London Fashion Week Men’s “This is London” campaign 8-10 June 2019

♦ James Massiah ♦

♦ People say London is difficult to love, do you agree?

Like everywhere else I guess this city has its pros and cons, relative to each individual. I think there’s a lot to love about London but it can become harder to love if at any point things aren’t going your way.

♦ What’s the struggle here? How does struggle make you stronger?

I know housing is a big struggle for a lot of people here, even the cost of living generally. Struggle makes you stronger if you can endure it. The lessons you learn in the process may lead you to avoid struggling in quite the same way later on in life.

♦ What inspires you in London and what makes you creative?

Really inspired by all the things that I and my friends get up to here, the changes in the physical and cultural landscape of the city too, I take pride in documenting these things and hope to be seen as an important voice for this period of time in London in years to come.

♦ Liam Hodges ♦

♦ How does the struggle make you stronger?

You learn so much and you have to find ways around your problems. Be more Del Boy, less Trigger

♦ What do you miss when you’re away from London?

One thing I always miss, when I get the train back into London, I go past Battersea power station, that’s always a sign of how quickly London’s changing.

♦ How do you think London separates from the rest?

It’s just the biggest, most intense city, isn’t it? It’s not like anywhere else. Nowhere else compares.

♦ Lou Dalton ♦

♦ North, East, South or West? Does it matter?

No, since moving here in the early 90’s I have lived in all four, they all have their charm.

♦ What do you miss when you’re away from London?

Freedom.

♦ What separates this city from the rest?

Culturally aware, it embraces and encourages creativity & diversity.

♦ Louis III ♦

♦ What do you miss about London when you leave?

I miss the people. I miss the space in London. When you go to other cities like New York, everything’s so close and I like just being able to look out and see everything London’s got to offer, even though it’s like an hour away it’s still worth the journey.

♦ North, East, South, West, does it matter?

I think the south is the best, south is the coolest, it’s got the most exciting talent coming up in music & fashion. Then my second favorite’s east, then west, then north.

♦ What’s your favorite thing about London?

How diverse it is and how it’s home to so many different cultures, people & creatives.

♦ Lucien Clarke ♦

♦ How does London define you creatively?

It has shaped a lot of main structures in my life that have set me up for life, everything from my creativity, skateboarding, photography, my, and my attitude. I’d be a completely different DNA if it wasn’t for London.

♦ Nicholas Daley ♦

♦ Where do you go in London & how do you get there?

To be honest with you, there’s a nice spot near my studio space. There’s one of the last remaining record vinyl stores, a guy called Robin at Zen Records, he’s been there for like twenty years and he’s just seen Tottenham change & obviously I can go in there and listen to some tunes, like ten minutes away from my studio, so it’s a nice little place too, even when I go out on lunch break I might just pop in there and say ‘do you have any new records in?’, and he’ll be like ‘yeah, I’ve got this one’ and he’ll just play it. Then I’ll go back into the studio and its just carnage – so it’s my little oasis.

♦ North, East, South, West, does it matter?

I’m from the Midlands, but I’ve been in Tottenham for the last eight years, so I feel quite connected to that area. Through the riots as well, I was there for the riots, so that was seeing Tottenham at its lowest point and then now seeing a lot of designers like ART SCHOOL there, ASAI – there’s a lot of creatives in Tottenham – the Seven Sisters, Tottenham area over the past year or so, so it feels like it’s changing & I spend a lot of time in that area, that or central, or Somerset House. That’s just the reality if you’re a designer or creative, spending a lot of time in the studio or where you’re close to. But yeah, definitely North London for me is where I spend most of my time.

♦ What’s your favorite thing about London?

The diversity, the multiculturalism, I’m from Leicester, which is very diverse anyway, but London’s just been a really good place for me. I get a lot of energy from it, a lot of friends, a lot of people, family, so I think the multiculturalism – just the mixture – that’s why London’s always going to have a special place, where else would you have a Muslim Mayor like Sadiq Khan? That’s quite forward for a Western city, so that says a lot, like even who we select at high points in our society. So that’s why I think it’s a good place to grow a good level of tolerance. Most of the time embracing – I’m not saying it’s perfect, like with the Windrush scandal – but overall, I think this is the place where it’s like so many sub-cultures as well like; punks, teddy boys, new romantics, skinheads, London or the UK or Britain is just creating all these amazing sub-cultures which I think a lot of people are attracted too. I think that’s quite important, that gives us that edge as these people on this island I think.

♦ Priya Ahluwalia ♦

♦ People say London is difficult to love, do you agree?

I love London and I love being a Londoner, I love the pubs in the summer, the amazing diversity, the attitude, the sound systems, and the creativity. However, in many ways, I have to agree. London is hard to love because of the way the housing situation affects its most poor in such a brutal way, the gap between the haves and the have nots is rising and it’s almost Victorian in its effects.

♦ What’s the struggle here? How does struggle make you stronger?

The main struggle of London for me is the in-affordability of everything, renting a studio or a home is almost impossible. Sometimes I don’t know if it makes me stronger, I think it makes me despair. But not being able to access things easily makes you more resourceful and ends up making me network more. Another struggle is the closing nightlife and early closing hours of pubs. This is something I envy of New York.

♦ How does London define you creatively?

In terms of designing my collections, London affects me in so many ways. From thinking about the distinctive style of school days, to how people are dressed on the tube. I also think London’s attitude comes through in my work.

♦ Sherelle ♦

♦ People say London is difficult to love, do you agree or disagree?

London isn’t difficult to love. The city itself is quite hard to live in but I think you also have to remember that a lot of people are just working really hard to get to where they need to get to and achieve their dreams. London is actually a really easy place to fall in love with.

♦ What do you love most about London?

London in the summer. The best place in the world. We’re always rushing around and, in the winter, it’s brutal.

♦ Pick three words that describe London.

Beautiful, captivating & stressful.

♦ Stavros Karelis ♦

♦ People say London is difficult to love, do you agree or disagree?

No not at all, I think London is an easy place to love. It’s so much more exciting as a city compared to any other city in the world. There’s so much newness and I think it’s a city that people naturally fall in love with.

♦ What’s your favorite thing about London?

The diversity, openness, the multicultural environment, and all these new ideas. Every time that I visit a university and talk to the soon to be graduates and see their portfolios and collections, I hear all these amazing ideas, same during London Fashion Week or London Fashion Week Men’s. That’s something you can’t find anywhere else and I think that’s so inspirational.

♦ What’s your favorite area in London?

Soho. My whole life is based in Soho. I fell in love with it the first time when I came here as a tourist and then obviously when I moved here and opened my business there. I like it because it has something from the tradition, the past but it’s also very present. There are so many different incredible projects, there’s so much happening, and it changes based on the culture instead of changing based on city plans and that’s what I find very exciting.

London Fashion Week Men’s “This is London” campaign 8-10 June 2019

Credits: Photographer: Markn @MarknMarkn

Producer: Richard Mortimer @richarddmortimer

Stylist: Giulio Ventisei @giulioventisei

Make-up Artist: Andrew Gallimore @andrewgallimakeup

Hair Stylist: Peter Burkill @peteburkill

Nail Artist: Megumi Mizuno @megumimizunonails

 

By Chrysanthi Kosmatou, June 4/2019