- Words Yazzi Gokcemen
Looking ahead to 2024 already, The British Fashion Council has just announced who's leading the charge into fashion's future.
Want to know the ones-to-watch? In the fashion-meets-art realm, look no further than the British Fashion Council’s latest class of ‘New Wave’ creatives. Published earlier this week, the annual power list spotlights 50 trailblazers across fashion, photography, film and more. Previously featured and setting the bar high have been the likes of DJ Peggy Gou, model and poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal and celebrity stylist Harry Lambert. The 2023 roster may not have such familiar names but they’re guaranteed to be popping up in credits all over the place soon. Here are five you can get to know, and start following, ahead of the fashion pack…
Belle Smith, Filmmaker
YouTube was Belle Smith’s way into filmmaking. The US-born director started on the platform aged 15, uploading self-directed fashion films and commercials which eventually caught the eye of esteemed British fashion journalist Katie Grand. Belle has been bagging commissions from illustrious fashion houses – Dior, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney to name just a few – ever since. She’s honed a distinctive aesthetic, typified by pastel colour palettes, natural light and breezy movements, but the scope of her projects continues to broaden.
Mel Renee Leamon, Stylist
Sometimes the role of a stylist is ambiguous, not when Mel Renee Leamon is behind the look. The New York-based style connoisseur is a visual storyteller who likes to push boundaries. In a recent project, she used multicoloured pills as face accessories to compliment jewellery reminscent of sea coral caught in a fishnet. As well as doing editorial Mel Renee works with celebrities, A-list clients include Keke Palmer and Shygirl who she styled in the 2019 ‘Uckers’ music video.
Marcos Florentino & Kelvin Yule, Photographers
Photography and fashion began as escapism for Brazilian photographers Marcos Florentino & Kelvin Yule. The duo, who go by Mar+Vin, met after moving from their small rural towns to Sao Paolo for university. Both driven by a desire to revolutionise image-making in Brazil and sharing the Queer experience, they naturally fell into collaborating. Today Marcos and Kelvin produce breathtakingly beautiful photos which carry meaningful political messaging. Recently they captured Erykah Badu for an iconic Elle Brazil cover, solidifying them as a true photographic powerhouse.
Sarfo Emmanuel, Visual artist
Art or fashion? Sarfo Emmanuel’s images appear to exist in a world of their own. Hailing from Ghana, the visual artist is deeply inspired by the vibrancy in his culture; colours, he says, convey the stories and dreams of young people in African communities. Looking at Sarfo’s photographic portraits, such as the Vogue award-winning series Life in Colour, this becomes clear; the pigments are blindingly bright, clashing on the colour wheel and yet, you cannot take your eyes off the images. With audiences captivated, Sarfo Emmanuel endeavours to show the nuance and diversity of African culture.