Edward Enninful Talking About Oprah and her Vogue Cover

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British Vogue When it comes to public life today whether in fashion, politics or our highly engaged and opinionated lives online, it seems as if the list of faces who inspire almost universal joy and respect is getting shorter. Some days, this can feel like a sad state of affairs, so an extra cheer is in order for Vogue’s cover star.Honestly, thank heavens for Oprah Winfrey. Over the past 30 or so years, the American journalist, talk-show host, network owner, producer, actress and philanthropist has become one of the most beloved presences on the world stage. Why? Sheer admiration for her journey from impoverished Mississippi schoolgirl to becoming her country’s first self-made black, female billionaire is crucial. But there is also a kind of a magic about Oprah – a connectivity that draws people to her – whether it’s through a television screen or for those lucky enough to spend time with her IRL (as our younger readers say these days).Oprah WinfreyWhen, last month, I had the great honour of being presented with the CFDA’s Media Award in New York, I was enormously touched that Oprah agreed to present it to me. She has been such a kind, vocal supporter of this magazine during the past few months, and really believes in its vision. So it was that she also agreed to grace our pages this month, in what I hope you will agree is one of the most spectacular shoots and interviews of her career.Oprah doesn’t need to do press – she exists beyond the humdrum world of self-promotion – so it was especially good of her to talk with such candour about race, feminism, and the loves and losses in her own life with writer Decca Aitkenhead in “Oprah’s Next Act”. Meanwhile, on the eve of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding (which she attended, of course), Oprah spent a day in the studio with myself and the British Vogue team to see how we could best honour America’s queen.Celebrity Vogue Cover Of course, I wanted to do her as an empress. She is so magnificent, so awe-inspiring, and she really went with the idea. We approached six stars of British design to make bespoke fashions for her : ErdemChristopher KaneSimone RochaStella McCartneyVivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. How fantastic to be able to put this global icon in a context that is so celebratory of British talent. Aside from that, Oprah absolutely loves clothes.She walked in full of energy, filming us all on her phone for her Instagram stories, and was – as you would expect – the last word in professionalism. The photographers, Mert and Marcus, both fell in love with her. I remember Mert turning to me between shots at one point to say, “You can tell that goodness is emanating from her.” Personally, I think this has a lot to do with the fact that – aside from her many great achievements – Oprah is just herself all the time. We can all surely learn from that.