For a New Crop of Designers, Fashion—Like Life—Is All About Fluidity

Photograph by Tim Walker. Styled by Sara Moonves Models: Jean Campbell at DNA Model Management; Jess Cole at IMG Models; Niall Underwood at Elite; Ablie Njie at AMCK Models; Amara Sheriff at Named Models; Flora Miles at D1 Models; Rebecca O’Donovan at The Squad; Soni at Body London; Sheik Sheriff; Trey Gaskin; Maximilian Davis; oliver truelove; and sosu. Produced by Jeff Delich; Retouching by Graeme Bulcraig at Touch Digital; Photography Assistants: Sarah Lloyd, Tony Ivanov; Fashion Assistants: Sam Walker, Angelique De Raffaele, Angus McEvoy; Tailor: Della George; Production Coordinator: Lauren Sakioka; Production Assistants: Alyce Burton, Charlotte Garner Hair by Teiji Utsumi for Bumble and bumble at Bryant Artists; makeup by Sam Bryant for Clé de Peau Beauté at Bryant Artists.

If fashion is, as they say, a reflection of our culture, then today’s generation of designers is perfectly in tune with the changing times. Charles Jeffrey, Grace Wales Bonner, Y/Project’s Glenn Martens, Richard Quinn, Mowalola Ogunlesi, and Martine Rose are among a new guard of talent that has scrapped the archaic notion of creating clothes geared specifically towards people’s age, race, or sex. Rather, these designers prefer to make fashion that is all about fluidity and inclusiveness. Whether wild and exuberant or refined and tailored, the remarkable work of these six designers appeals to a wide spectrum of people, as evident in their eclectic crews and muses portrayed in these pictures. “I’ve always seen clothes as clothes, beyond gender,” says Rose, who, after more than a decade of designing for her London-based label, is only now getting her due. Clearly, the world needed some time to catch up with her.

Grace Wales Bonner

Grace Wales Bonner, in one of her designs

Grace Wales Bonner

Model Maximilian Davis wears a look from the Wales Bonner Fall 2018 collection, and Wales Bonner x Manolo Blahnik boots.

Grace Wales Bonner

Creative director Mavi Staiano wears a Wales Bonner shirt and a John Smedley turtleneck, and poet James Massiah wears a Wales Bonner jacket and shirt; John Smedley turtleneck; Wales Bonner x Stephen Jones Millinery hat.

Grace Wales Bonner

Art director Olu Odukoya, in a look from the Wales Bonner Fall 2018 collection.

Grace Wales Bonner

Fashion designer Duro Olowu wears a Wales Bonner shirt; Charvet shirt; John Smedley turtleneck; his own hat and glasses.

Martine Rose

From left: Martine Rose, with her son Reuben and models Oliver Truelove, Sosu, and Jess Cole wearing Martine Rose clothing; sneakers and belt from the Contemporary Wardrobe Collection, London.

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Composer and vocalist Jordan Hunt, choreographer and director Masumi Saito, and set designer Gary Card. Hunt wears Falke socks. Card wears an Emma Willis shirt.

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Niall Underwood, the original muse for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. Underwood wears a pin from Costume Studio Limited, London.

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Drag performer and artist Benedict Douglas Stewardson wearing Charles Jeffrey Loverboy clothing.

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Lucas Nettleton-Tate wearing Charles Jeffrey Loverboy clothing.

Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Charles Jeffrey (right) with collaborator and filmmaker Jenkin van Zyl, both wearing Charles Jeffrey Loverboy clothing and hats; van Zyl wears Falke socks and his own belts.


From left: Glenn Martens of Y/Project with website developer Annabel Fernandes, Y/Project “den mother” Frédérique Sebag, and photographer Arnaud Lajeunie. All wear Y/Project clothing and accessories. Martens wears his own shoes. Fernandes wears a Comme des Garçons Shirt shirt. Lajeunie wears his own T-shirt and shoes.

Mowalola Ogunlesi

Mowalola Ogunlesi (center) with model Trey Gaskin (standing) and photographer Rhea Dillon. All wear Mowalola clothing and accessories. Ogunlesi wears a Wolford bodysuit. Dillon wears a Vince tank.

Mowalola Ogunlesi

From left: Musician LA Timpa and models Ablie Njie, Amara Sheriff, and Sheik Sheriff. All wear Mowalola spring 2018 clothing and accessories; LA Timpa and Njie wear boots from the Contemporary Wardrobe Collection, London; Sheik Sheriff wears Underground England boots.

Richard Quinn

Richard Quinn and model Jean Campbell, both at right, with models in looks by Richard Quinn. Quinn wears his own clothing.