Edward Enninful to Replace Alex White at W Magazine

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W's fashion/style director Alex White is leaving the magazine after 16 years.

If you thought Balmain's hiring of Olivier Rousteing was putting a temporary end to a series of fashion shake-ups, you thought wrong.

In yet another major split, longtime W fashion and style director Alex White is leaving the magazine after 16 years to "focus on her own projects," WWD reports.

“I helped with getting over the hump," White tells the paper, insisting that she and W were "totally on the same page" about her exit. "Now it’s time for me to continue my freelance and explore the other things I’m working on."

Her replacement? Vogue contributing editor and British star stylist Edward Enninful, best known for his work as a fashion director for i-D and his appearance in The September Issue, which saw him being taken to task by Anna Wintour.

"I have a new job as Fashion and Style Director for W Magazine," Enninful tweeted April 27, just a day after joining Twitter. "Thanks for all the kind words."

White's departure is the latest masthead shuffle since the hiring of new editor in chief Stefano Tonchi in March 2010, which has seen the loss of creative director Dennis Freedman to Barneys, among others. And though some speculate that White had hoped to win the plum EIC role, Tonchi claims the parting is mutual.

“I’m very, very happy that she stayed on board and that she didn’t leave when Dennis [Freedman] left,” Tonchi told WWD after announcing the upheaval in a production meeting April 26. “I think she lived through these very difficult months and delivered great fashion and great stories.

“I think there are always so many gossips and so much talk that I don’t pay much attention. I don’t know if she did or if she didn’t [go for his job]. It was her right to try to get this job. I think that was not against me, that was just something she tried to get for herself.”

And while Tonchi hints that White may be pursuing a magazine of her own, he is looking forward to his new hire.

"I was interested in his [Enninful's] talent, but more than anything, the spirit of Edward,” he says. “Edward is a very positive, open, sunny person. He really captured my imagination.”

"Now I’m going to be focusing my editorial prowess on W,” says the Ghanian-born stylist, who officially starts work May 1. “[It's a] great American institution and a great fashion institution. Pop culture, fashion, society—W is the original place for that."

Meanwhile, take a look at January Jones on the cover of W's May issue.