 2007 when he saw “a white-out,” blonde after stone-faced blonde coming down the runway. He, Naomi, Iman and Bethann Hardison, a barrier-breaking model in the ’70s turned activist, learned that “no Black, no ethnic” casting notices were being sent by brands to model agents and they decided drastic action was needed.
He plotted with Mr. Meisel and Franca Sozzani, the editor of Vogue Italia, and thus was born the sensational “Black Issue” in 2008, with every page featuring Black models. It sold out at American and British newsstands in three days, and, Time later reported, an extra 60,000 copies were printed; it still costs a pretty penny on eBay.
“Sometimes, the downside of the fashion industry is, it gets stuck in trends,” Mr. Enninful said. “The African models are having a moment. We did a whole cover. But it’s dangerous when they become moments. How do we make these models last? It’s working with them over and over, not just having them in the show and throwing them away.”
When he started, he said, people would say to him, “‘diversity is down market.’ I was like, ‘OK, let’s see.’ We got Oprah. I did a shoot with her as the empress, covered her with diamonds. Then, slowly, they were like, ‘Ohhh.’”