Meet The Game-Changers In Fashion

Illustrations by Carmen Lima.

Text by Em Odesser.

In every generation, there are young creatives who inspire social change, challenge society’s perceptions of beauty, and create spaces where those their age can express themselves. Through their tireless struggle, these trailblazers help make the world a better place. Here are our picks for the game-changers who are changing the social and artistic landscapes of fashion.

TAVI GEVINSON

Most dream of going to a fashion show. It can take years of hard work and connections to even get close to attending one for a big house. But Tavi Gevinson went to her first just a year before her bat mitzvah. At the age of 12, she sat front row at Dior - a couture show, no less - after a personal invitation from Stephen Jones. She went for her blog, The Style Rookie, and wore a magnificently large lilac bow, one so big Grazia editors sitting behind her took to vent on the ubiquitous megaphone - Twitter. Tavi later wrote a post on her widely popular blog. Her insight? "If I wore leather and studs no one would complain, and I'm not sorry for bringing a bit of color into the room. Haters gonna hate” The magic didn’t stop there. After creating wonderfully unique and innovative outfits on The Style Rookie, Tavi ventured into feminism. Three years later, she presented a TED x Teens talk. Using Microsoft Paint slides to present her notes, she gave a truly insightful talk on what it means to be figuring it all out - and why it’s OK to somewhat ‘make things up as you go along’. She then created her own magazine - Rookie. Have you ever pulled an all nighter at a sleepover with your heads pressed against your closest friends, talking about everything from what your purpose in the world is, to who the people you really trust are, to what the weird stain on the side of the wall looks like? Do you get that warm feeling in your chest that’s almost saying, “yes! I’m with the right people and life is good and happy and safe!”? If you’ve experienced this, you know the community that Rookie hosts. As I google it now, here are the articles that come up: "How to Get Out of Your Head”, "What’s Your Look? Mine include “Björk’s sad assistant” and “rabbit-filled sack”, and "How to Hook Up With A Friend.” Tavi still edits the website and magazine, and every year, she publishes her favorite articles. There’s nothing off limits, and that’s what makes it so damm cool. Rookie is like your cool older sister who answers your questions without judgement. Since then, she’s starred in a Broadway show, landed the cover of New York Magazine, and published three books. Oh, and she hasn't even reached the legal drinking age.  

Most dream of going to a fashion show. It can take years of hard work and connections to even get close to attending one for a big house. But Tavi Gevinson went to her first just a year before her bat mitzvah. At the age of 12, she sat front row at Dior - a couture show, no less - after a personal invitation from Stephen Jones. She went for her blog, The Style Rookie, and wore a magnificently large lilac bow, one so big Grazia editors sitting behind her took to vent on the ubiquitous megaphone - Twitter. Tavi later wrote a post on her widely popular blog. Her insight? "If I wore leather and studs no one would complain, and I'm not sorry for bringing a bit of color into the room. Haters gonna hate”

The magic didn’t stop there. After creating wonderfully unique and innovative outfits on The Style Rookie, Tavi ventured into feminism. Three years later, she presented a TED x Teens talk. Using Microsoft Paint slides to present her notes, she gave a truly insightful talk on what it means to be figuring it all out - and why it’s OK to somewhat ‘make things up as you go along’.

She then created her own magazine - Rookie. Have you ever pulled an all nighter at a sleepover with your heads pressed against your closest friends, talking about everything from what your purpose in the world is, to who the people you really trust are, to what the weird stain on the side of the wall looks like? Do you get that warm feeling in your chest that’s almost saying, “yes! I’m with the right people and life is good and happy and safe!”? If you’ve experienced this, you know the community that Rookie hosts. As I google it now, here are the articles that come up: "How to Get Out of Your Head”, "What’s Your Look? Mine include “Björk’s sad assistant” and “rabbit-filled sack”, and "How to Hook Up With A Friend.” Tavi still edits the website and magazine, and every year, she publishes her favorite articles. There’s nothing off limits, and that’s what makes it so damm cool. Rookie is like your cool older sister who answers your questions without judgement. Since then, she’s starred in a Broadway show, landed the cover of New York Magazine, and published three books. Oh, and she hasn't even reached the legal drinking age.  

JADEN SMITH

It all started with (what else!) nosy paparazzi. Nosy paparazzi who snapped a shot of Jaden lounging in California, in a black dress and crocheted top. The internet reacted in all kinds of ways - some shaming him (one twitter user, @FiZaa1234567890 called him a "fucking homo prick”), others encouraging him (@ChrisCrocker tweeted "@officialjaden thank you so much for being an inspiration to youth by not abiding by society's expectations. PS- love the dress”), others were simply confused. However, Jaden didn’t really seem to mind; he likes being comfortable, and dresses are comfortable, so why shouldn’t he be able to wear something that he feels good in? His only comment was "That Moment When Your Wearing A Dress With No Pants And You Swerve Way To Hard.” Jaden indeed is “swerving too hard”. GQ recently named him one of the most stylish men alive (19 other celebrities were also named, including Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, and David Beckham.) His bold choices help defeat the gender norm and prove that clothes shouldn’t be limited to a specific gender.

It all started with (what else!) nosy paparazzi. Nosy paparazzi who snapped a shot of Jaden lounging in California, in a black dress and crocheted top. The internet reacted in all kinds of ways - some shaming him (one twitter user, @FiZaa1234567890 called him a "fucking homo prick”), others encouraging him (@ChrisCrocker tweeted "@officialjaden thank you so much for being an inspiration to youth by not abiding by society's expectations. PS- love the dress”), others were simply confused. However, Jaden didn’t really seem to mind; he likes being comfortable, and dresses are comfortable, so why shouldn’t he be able to wear something that he feels good in? His only comment was "That Moment When Your Wearing A Dress With No Pants And You Swerve Way To Hard.”

Jaden indeed is “swerving too hard”. GQ recently named him one of the most stylish men alive (19 other celebrities were also named, including Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, and David Beckham.) His bold choices help defeat the gender norm and prove that clothes shouldn’t be limited to a specific gender.

FERNANDA LY

The Louis Vuitton FW15 show was a beautiful hodgepodge of polar bear-esque coats, trunk bags, and industry legends. Surprisingly, the social media clamor wasn’t about the techno-chic accessories or a celebrity participant, but a newcomer: Fernanda Hin Lin Ly.  The internet broke over the Australian model’s pastel pink hair (which was immediately likened to every sort of food: “bubble gum!”, “cotton candy!”, “rose!” “pepto!”, “strawberry!”, “watermelon!”).  Teens love changing our identity and 18 year old Ly embodies the significant role hair can play in redefining a person. Quickly named best dressed at NYFW by The Cut, Ly is bringing Asian beauty to the forefront of western trends.

The Louis Vuitton FW15 show was a beautiful hodgepodge of polar bear-esque coats, trunk bags, and industry legends. Surprisingly, the social media clamor wasn’t about the techno-chic accessories or a celebrity participant, but a newcomer: Fernanda Hin Lin Ly. 

The internet broke over the Australian model’s pastel pink hair (which was immediately likened to every sort of food: “bubble gum!”, “cotton candy!”, “rose!” “pepto!”, “strawberry!”, “watermelon!”).  Teens love changing our identity and 18 year old Ly embodies the significant role hair can play in redefining a person. Quickly named best dressed at NYFW by The Cut, Ly is bringing Asian beauty to the forefront of western trends.

ISAMAYA FFRENCH

London-raised makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench’s first job was, literally, turning men into gods.  As this was with male models, maybe it wouldn’t seem too hard, but Ffrench doesn’t do anything the simple way. With famed photographer Matthew Stone, she transformed the boys; they seemed to look as if their purple skin was completely covered in a layer of thick, peeling plaster. That shoot catapulted her career. She’s painted her way through iconic models - Larissa Hoffman, Natasha Poly, Guinevere Van Seenus - each look more daring than the next. On Van Seenus, a bright blue face is adorned with little fried eggs. For an Agi & Sam presentation, she made lego masks. She’s doodled hearts all over Avery Tharp, scrawled satanic text over Hedvig Palm’s (incredibly fit) stomach, and turned a Camper SS15 model into a living, breathing, cardboard man.  Ffrench’s looks are slightly esoteric. She smudges bright pink lipstick on teeth. She gives glitter facials. She recently told Teen Vogue, “It doesn’t matter if your makeup gets smudged. Nothing has to be perfect. Be carefree and just doodle. When you do a crazy-colorful eye, the messier it gets, the cooler it is.”

London-raised makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench’s first job was, literally, turning men into gods.  As this was with male models, maybe it wouldn’t seem too hard, but Ffrench doesn’t do anything the simple way. With famed photographer Matthew Stone, she transformed the boys; they seemed to look as if their purple skin was completely covered in a layer of thick, peeling plaster. That shoot catapulted her career. She’s painted her way through iconic models - Larissa Hoffman, Natasha Poly, Guinevere Van Seenus - each look more daring than the next. On Van Seenus, a bright blue face is adorned with little fried eggs. For an Agi & Sam presentation, she made lego masks. She’s doodled hearts all over Avery Tharp, scrawled satanic text over Hedvig Palm’s (incredibly fit) stomach, and turned a Camper SS15 model into a living, breathing, cardboard man. 

Ffrench’s looks are slightly esoteric. She smudges bright pink lipstick on teeth. She gives glitter facials. She recently told Teen Vogue, “It doesn’t matter if your makeup gets smudged. Nothing has to be perfect. Be carefree and just doodle. When you do a crazy-colorful eye, the messier it gets, the cooler it is.”

HARI NEF

Transgender model Hari Nef seems to be unstoppable. She’s a triple threat: acting in Anton Chekhov plays, opening shows for VFiles, and writing for Vice. While doing all this, she’s also beginning the taxing procedure of Hormone Replacement Therapy. A recent Columbia graduate, and the holder of the coveted #1 spot on Dazed Digital’s Readers 100, Hari is a modern pioneer. Her most recent, and exciting accomplishment? She was just signed globally to IMG models - the only trans model to ever accomplish that (while Valentijn De Hingh is also with IMG, she is only represented under the Paris team) On top of it all, Hari has a hugely popular tumblr, where she talks about her favorite models (just a few days ago, she posted “i stan for all #imggirls love yumi [lambert,] shoutout to kate [moss,] alek [wek,] lara [stone,] gemma [ward,] charlotte [free,] & xiao wen [ju]”) and gives advice to transitioning and trans teens. A blogger recently asked Hari, “So I’m a 16 year old trans girl and you literally give me so much hope that a trans girl doesn’t need to look like Carmen Carrera to be successful and beautiful”. Hari’s response was touching: “All trans girls are beautiful. [You know why? Because] beauty is about ownership not aesthetics. Nef’s trailblazing activities are not only keeping her busy but also providing inspiration and opening doors for other trans kids throughout the world.

Transgender model Hari Nef seems to be unstoppable. She’s a triple threat: acting in Anton Chekhov plays, opening shows for VFiles, and writing for Vice. While doing all this, she’s also beginning the taxing procedure of Hormone Replacement Therapy. A recent Columbia graduate, and the holder of the coveted #1 spot on Dazed Digital’s Readers 100, Hari is a modern pioneer. Her most recent, and exciting accomplishment? She was just signed globally to IMG models - the only trans model to ever accomplish that (while Valentijn De Hingh is also with IMG, she is only represented under the Paris team)

On top of it all, Hari has a hugely popular tumblr, where she talks about her favorite models (just a few days ago, she posted “i stan for all #imggirls love yumi [lambert,] shoutout to kate [moss,] alek [wek,] lara [stone,] gemma [ward,] charlotte [free,] & xiao wen [ju]”) and gives advice to transitioning and trans teens. A blogger recently asked Hari, “So I’m a 16 year old trans girl and you literally give me so much hope that a trans girl doesn’t need to look like Carmen Carrera to be successful and beautiful”. Hari’s response was touching: “All trans girls are beautiful. [You know why? Because] beauty is about ownership not aesthetics. Nef’s trailblazing activities are not only keeping her busy but also providing inspiration and opening doors for other trans kids throughout the world.

LINEISY MONTERO

In our very first issue, our writer Eden named Lineisy Montero a breakout new girl, stating, “In every show cast by Ashley Brokaw, there is always that one standout girl who blows everyone away. This season, Lineisy was that girl.” We noticed Montero first after the Prada FW15 show. Amid pastel coats and long, two-toned gloves, every single model had a long, slinky, coifed ponytail. That is, except Lineisy. The Dominican stunner had a short, and totally chic mini-afro. Within a few hours, the internet was buzzing. It seemed no one could wrap their head around her distinctive beauty. In an industry where 80% of fashion week models are white, it can be hard finding diversity. As simple, and maybe surprising, as it may seem, Lineisy’s hair has started a huge ripple in the fashion world: it got everyone talking. Maybe diversity won’t be drastically achieved overnight, but the embracing of natural hair of MOC (models of color) is certainly a huge step in the right direction.   

In our very first issue, our writer Eden named Lineisy Montero a breakout new girl, stating, “In every show cast by Ashley Brokaw, there is always that one standout girl who blows everyone away. This season, Lineisy was that girl.” We noticed Montero first after the Prada FW15 show. Amid pastel coats and long, two-toned gloves, every single model had a long, slinky, coifed ponytail. That is, except Lineisy. The Dominican stunner had a short, and totally chic mini-afro. Within a few hours, the internet was buzzing. It seemed no one could wrap their head around her distinctive beauty.

In an industry where 80% of fashion week models are white, it can be hard finding diversity. As simple, and maybe surprising, as it may seem, Lineisy’s hair has started a huge ripple in the fashion world: it got everyone talking. Maybe diversity won’t be drastically achieved overnight, but the embracing of natural hair of MOC (models of color) is certainly a huge step in the right direction.   

JOSEPHINE SKRIVER

Josephine Skriver: once an IVF baby, now the fact of Zimmerman, represented by the Society and Elite, and a Victoria Screts angel. After Dolce & Gabbana’s international snafu, where they denigrated children born through in vitro fertilization, Skriver spoke out in a beautiful and touching video. “You get so many, like “she’s not made the natural way, she shouldn’t even be here” but I am not a science experiment. I am not synthetic. I am a real human being. I am just as real as you are,” she states.  An ambassador for the Outspoken Generation Program of the Family Equality Council, Josephine is working hard to bring awareness, advance equality, and help IVF children feel safe and supported.

Josephine Skriver: once an IVF baby, now the fact of Zimmerman, represented by the Society and Elite, and a Victoria Screts angel. After Dolce & Gabbana’s international snafu, where they denigrated children born through in vitro fertilization, Skriver spoke out in a beautiful and touching video. “You get so many, like “she’s not made the natural way, she shouldn’t even be here” but I am not a science experiment. I am not synthetic. I am a real human being. I am just as real as you are,” she states. 

An ambassador for the Outspoken Generation Program of the Family Equality Council, Josephine is working hard to bring awareness, advance equality, and help IVF children feel safe and supported.