Ones To Watch: Meet Some of London’s Newest Models.

Ones To Watch: Meet Some of London’s Newest Models.

Photography: Kim Lang

Photographer Kim Lang caught up with some new faces that are currently breaking into the modelling industry. All from different backgrounds but currently living in London, they spoke to Reform The Funk about the industry, side hustles and  life.

AMARA, NAMED MODELS @amzsheriff

Tell us about your background? 

My mum [and] my dad are from Sierra Leone. I was born in Hackney, London

Who were your heroes growing up?

The green ranger from Power Rangers. (Laughs) I followed him on Instagram for a while. He is a (fucking) Legend.

What was your most memorable job so far? How was it different to your other jobs?

Definitely British Vogue! It was a crazy, really amazing experience. The food was amazing. (Laughs) But just what was it for in general? I wasn’t aware at the time it would be for Edward’s very first issue of the new Vogue. So although my awareness of Vogue was present, I did not know this would be such a big deal to be part of. It was really exciting to work with them.

BANU, NAMED MODELS @k.bvnu

Where are you from?

I was born in Sri Lanka in a town called Vavuniya, which is one of the hottest towns in Sri Lanka. I came over when I was about 8 months [and] I was raised in south London, in Streatham. It was really nice to live in a multicultural environment.

What are your family’s views on your profession?

My mum is supportive but she still has her fears because of the nude shoots you may do as a model. She keeps telling me to never forget my culture. My dad doesn’t really like me doing it because he thinks it’s exploiting me. So they both are always behind me to stay loyal to myself as a Sri Lankan female in this country.

 What do you do besides modeling?

[I’m] currently studying Biomed at university. [I’m] also doing martial arts training  [Taekwondo]. There will probably be a new competition coming up this year for the UK championship so I will go for that.

What did you do with your first paycheck?

I still have it in my account so I haven’t touched it whatsoever. I am saving for a car so it’s still there.

BRANDON, NAMED MODELS @bidza

Tell me where you are from and how did you get into modeling?

I’m from Orlando, Florida. I was born in Jacksville. That is the funniest thing. My dad told me to model. He likes to talk shit so he would always tell everyone he had very cute twin boys. He said that every time he showed a girl my picture, their question would be whether I model… so I wanted to give it a shot.

Who is your favourite musician?

I have a couple. My childhood one is DMX, his life story breaks my heart. Linkin Park, DMX and Eminem gave me life growing up. The way the front man of Linkin Park would scream into that microphone would scream to my soul. ‘In The End’ was the first track I ever heard of them and it touched me in a way I never knew. Their albums were sick and the sound was so distinctive.

Do you have a favourite book?

Yes, I would say the books that gave me consciousness of God, the universe and people are the ones that would stick with me the most. The biography of Malcolm X is one. You saw a man that was a hustler. He was known as the most uneducated educated man, because he would debate scholars and beat their ass despite their doctorate degrees.

OLI, NII AGENCY,  @olislattery

What is your background?

My mum is Malaysian and Chinese and my dad is English. I was born in Singapore, then moved to the UK for 9 years, then France for 7 years until I came back to London. So yeah just been moving around a lot, had some bad stuff going on at home but once I moved to London everything was awesome.

Who were your heroes growing up?

I would say Tom Daley, the diver. I looked up to him as an athlete because I used to be into sports, and then he came out [as gay] so that helped me a lot. In terms of idols I would also like to mention that I did look up to Steve Jobs quite a bit.

What else do you do?

I am also a fashion designer on the side. I haven’t had any formal fashion training but I have been really passionate about it. One day I bought a £60 sewing machine off eBay and just taught myself, so on the weekends I just practiced non-stop. I really enjoy working on my brand F-SIC (stands for ForenSIC) and I also do a bit of styling on the side because I got really into fashion. Some videography as well. I like to engage myself with all things creative.

What are your thoughts on representation in the industry?

The Asian gay community is very underrepresented which is something I want to work on and bring more awareness to because I feel Asians are underrepresented generally. Especially guys in the modelling world. And also girls can be pretty but then Asian females are hardly shown as that, they are way more sexualised. Queer communities focus on white people and the stereotypical blue eyed blond or brown haired beauty norm but we need to show them that that’s not it. You see that more alternative queer magazines that are coming out are changing this perception, which is great. But definitely from an Asian side, there needs to be a lot more queer Asian voices coming out. Hopefully that is something I can help with.

ZAVIER, NAMED MODELS @zaviergeorge

Where are you from and who were your heroes growing up?

Hatfield, Hertfordshire, but my heritage is from Saint Lucia and Nigeria so I am a mix of African and Caribbean. Probably my grand dad, he came from Nigeria during the sixties and told me how hard it was in the beginning. He did suffer from racism from time to time. However he is always nice and respectful to everyone, no matter where you are from or what your background is. He is always nice, kind and attentive, and he has definitely made it in my eyes. In his area everyone knows him in good terms as well. That’s what I’d like to become.

zavier-22.jpg

What do you do besides modeling?

I study psychology in sixth form, which I am very interested in. In my spare time I do like to do a bit of photography – I am into street photography: capturing an image on the street and telling a story with it.

Do you have a song that is attached to a memory?

Kanye West’s Good Morning – I love that song. The whole song he keeps repeating “good morning,” which is reminds me about ‘a new start’ or ‘a new beginning’. That strongly speaks to me.

Where is your favourite place?

You know what? Behind [where] I live there is a big forest and I take my dog there for walks quite often and just walk for hours. That place is just really enjoyable to me; I don’t get tired of it. I like nature. I do very much like London and the city because of its vastness and the cultural clash, but yeah nature resonates stronger with me.

ZIGGY, NII AGENCY @ziggyama

What is your background?

My mother is Algerian and my father is half Chinese and half Caribbean. I’m originally from the south of France, a smaller town city, Aix-En-Provence, near Marseille. I moved to Paris 3 years ago and London 5 months ago.

How does working in London differ from France?

In London people appreciate all beauty much more. They don’t get caught up with one type of beauty too much and they appreciate differences. I find there are much fewer categories so I feel it’s much better and interesting for me.

What has been your best experience as a dancer?

That must have been working for Vogue Italia. It was at a shoot I did with Ellen VonUnwerth and it was only me in front of this big group of people. I am quite a shy person so I was terrified, but I didn’t really have the choice to be shy once they asked me to dance. The minute the music started and I began to dance, I felt transported and completely forgot about the crowd behind the camera. I just danced. I felt so free at this point. It was a wonderful experience.

What would you tell your 12-year-old self if you could give yourself some advice?

I would tell him to learn to love himself in every way for who he is. This is something I had to learn and wish I would have known at the age of 12.

SOUAD, NAMED MODELS @constancelindor

Where are you from?

I’m from West London, Hammersmith. That’s where I was born, but originally I am from Gambia and Sierra Leone

Who were your heroes growing up?

Naomi Campbell and Angela Bassett. I think what I love about them most is that they were black women in really tough industries striving for the best. They always were setting their own rules.

Why do you study Fashion?

I study fashion because it is something that I believe is within me. Before I even knew what fashion design was, I used to draw figures and really think about the clothes on their body. I did this since I was 6 years old and I still have the drawings! I didn’t even know that was called fashion design until my mum told me that this was what other people do for a living.

What’s your favourite book?

‘The Black Tudors’. The book looks at people of African descent in the Elizabethan era, and you just don’t hear about this very much. So for me that was something interesting to read, and I found out a lot [that] I wouldn’t have learned in school.

Photography: Kim Lang

 

Visual Artist Meera Sethi Celebrates the South Asian Auntie in “Upping The Aunty” Project.

Visual Artist Meera Sethi Celebrates the South Asian Auntie in “Upping The Aunty” Project.

Gods Taking Selfies.

Gods Taking Selfies.