In 2017, one of the largest publishers gave the black and brown fashion community plenty reason to celebrate. Conde Nast officially named Vanessa Kingori the new Publishing Director of British Vogue. She succeeds Stephen Quinn, who had held the position for 26 years. The magazine veteran had plenty of accolades prior to the new position. She has been a publisher at GQ Style UK and Associate Publisher of Fashion for British GQ at Conde Nast since 2009. In these roles, Kingori became the first female publisher of British GQ and the first black published at Conde Nast UK. Before breaking the mold at Conde Nast, she also held leadership positions at UK publications Esquire and Evening Standard’s ES Magazine.
While Kingori was born in Kenya and grew up on the Caribbean isle of St. Kitts until seven years old, she set her roots and flourished in London. As an adult, her schooling at Royal Holloway University of London—she studied management and sociology—planted the seeds for her to explore different career options before landing on commercial publishing.
As she progressed in her life and career, Kingori learned to embrace her otherness and her differences—she was often the tallest woman in the room and the only black person within her professional settings—and use it to her advantage. Her diverse perspectives added to the equation rather than subtracting from it. In fact, in 2017, in the midst of the UK’s controversial Brexit decision, Kingori was brought on as an expert advisor to London Mayor Sadiq Khan. As part of this Brexit Expert Advisory Panel—which includes a small group of leaders from financial services, technology, science and media—she provides on-call advice and guidance to the Mayor pre, during and post Brexit.
Whether the sector is publishing or public policy, Kingori’s main goal is simple: having her voice be heard loud and clear.