The creative industries exist on a central tension between established creatives, often decades into their career, and fresh talent rising through the ranks of creative education, talent incubators or self taught successes. In fashion in particular, while the latter often build a dedicated following over years of hard work and consistently ‘good’ creative output, there’s always arguably more of a buzz surrounding the newcomers: often young, always energised and most likely innovative creatives disrupting the scene.
Coming in (new) waves every season, it’s the new generation of creative thinkers, designers and artists who fuel change and future-thinking within their respective industries – and thus important to make sure they’re still showing up and out. One of the programmes dedicated to supporting and nurturing new talent is the BFC’s NEW WAVE: Creatives – a list highlighting the world’s trailblazing creative talent.
Straddling multiple disciplines including digital artists, casting agents, photographers, hair and makeup artists, image makers, nail artists, set designers and stylists, the programme forms a vital component of The Fashion Awards, which are set to take place in early December this year and will be where the final 50 are celebrated. Diverging from a usual industry gala, The Fashion Awards centre on exploring the role of fashion in self-expression, escapism and optimism and its positioning at the intersection of culture. However, as well as one big party, those on the list will benefit from a dedicated, sustained communications campaign including international PR, year-round social media support across the BFC’s channels, and a purpose-built online portal.
Alongside red carpet shenanigans and more than a couple performances, this year also marks five years of the NEW WAVE: Creatives list. As ever, this year sees London show up strong – highlighting the city’s position as an international hub of creativity and paying homage to both home-grown and international talent. It’s no small feat to be shortlisted, either. NEW WAVE alumni have included everyone from Adut Akech to Campbell Addy – who all cite the programme as instrumental in their vast successes.
We caught up with Campbell Addy to discuss the importance of continuing to support emerging creativity, as well as his personal experience with it.
Fashion and the arts are constantly evolving spaces that birth and rely on emerging creativity. How would you say the NEW WAVE: Creatives programme has impacted your work and career?
Being a part of a class of New Wave Creatives allowed me to feel a part of a greater community that I didn’t necessarily feel a part of before. It helped me push my pen, craft and explore different avenues and mediums that were unbeknownst to me.
This year’s shortlist is packed full of emerging talent – is there any advice you’d give to those shortlisted?
Have fun with things! Don’t take anything too seriously. It’s so imperative that we have fun with our work and love what we do. I live by the quote “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” There are tribulations and road bumps along the way naturally – but if you love your passion and job, that makes everything 10x more worth it. Lastly, stay close with your friends.
Your friends will become your family and your ride or dies. Keep them close, keep your collaborators close, and move forward together. It’s much more enjoyable doing things as a family, than alone.
What does the future of fashion look like to you, and how can we get there?
I don’t know – we’re not there yet. But I think to get to a good place, we have to be authentic and be ourselves. We need to also stick up and support young, new creatives. Tradition lasts, but fresh ideas and new creatives is imperative – we must support each other.
Find the full list here.
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