During London Fashion Week, the Names You Need to Know
LONDON — A changing of the guard in some of London’s most high-profile industry power houses has shuffled the hierarchy. Here is a who’s who of 2017’s movers and shakers — and why they matter.
JOB: Editor in chief, British Vogue. One of the most respected, and connected stylists in the business, Mr. Enninful became the fashion director of i-D magazine at only 18. In April he was hired to replace Alexandra Shulman at Vogue, and he officially started in the top job Aug. 1.
WHY HE MATTERS: Mr. Enninful, an image maker rather than a wordsmith, is the first man to edit British Vogue since its founding in 1916, and the first black editor of any edition of Vogue. Born in Ghana and raised in a working-class neighborhood in West London by his mother, a seamstress, he has a background atypical of those of British Vogue editors past. His arrival heralded what the BBC termed “the posh girl exodus” as longtime masthead stalwarts like Lucinda Chambers and Emily Sheffield made prompt departures, to be replaced by a slew of high-profile names from both the fashion and art worlds. The supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, the Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen and the makeup entrepreneur Charlotte Tilbury are all now contributing editors, and diversity is a top priority.
JOB: Editor in chief, British Elle. Ms. Curtis, like Mr. Enninful, also comes from a visual rather than an editorial background. The stylist and fashion director had been at Elle for 12 years when she took the magazine’s top spot in April, following the departure of Lorraine Candy to The Sunday Times Style section.
WHY SHE MATTERS: It has been all change at the top of the British glossies this year, as magazine publishers grapple with the rapid and seismic shifts taking place in the fashion media landscape. The pressures upon Ms. Curtis to make her relaunched Elle and its digital offerings a success are considerable: Its owner, Hearst UK, has warned it may slash as many as 40 jobs across its editorial and commercial departments as the group’s new chief executive, James Wildman, tries to simplify the business and cut costs.
JOB: Editor in chief, ES magazine, Evening Standard. After stints as The Sunday Times’s Wardrobe Mistress and fashion features editor at British Vogue, Ms. Weir became editor of the London newspaper’s weekly fashion and lifestyle magazine in July 2015.
WHY SHE MATTERS: Playful gossip and social trends aside, Ms. Weir has filled her pages with all colors, creeds and ages of both men and women, making it a genuine reflection of modern London. She has also given the paper purpose: a multiple-cover issue in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in July featured images specially created by major artists like Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor that were then printed onto T-shirts and sold to help victims. The result has breathed new life into a magazine that once had little industry clout, making it relevant again for the capital’s commuters.
JOB: Designer and radical creative force. Mr. Jeffrey, who graduated in 2015 from Central St. Martins, created Charles Jeffrey Loverboy — both a fashion label, which he considers a collective of fellow art school creatives, be they seamstresses, dancers or choreographers, and the name of a cult club night in East London. He held his first stand-alone show during London Fashion Week Men’s in June.
WHY HE MATTERS: Mr. Jeffrey, a leader of the L.G.B.T.Q. new wave in London, is the talk of the town thanks to his gender-bending collections and eye-popping shows (dancers, pink cardboard dragons and lashings of gay couture at his men’s wear show in June). He was among the 21 designers shortlisted for the 2017 LVMH Young Designers Prize, though whether his clothes actually sell remains something of an afterthought.
JOB: Fashion designer and model. The perennially pink-haired, glitter-dappled Mr. Bovan won the 2015 LVMH Graduate Prize as he was leaving Central St. Martins, and then went on to work with a host of blockbuster brands, including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu. A knitwear specialist, he is a core member of the talent incubator Fashion East.
WHY HE MATTERS: Mr. Bovan’s explorations of the female form — specifically challenging preconceived identities and ideas of beauty — appear to be reaching new audiences: In March, Mattel signed him to collaborate on a spring 2017 season Barbie, and the new gig could have a real effect on how femininity is portrayed in popular culture.
JOB: Creative director for the British brand Joseph since 2009
WHY SHE MATTERS: Increasingly favored by fashion insiders such as Sarah Harris, fashion features editor of British Vogue, and Ruth Chapman, a founder of matchesfashion.com, Ms. Trotter has quietly built Joseph into a London version of Céline: a place for chic wardrobe essentials with real commercial punch (but at much more accessible prices). If the brand continues on this growth trajectory, it could make the city into a real contender in the global contemporary market.
JOB: Photographer. At just 28, Ms. Weir regularly gets commissions from Calvin Klein, Balenciaga and everyone in between. She shot Stella McCartney’s latest campaign at a Scottish landfill. Her work has regularly graced the pages of AnOther, i-D, Dazed, Pop, The Gentlewoman and British Vogue.
WHY SHE MATTERS: Ms. Weir, who says she first picked up a camera at the age of 7 during a visit to a pig farm, refuses to limit herself to fashion. She recorded the clearing of the Calais Jungle, a migrant camp in France, in a book called “Homes,” released last year, and documented the reality of life in the conflict areas of Israel, India and Jordan in “Boundaries,” a solo show that opened at the Foam Museum in Amsterdam last December. Her ability to juggle both big brands and big social issues could help change conventional wisdom about the superficiality of the style set.
JOB: Makeup artist and sometime drag queen. Mr. Sallstrom has been garnering acclaim for painting the faces of celebrities like FKA Twigs, Emma Watson and Iggy Azalea. His aesthetic is firmly rooted in both the colorful and slightly unusual, often blurring gender boundaries with glitter and shine.
WHY HE MATTERS: Drag queens and high fashion have always borrowed from each other’s archives, although the former has generally been labeled “niche.” Mr. Sallstrom has broken that cycle, becoming a go-to resource for publications ranging from Wonderland to Elle, as well as brands like Nike and Adidas.
JOB: Performance artist. The onetime star of the club kid circuit, now 27, is founder of the Theo Adams Company, a flamboyant troupe of dancers, actors and singers that creates interactive performances and sensory spectacles for events such as a Louis Vuitton warehouse party in Tokyo, and a London party hosted by FKA Twigs and Veuve Cliquot.
WHY HE MATTERS: As luxury becomes more and more rooted in experience rather than product, companies are enlisting those who can bring stories to life in new ways. Case in point: the Fiorucci shindig scheduled for Friday /in London’s Soho — promoted as one of the fashion week’s biggest parties, promising “a world of disco, hedonism and horror.”
JOB: Model and activist. The 25-year-old is the face of Versace and Gap and founder of Gurls Talk, a platform for female mental health and addiction. She appeared on the cover of American Vogue in March, as well as in the 2018 Pirelli calendar.
WHY SHE MATTERS: A mixed-race, openly bipolar supermodel adored by millions, Ms. Aboah openly discusses her attempted suicide two years ago after battling alcohol and drug addiction. In doing so, she has changed perceptions of beauty in mainstream media, as well as how models can matter when the cameras aren’t pointed their way.
JOB: Art director, Gucci; creative director anda founder of Print magazine.
WHY HE MATTERS: With his fingerprints on a sizable chunk of some of the most hyped and successful fashion advertising and social campaigns in recent years, Mr. Simmonds and his creative studio have become the go-to destination for brands looking to inject contemporary color and flair into their campaigns. This former creative director of Dazed and Confused is also the current right-hand man to Alessandro Michele in his rebranding of Gucci. And last fall, Mr. Simmonds and the fashion stylist Fran Burns introduced Print,a biannual magazine that is a paean to the power and delight of tangible media in an evermore digitally driven age. What he does next will have an impact on clothes racks and bottom lines far beyond just those of his clients.
JOB: Street style star, consultant and podcast presenter.
WHY SHE MATTERS: Even if you don’t know her name, you’ve probably seen this half-British, half-French coltish blonde all over street style blogs, magazine best-dressed lists and trend guides from luxury e-commerce groups like Matchesfashion.com and Net-a-Porter (where she used to work as a fashion writer). With 583,000 followers on Instagram, the 30year-old has become one of the most popular social media influencers in the fashion space, with fans hooked on her stylish outfits and irreverent captions. Thanks to the nature of their relationships with their followers, digital influencers have more leverage than ever before over brands and old guard media — especially those like Ms. Charrière, who disclose any paid content or partnerships. First-mover advantage will prove increasingly powerful as this sector of the industry continues to grow.
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