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“I’ll put on a brave face.”

FREE 2017—Issue 1 #122

Glamcult worldwide underground

KeNZO FiLMs #4

Music is My Mistress A FiLM By KAHLiL JOsePH

in this shapeshifting new film, Music is much more than mere sound and rhythm. this story casts music  herself as the central character of an unfolding drama across cultures, space, and time. tracee ellis ross Jesse Williams Kelsey Lu ish NOW sHOWiNG At KeNZO.cOM/MusicisMyMistress


Issue 1 #122

Visual Essays

Harley Weir 26 The xx 34 Rushemy Botter 40 Sampha 44

You know this... 54 We build but... 62 But you seek... 70

Open Letter

Glamcult Office Party 78

Slava Mogutin



Spring/Summer 2017 12 Talent 46



Stockists 79

Colophon Editor-in-Chief Leendert Sonnevelt Creative Director Rogier Vlaming Head of Marketing, Communication and Creative Projects Milou van Poortvliet Art Director Marline Bakker Graphic Design Glamcult Studio: Karen van de Kraats Rogier Bak Contributing writers Kelsey Lee Jones Lottie Hodson Slava Mogutin

Photographers Ari Versluis Campbell Addy Carlijn Jacobs Florian Joahn Harley Weir Johanna Nyholm Michelle Helena Janssen Olya Oleinic Tom Ordoyno Cover Photography: Tom Ordoyno Featuring: Jamie, Oliver and Romy of The xx Special thanks to Young Turks and Beggars Group Back cover Photography: Olya Oleinic

Quotes I’ll put on a brave face. —The xx, Performance You know this hair is my shit. —Solange, Don’t touch my hair We build but to tear down. —Nikola Tesla But you seek shelter when it’s shining. —Bob Marley

Publisher Rogier Vlaming / Glamcult Studio P.O. Box 14535, 1001 LA Amsterdam, The Netherlands T +31 (0)20 419 41 32 Distribution For all subscriptions please contact Abonnementenland P.O. Box 20, 1910 AA Uitgeest, The Netherlands T +31 (0)251 313 939 F +31 (0)251 31 04 05 For subscriptions For address changes and cancellations Four issues a year The Netherlands € 37 Europe € 59,50 Rest of the world € 79,50 Prices subject to change

Subscriptions can start at any time during the year. Subscriptions need to be closed for at least one year and will be automatically renewed until further notice. Cancellations must be submitted written and at least six weeks before the expiry of the subscription period to Abonnementenland. Changes of address must be submitted written at least three weeks in advance to Abonnementenland. © All rights reserved. Nothing from this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher and other copyright holders. The publisher cannot be held responsible for damage done by incorrect provision of information in the magazine. The views expressed in the magazine are those of our contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Glamcult or its staff. ISSN: 1874 1932

My bluetooth speakers don’t sound great.

Listen Better at

Open Letter

Our fundamental rights and freedoms are under attack. Our world has been taken over by gangster capitalism and corporate fascism. We cannot achieve change just by posting some hashtags on social media. We all need to get more socially conscious and politically involved. We must combat division and hatred. Let’s build bridges, not walls. SPEAK OUT. ACT UP. RESIST. With love always, Slava Mogutin, 2017


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Listen Better at

Spring/Summer 2017 Chanel

Spring/Summer 2017 Damir Doma

Spring/Summer 2017 Faustine Steinmetz

Spring/Summer 2017 Vivienne Westwood

Earrings worn on dress Slim Barrett, earrings Alighieri

Spring/Summer 2017 Stella McCartney

Earrings Alighieri

Spring/Summer 2017 Rejina Pyo

Shoes Stella McCartney

Spring/Summer 2017 Kenzo

Spring/Summer 2017 KochĂŠ

Shoes Stella McCartney

Spring/Summer 2017 Christopher Kane

Shoes Stella McCartney, earrings Slim Barrett

Spring/Summer 2017 Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto

Spring/Summer 2017 Y/PROJECT

Photography: Johanna Nyholm Styling: Vanissa Antonious Hair: Sarah Jo Palmer Make-up: Linda Anderson Model: Elisabeth—Paparazzi Models Casting: Emilie Åström Set design: Joanna Goodman Photography assistant: Johanna Lundqvist

Shoes Neous

Spring/Summer 2017 Acne Studios

The WorldSection Needs Originals On a quest for the like-minded, Clarks Originals got together with a careful selection of fresh new faces. As young pioneers who’d rather write their own story than be a footnote to someone else’s, these diverse faces share one DNA—that of Originals. From music producers and activists to poets and dancers, photographer Paul Wetherell captured the authentic characters in a light and lively story. Let us introduce you. Fa Empel

Photography: Paul Wetherell

Model, actor, activist, recording artist and designer—there’s not enough terms in the world to describe this empowering girl. Currently at the helm of a Berlin-based eyewear label, Fa Empel can also be seen in independent films, major magazines and Rise of the Eco-Warriors, a documentary project battling rainforest destruction in Borneo, her father’s native land. Hats off!

Michael-John Harper Jamaica-born, Florida-raised talent Michael-John Harper has a CV—and body—that’ll make most of us a little envious. Following his graduation from the New World School of the Arts, the contemporary dancer has already toured the world extensively, performing at landmarks including MoMA and the Guggenheim. Make sure you check out his IG account for daily (dreamy) dances; seeing is believing.


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The WorldSection Needs Originals Bradley Soileau Whether he’s starring in a Lana Del Rey video, DJing at a Clarks Originals party or collaborating with fellow creative Virgil Abloh—Bradley Soileau will always catch your eye. The multi-disciplinary rebel is known for his countless tats and talents, including designing for the fashion label Blackfist, “an extension of his mind and body.”

Julie Adenuga As one of London’s most exciting radio hosts, Julie Adenuga brings the UK’s music culture to the world on Apple’s Beats 1 Radio. Additionally, you might know her as the writer and presenter of Skepta’s Greatness Only documentary, or as the mastermind behind PLAYit, an online show for unsigned talent. Led by her distinct audible and visible direction, this original is the epitome of “tastemaker”.



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By Lottie Hodson All photos courtesy of Harley Weir, taken from Homes and Boundaries

Oscillating between intimate glances of the human form and delicate portraits of redheads, Harley Weir is renowned for her iconic fashion photography. Turning her eye to the now deserted “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais for her debut book Homes, she is also the narrator of a story crying out to be told. Speaking to Glamcult, the artist reveals her fascination with beauty and boundaries, the search for sentiment and the origins of her first solo show. “The diversity of the present excites me.” 27

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Harley Weir Chatting to Glamcult at her debut solo show is the triumphant—but ever-humble—Harley Weir. It’s her contemporary fashion shoots that have earned Weir respect as a photographer, and these seamlessly come together with a conscientious selection of autonomous work in her first exposé. As an exhibition that covers all facets of the title, the works displayed in Boundaries explore both physical and mental manifestations. Weir explains: “It’s actually the name of a project I started in 2012, based around borders of countries. It started when I first saw the wall that divides the country in Israel on a holiday. It changed my perspective of the world; it was the first time I saw the world for what it is. So I started the project Boundaries that ended up being a series of works in different countries that have conflict surrounding their borders. It is probably my dearest project and something I picked up again recently in Calais. When I was going through title suggestions for the exhibition, the idea of Boundaries in relation to all of my work just seemed to fit. I figured that actually it still makes perfect sense because of the many borders involved; dissolving boundaries, creating boundaries, consent and thinking about who owns the image.” With a title that not only perfectly summarizes the artist’s preoccupations, but also resonates so strongly in the light of current global politics, it’s imperative to explore Boundaries in all their meanings, just as Weir does. Visualizing topics that really matter is something that has long intrigued the British talent. Despite being one of fashion’s most esteemed contemporary photographers, Weir continues to bloom with work that’s politically charged. It has earned her the reputation of an apogee paving the way for new-gen photographers, tackling wider and in-depth issues through the fashion genre. The 27year-old prodigy has been at the top of her game since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2010, and fresh takes on sexuality, feminism, borders and the body have been key areas explored in her majestic imagery. When asked why sexuality and intimacy are particularly salient topics, Weir responds with an honest explanation that reflects her poetic imagery: “There is not so much left in the world other than sentiment. I think it’s really important to show that, to show feeling. It’s also about positivity; I guess sexuality is a way to feel close to someone so it feels intimate. When you take your clothes off you can feel vulnerable and it can create a relationship in a way.” With a soft, intimate aesthetic, Weir captures flashes of

flesh and up-close-and-personal portraits that boast an unmistakable seductive quality. One can’t help but wonder: Does all of this nudity ever get awkward on set? “It depends what kind of person it is. Sometimes when you photograph people nude, they feel very uncomfortable if it’s just one-on-one—they find it too personal. Others like the show and actually feel much happier to perform when there is a crowd. It feels very professional for them; they have their hair and make-up done… some people feel more comfortable with that. I personally prefer if it’s a very small team.” Despite being a self-taught photographer, Weir was in fact schooled as a fine artist. This is possibly where her love for the conceptual was born, or where her omniscient visual eye was nurtured—either way, it comes as no surprise that she stands as a multidisciplinary talent. Anyone familiar with the artist’s work will recognize her unequivocal eye for aesthetic beauty, simultaneously combined with a deep-rooted message. When asked about her fascination with classical beauties— flowing red hair, porcelain skin—we see a glimpse of her fine art background shine through: “I do have this very classic obsession with Venus types. In an interview with Mirjam Kooiman (the curator of my exhibition), I talk about the reasoning being tied in with artwork I saw as a child that affected me. They look at very European ideals of what beauty was like. I like to look at that and what it is now; the diversity of the present excites me. I have been drawn to all sorts of people since I was young—obsessively wanting to get to know them, I very much work with the idea of the muse.” As a figurehead in the youth revolution of conceptual fashion photography, Weir’s work is sparking a movement that mirrors raw themes from image-makers such as Hellen Van Meene, Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, and bids farewell to the less ideologically motivated aesthetic practiced by the likes of Tim Walker, Annie Leibovitz and Rankin. As we watch fashion and photography evolve hand-in-hand, Weir is focused on growing creatively, and on developing other photographic avenues. “Actually, I really love doing still life. My first great passion was photographing people, but then once that became a job and a chore I kind of fell out of love with it because I had to think about consent and how you could be effectively stealing someone’s soul—being a photographer is very voyeuristic. I then became really engrossed with still life; I mean, pretty much all of my work for the past two years has not


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Harley Weir been with people.” Despite her enigmatic success as a fashion photographer and having been featured in a long list of impressive publications like Vogue, i-D and POP—most recently shooting a mind-blowing S/S17 campaign for Balenciaga—Weir’s quest for concept and meaning is only growing stronger. In today’s dismal political climate, it’s more important than ever before to create work that counteracts. Weir certainly shows how it’s done—subtly but strongly, in her case—creating powerful imagery that pulls the viewer out of dreary days and helps them see a light at the end of the tunnel. Mastering a dreamy pairing of relevance both aesthetically and conceptually, she lures the viewer in with blissful silhouettes, winsome colour schemes and intimate compositions. Once she has your attention, the image’s next layer tells everything else you need to know—or deliberately keeps it a mystery. Thus enters some of the photographer’s most notable—and relevant—work outside of the fashion world: her recent book, Homes. Travelling to the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais, France, Weir shot a breathtaking series just before, during and after it was cleared. Upon selling out in just a matter of days—with all proceeds going to La Cimade, a French charity that fights for the protection of human rights for refugees and migrants— Weir raised over £10,000. On a constant pursuit to challenge the idea of Boundaries, Weir’s visually soft images bare a hard message. Half beautiful and half daunting, Homes tells the sorrowful tale of the (now demolished) refugee camp. As pastel-coloured tarpaulin

blows in the wind and scraps of wood and rope hold the homes together, the apparent absence of people in Weir’s work—but an indirect presence of human life— holds a powerful message. Homes demonstrates that form, structure and tone come as basic instinct to the artist. Despite the political undertone to the series, the aesthetic Weir crafts allows the images to be appreciated without knowledge of the context. Discovering that these images in fact portray refugee tents, the photos become ever more powerful. With a warm but overcast hue, the photographer masters the art of injecting pockets of life into deserted scenes, depicting the tragic landscape from her very own perspective. Yet Weir’s powerful images leave us longing for a place where beauty can be found beyond borders.


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By Leendert Sonnevelt Photography: Tom Ordoyno

Stepping out of the shadows after four years of silence, 2017 marks the grand return of hushed pop connoisseurs The xx. Releasing a record that sticks with the band’s unmistakable sound but also reveals a much more rapturous side, Glamcult’s cover stars shed their introvert shield and—more than ever—bare their souls. “It’s nice to have a bit more confidence.” 35

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The xx

Listening to the careful whisper of The xx’s debut back in 2011, it was pretty much impossible to imagine that the shy indie trio would one day grace billboards around the world and receive homage from its biggest superstars. Yet that’s where we are today; face to face with a band that, never losing sight of its distinct creative course, has become one the biggest names—if not the biggest—in indie music. Meeting with Glamcult just days before the release of their third album, I See You, the members of The xx have to divide and conquer in order to survive their PR tour for an exclusive international selection of press— exclusive yet including too many big media outlets to face as one. Glamcult gets to spend quality conversation time with the talented Romy Madley Croft, who speaks for a group that’s only ever getting better—without losing its introvert honesty. “I guess it’s a compliment that they trusted me to do this. It’s okay, I’ll try to represent everybody at the same time.” Quietly rising to fame in the beginning of the ’10s, The xx’s xx made an expectedly impactful mark on alternative music. The dark and dreamy mix of electronics, guitars and hushed vocals by Croft and her dear friends Oliver Sims and Jamie Smith spread like wildfire. Never quite a radio success, the band could yet soon be heard anywhere from shadowy clubs to television hit series, selling over 2.7 million records to date. Putting a finger on what exactly has made

The xx such a widely celebrated sensation isn’t easy. If anything, the band’s heavy emotional charge— initially often mistaken for sexual— played a large role, channelled in mysterious, introverted live shows. Today, The xx is in a different place. Just turn on I See You, and within seconds the horns of album opener Dangerous show a much more upbeat side of the trio. Is this the group in a happier state? “I think so!” Romy smiles. “We’ve gotten a bit older and less self-conscious. Everything that happened on our first album we didn’t expect. For the second album we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, looking at ourselves under a microscope. Then for this new record, we were just going to have fun and make music that we like.” Whilst I See You might mean a revamped sound for The xx, it also symbolizes a return to the very beginning; a time where the three friends had no idea how many people were going to hear their music, creating simply for the sake of creating. “I See You took quite a long time to make,” Romy explains. “A few years in I decided to forget that people were going to hear these songs. You know, I just write as a way of getting things out of my head.” In terms of songwriting, there is also a strong similarity between the making of the new record and the making of xx. “In the very beginning Oliver and I worked harder on crafting the demos. It was unique because we were playing a lot of clubs; we had the luxury of developing the songs live without anyone

caring. We don’t really have that now.” The absence of Jamie, who spent much of the past years touring as Jamie xx and producing for the likes of Drake and Alicia Keys, forced Romy and Oliver to reassess their methods. “We had to make the songs as good as they could be without Jamie. And then we worked on them together when he came back.” Fascinatingly, Jamie’s solo career is more audible than ever on I See You. More than once, you’ll find yourself waiting for a gigantic beat to drop, which then never really does—you’re listening to The xx, after all. But it’s not the producer/DJ who’s responsible for this, Romy explains: “Oliver and I were really admiring what Jamie was doing, and we were going to his DJ sets all the time. We’ve always loved dance music and more upbeat stuff, so our demos were getting more upbeat and the BPMs were getting higher. I didn’t realize this until Jamie came back from making people dance, and he actually wanted to slow things down! We met in the middle, I think. I was also excited to have some more songs in our sets for people to have fun and dance to.” Once Romy and Oliver finished a demo, it was passed on to Jamie. “I think that worked really well,” Romy says. “When there’s a beat or synths, it’s almost like a hint for him of what it has to be. He always re-imagines things and puts his own spin on them, which is really exciting for us. We’re never like: ‘It has to be this, Jamie.’ That’s been really good for us.” A


band wouldn’t be a band without the occasional disagreement, however. “Definitely, it can get quite awkward at times… Then we have to have a group conversation about it. What I love about being in a band is that you’ve got three people coming from different viewpoints—hopefully that makes it better.” Despite its triumphant undertones, a new album by The xx wouldn’t feel the same without a recurring sense of hearts being broken (and then being mended by the music). It is this contrast that makes I See You all the more interesting. “I struggled to find a lyrical theme throughout the album,” Romy confesses. “For me personally, I set myself a challenge to write some love songs about being in love. Or about taking a risk, rather than being powerless when someone else is making you feel a certain way. It’s hard to write happy love songs!” As a group, The xx tried to write about themselves more—“There’s more of ‘I’ and ‘we’ rather than ‘you’.” With this self-confidence comes more vocal ease, especially for Romy, whose voice now travels more to the foreground, losing a little of its former bashfulness. “It’s nice to have a bit more confidence,” she confirms. “Before it was a real secret thing for me, my voice... I didn’t like anyone hearing it when I was writing songs. It takes a lot of time; growing up, becoming more confident as a person and caring a bit less.” Teaming up with fashion favourite Alasdair McLellan for their latest music video, The xx finally shared

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with the public where much of I See You was recorded. The dreamy, documentary-style clip shows an emblematic American love story— wide-open spaces, XL milkshakes, cowboy hats, cheerleaders kissing jocks, and jocks kissing jocks. “We’d only ever been to London before,” Romy explains. “The thing is, when you’re recording in your hometown, you can be in the studio but then you go home and have your personal life. There’s a disconnection between the studio and being home. What was good about us going away, is that we felt really united. We were in a place we’d never been before and we were experiencing it all as friends. I think that brought us really close together. The first proper place we went to was Marfa, Texas, which is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere— very different to London! It has huge open skies and endless roads. It’s also not what you expect when you think of a tiny town in Texas; it was a lot more open-minded, artistic and creative.” Travelling from Marfa to New York City, the next American landmark to influence The xx was the Park Avenue Armory, a cultural platform housed in a historic hall in Manhattan where the band played 25 small shows for just 45 people at a time. Just the memory still visibly excites Romy. “We made a tiny room within the hall and performed in the middle while the audience stood around on the side. It was very intimate. As the show went on the ceiling

lifted and the walls fell down, so suddenly they realised they were in a big room. We were trying to mess with them a little bit, which was a lot of fun!” Symbolically, the moment embodied much more than just a show element for the trio. “As more shy performers, it was a really good experiment for us. I felt the power shifting. We felt more confident, and they seemed more nervous”—they being a mix of devoted fans and pop royalty including Beyoncé, Jay Z and Madonna. “It was very surreal; standing next to Madonna was very scary! You know, you’re standing there performing in front of her and you think: ‘I’ve really got to perform now.’” For Romy personally, the exploration of America held one more stop: LA. As a self-proclaimed lover of “big pop music”, the artist forced herself to partake in songwriting sessions with some of the world’s largest hit makers, including Benny Blanco and Ryan Tedder. “It was very scary for me because I’ve only ever worked with my two best friends,” she admits. “Even then I’ve felt uncomfortable presenting new ideas to them. We used to have to work over email because we were too awkward. For me to be in a room with strangers, just singing…” Forced to freestyle over given chords, Romy discovered a quality that resonated with her newfound confidence. Joined by Robin Hannibal of Rhye, the LA sessions literally put the songwriter in a state of discomfort, gaining new knowledge about pop structure and,

ultimately, about herself. “Normally I’d write poems and then only when I was completely happy with the words I would start singing them.” Taking back the LA influences to London, Romy incorporated these lessons into her writing sessions with Oliver. “It was a lot of fun for us and new for our friendship. You have to break down these barriers and just start singing, ready to be picked apart.” That said, The xx’s personal songwriting approach remained unbroken: “I learned a lot of things, but I chose what to keep and what to leave behind. I had a great experience but I did miss my two best friends, the way that we work, and the way that we just write about real things…” America also gave The xx a real new writing—and touring— companion. “Kelela; she’s brilliant! I love that she wants to do things differently and challenge things, but make music that has soul. It really connected with what we do.” Take a quick glance at any given YouTube video or Facebook post by The xx, and an exceptionally emotional stream of comments is inescapable. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering how the band thrives on channelling raw poetry into songs, but it also creates a— sometimes difficult—precedent. “On the last album we felt a lot more pressure. People were saying things like: ‘Difficult second album!’ When someone says that to you, you’re like: ‘No, I’m fine!’” For The xx, the newly opened third chapter stands for


letting go. “We’ll always be the same three people. It’s going to shift and grow as we get older, but we’re always going to sound like us.” At the same time all the band’s new songs, each a celebration of The xx themselves, are equally centred on the listener’s own experience—creating a soothing space to be happy, heartbroken or both at once. “People tell us a lot about the experience they’ve had with the music, and I love that,” Romy concludes. “I quite like that we leave it open. We don’t name different time or places. We say ‘you’ and ‘I’, not ‘he or ‘she’. You can fit this into your own experiences—no matter your gender, sexual orientation or anything else…”

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By Kelsey Lee Jones Photography: Carlijn Jacobs—Unit CMA

Styling: Imruh Asha—House of Orange Hair and make-up: Ed Tijsen—Angelique Hoorn management Model: Jim—Republic Men

The enemy of corruption, terrorism, racism and greed, Curaรงao-born Dutch designer Rushemy Botter has mobilized an army of kindred folk, flying their colours under the insignia of love. Botter crosses the heavy with the soft, holds his banner high, and wears his heart on his sleeve for his breakthrough collection. 41

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Rushemy Botter

Let’s start with one of the most apparent subjects: your ties with VFILES (the NYC platform for hot talent). How did the connection come about? I had known about VFILES for a long time, and entered their contest with my graduate collection—actually, my girlfriend Lisi signed me up; she uploaded all my work! After a few weeks, I got the news that I was one of the winners. They called me late at night, and I couldn’t believe it… At New York Fashion Week you were rubbing shoulders with all kinds of mentors, from Naomi Campbell to Jerry Lorenzo and Rihanna’s stylist Mel Ottenberg. What did you get from them? Yes! Firstly, it was an amazing experience to be able to connect with people who have so much experience. I told them about the

me, which turned out very successful—it went viral!

collection, we went through all the looks piece by piece, they told me what they liked, and listened to my inspiration. I felt a click with Lorenzo because he’s also a designer; we share the same passion. He got crazy about one jacket from the collection, so I made him one when I got back to Belgium. What’s the story with Young Thug, who showed up unprompted on the VFILES runway to fix and style one of your models? What really happened? I knew that he was going to wear an outfit from the collection because his stylist came by the showroom and picked a look for him to wear, but I never expected this to happen. I was amazed; I saw it happening on the screen backstage. Later his stylist told me that he wanted to do something to thank

Let’s take it back a bit. How did you first become connected with design? Where does your creative energy come from? When I was young I had a certain interest in clothing; I knew exactly what I wanted to put on to wear to school. I always knew that clothes make a difference. It wasn’t until I grew older I realized that fashion design was a profession. I find energy from people on the streets; I’m interested by those most unaware of fashion and dressing in the proper way. If you were to construe your style in a language of your own, how would it go? I want to tell a story with my designs. I find myself getting the best ideas when I combine several ideas,


subjects or images, almost like mind works in collages. Not only collaged images, but the crossing of subjects finding each other. Could you tell us the story of your trip to the Dominican Republic and how it inspired you? I was visiting the family of my girlfriend in Santo Domingo, where I was inspired on every corner— especially by the people who live big parts of their life on the streets to earn a bit of money to get through the day. They work with what they have, and this leads to such creativity. This boy I saw had no pants, but he made it work with two sweaters instead: one he wore in the regular way, and the other he wore as pants to cover his small legs. I was amazed when I saw this, and it became the starting point of my collection.

Rushemy Botter

In contrast to the picture of an innocent young boy, talk to us about the Mongrel Mob. How did biker gang inspiration come into the collection? I came across New Zealand’s mighty Mongrel Mob through Jono Rotman’s work—a photographer who somehow managed to earn the mob’s trust and photograph them in a beautiful, fragile-yet-dark way. I started my research on the biker gang. What inspired me the most was that although they have a reputation as an incredibly violent gang, they’re still family to each other. They make their own values and rules; I see them as a tribe. They’re bold in their ways of showing disagreement with society’s rules.

Is this what sparked your fascination with patches, badges and insignia? Yes, “My patch is my heart” is a phrase I borrowed from the Mongrel Mob. The patch is everything to them, showing their inclusion in the gang and family. My interpreted patches make use of words; they’re directly from my own heart. This collection is like a diary to me so messages are highly important. With today’s world mood, we need to raise our voices, say things out loud and keep the desire to change for the better. I feel the need to create messages about the injustice of racism, corruption and to stand up for refugees—everybody should walk free. What does “walking free” mean to you? Freedom… for me, it means that people can decide to do some-

thing, or go somewhere without any restraints. And most importantly, that people are not parted from their own family because of closed borders. How did you come to work with delicate details like pressed flowers or ribboning to juxtapose military tropes and helmets? I wanted to make use of typical symbols of violence and war, but introduce them in a more poetic way. The contrast of the softer symbols and material makes me able to tell my whole story. Your “Ilen Boots” were designed in collaboration with René Van Den Berg. Can you talk a bit about this? The collaboration with René was an amazing experience; his technical skill is incredible. I came to


him with the sketch of the Chelsea boot. He made the first trial and during this process we had to overcome a lot of hitches. But this I find the most interesting process, here the most beautiful things happen. He eventually made eight pairs of shoes in three colourways. Incredibly, you’re not even finished with your studies yet. What’s the focus for your final (MA) year of study in Antwerp? What lies in the future for Rushemy Botter? I’m putting my focus on creating the looks of the new collection. I will be showing this June in Antwerp. After that I head to NYC to show again. I can’t reveal too much, but I also have a showroom planned…

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By Lottie Hodson Photography: Michelle Helena Janssen

Sampha Known for his heartfelt lyrics and unfeigned sound, Sampha has quickly earned himself a reputation as one of Britain’s most distinctive young vocalists. Talking built-up emotions, spirituality and fear of his own ego, the singer/songwriter reveals all behind the making of his highly anticipated debut album.

Few contemporary musicians can soothe the soul quite like Sampha Sisay. With his soporific, bruised voice and lyrics that cut straight to the core of collective vulnerability, the singer-slash-songwriter-slashproducer has won over listeners worldwide. This month, he finally rewarded the faithful with the release of his debut album some six years after his breakthrough. Collaborations with Jessie Ware and SBTRKT back in 2011 showed Sampha ticked all the necessary boxes for a future superstar. Independent record label Young Turks (FKA twigs, The xx, Chairlift) soon snapped him up, but since the release of his debut EP Dual back in 2013, we’ve all been waiting with baited breath for a full album. Well, now we can relax. With the release of Process, Sampha presents his heart on his sleeve and takes us all on a soulful, personal journey, using his music as a self-medicating cure to ensure he never forgets to feel. “I just love making music and playing,” he says. “It makes me feel alive and gives me a strong sense of feeling that I don’t generally have day-to-day, not like anything else really. It’s a special thing, it’s more that I want to create music to feel something and to stimulate myself intellectually, spiritually—it’s all for that.” In line with that sentiment, we can’t help but assume Sampha’s reference to spirituality is the result of being bought up by religious parents—a notion he is quick to

disregard: “My parents were religious but not in an overbearing or forceful way.” He goes on to explain: “Music is about me articulating what I think spirituality may mean, it can be a sort of outlet from where you are in your life.” Talking to Sampha, Glamcult quickly learns that his off-stage persona matches every word he sings; with a softly spoken voice and a calming disposition there’s no doubt of his authenticity—which of course makes his lyrics evermore potent. When we dive in to find out what first inspired him to create music, he racks his memory for a moment before answering: “My earliest memories of consciously listening to music was listening to Michael Jackson. I was also really into grime; I just picked it to be my training ground for production. Then I kept coming across other music and discovered MySpace, which helped me learn about producers such as Kwes and Micachu. It was a natural progression to becoming the artist I am now.” Growing up as the youngest of five boys meant that Sampha developed a broad knowledge of music, fast. “In a weird way I felt like some sort of archaeologist in my house,” he explains. “I would just find things like my brothers’ and dad’s CDs and vinyls lying around. So yeah, I was bought up on nutritional earth in my house, musically speaking.” Hailing from London, the 27-year-old artist has already racked up an impressive list of

collaborators—including Drake, Solange, Kanye West and Frank Ocean. So what’s it like working with these A-listers? “It’s pushed me to either think about music differently or to pace myself more seriously in terms of me feeling okay with recording a solo record.” He pauses and frankly admits, “I always struggled with the concept of having a big ego, but then I thought, Sometimes ‘ego’ has too many negative connotations. I learnt that it’s okay to follow your own vision.” Having recorded his debut EP, Dual, in his childhood home in Mordon, Sampha decided it was time to take his music to the studio for the creation of Process. “They are acoustically treated and have cleaner vocal breaks, which is a nice change from making music in my room.” From his music it’s easy enough to tell that Sampha isn’t afraid to sing the truth, but when questioned on the emotions he addresses so sincerely, he sounds a little sceptical. “There’s an element of nature to what I’m doing. As much as I’m being conscious on the production side of things, some thing’s just come out that I wouldn’t normally say.” He pauses and goes on to explain: “More conflicting things that I haven’t really learned to express as such.” Despite not being a concept album, Process encouraged Sampha to delve deep and explore his own mind, he says. “Sometimes I feel like I am creating emotions.” When quizzed on the selfdiscovery that went hand-in-hand


with the making of Process, Sampha is cautious of selling himself short and reluctantly uses the word ‘cathartic’ to describe his experience. “It might dumb down the amount of effort I put in on an intellectual level, but it did feel like a relief of repressed emotions; I was having to numb myself from feelings just so I could function from day to day.” He’s referring to the tragic loss of his mother—almost two decades after the loss of his father— then goes on to acknowledge that the album actually led to him “realizing how music is a way to channel into a part of human body that otherwise stays locked.” The making of Sampha’s first album collided with a spiritual affiliation when connecting the dots; he came to the conclusion that music is like spirituality. “It’s like jumping into a pool. It’s that kind of faith that I attribute to spirituality, just connecting and fully committing yourself and letting your body take over.” Still contemplating this binding connection, he sums things up by describing his album as “a sort of documentation of my production and growth, and my ability to really articulate moods.” After all, “you just need to alleviate some of the existential angst—that’s all.”

Gc Interview

Border Politics Janna Ullrich Politically-powered graphic designer Keen to see Trump materialize as a Trojan horse giving birth to an army of leftist unicorns, this German Sandberg Institute graduate aims to expose privilege and the shocking practices of today’s immigration industry with a straightto-the-point board game named No Man’s Land. Border Politics: “I stand for the unconditional right to have rights for all the world’s inhabitants, as well as extraterrestrial fortune seekers. Aliens welcome. Even Vogons.”

Florian Joahn Photographer of critical concepts

Standing for compassion and confrontation, this multidisciplinary image-maker creates surrealist work with a critical twist. As an attempt to fill empty spaces in himself or his environment, the Amsterdam- and Londonbased talent prays for the day his work becomes irrelevant to new generations. Border Politics: “The only reason I do my work is to investigate my own cultural identity and attempt to understand those of others.”



Border Politics Kelly Lee Owens Dark dancefloor talent This Welsh techno talent—and Daniel Avery mentee—daydreams of a time when we embrace all the things that bind us together, a future world of collective consciousness. Prepped and ready to release her self-titled debut, this ascending producer injects political influences into her dark and dreamy beats. Border Politics: “You can literally see the man-made borders we’ve created from space. Our impact as a result for the need of control and power—it scars the earth and the humans living on it.”


Baba Stiltz Purveyor of relaxing dance tunes Julian Mährlein Consequential image-maker

Hailing from Stockholm, this 22-year-old producer of “icy techno soul” has crafted fresh and luscious electro-pop beats for his promising Is Everything EP. Fantasies of an ideal future for this up-and-coming star comprise world peace and understanding—but not always consensus. Travelling to Cara Mineo, Italy, this young German photographer shot a soft yet confronting story on asylum seekers. Using his camera to highlight the current refugee situation, Mährlein believes the only way to live in this complex world is to base your choices on respect and friendship as opposed to fear and division.

Border Politics: “Love is everything…even the terrible things.”


Border Politics: “My awareness of borders, their rigidness and their way to frame human lives, is heightened and is a daily reminder that in the current political system, some lives are valued more than others.”




Border Politics Maria Qamar Satirical pop-art princess

On a mission to visualize what being part of the South Asian diaspora in today’s world is really like, this Desi artist has racked up an impressive 85k following on Instagram with her Technicolor, satirical illustrations. Tired of border politics, she concentrates on bringing humour to disaster, whilst patiently waiting “for the day we catch a break”. Border Politics: “Existing as a woman of colour in the West is inherently political; anything I contribute to the culture here would be considered a challenge. This makes all of my work political, regardless of the intention.”


Tirino Yspol Fresh face of Amsterdam’s new gen A bright and brilliant future isn’t overly complicated for this Dutch stylist, who declares all he wants is respect, power and a lot of love. Commonly recognized as the face of homegrown labels like Patta and Smib, the all-round young talent represents an important part of Amsterdam’s new wave. Mixing streetwear with a unique twist, we aren’t surprised his work has already caught the eye of i-D, Hypebeast and Glamcult. Border Politics: “Because we have borders we are either consciously or unconsciously dealing with nationalism, separation and pride.”



Border Politics Ib Kamara Dauntless style guru As a self-proclaimed creative who “tells stories worth telling”, this young London-based stylist stands for equality, love and freedom of expression—and acts as a jaw-dropping fashion maverick in the meantime. Border Politics: “Cultural appreciation is taking from a culture you know little about and pushing it and watering it down for your convenience. You are born into a culture or adopted into it. You know it, you believe it, enrich it and tell it honestly.”

@ibkamara Angela Luna Interventional designer

Wearing one of her (legitimately) life-saving garments, this Spanish designer examines the connection between fashion and global issues—more specifically, crafting a multipurpose clothing collection for refugees, making sure to design impartially so that people from all cultures are able to feel comfortable. Border Politics: “I stand for equality and purpose, both in the garments I design and the way I live my life. Fashion has avoided interfering with politics for too long.”


Hannah Hill Feminist seamstress Bringing back the (unsung) art of embroidery, this 22-year-old artist tackles issues of racism, mental health, body positivity and sexuality in her detailed stitching. Offering miniature witty designs that pack a punch, the outspoken designer—who works under the alias Hanecdote—tells us all how it really is with her needlepoint mastery. Border Politics: “I want more people to feel loved, appreciated and like they belong in the world.”




Border Politics Yamuna Forzani Creator of tantalizing textiles Standing for colour, collaboration, co-existence and compassion, this young designer describes her textile masterpieces as political, positive anarchy. Through her “queer as fuck” creations she dreams of a future that brings greater acceptance of one another—whether it be gender identity, sexuality, religion or background. Border Politics: “I think being nice is one of the most radical things you can do.”


Wilson Oryema Idyllic model-to-watch

We reckon you’ll know this beautiful London face from shoots with Grace Wales Bonner, Kenzo, Calvin Klein and yours truly—but he’s not just a pretty face. Describing his work as juxtaposing ideas, beliefs and concepts through various mediums, we’re excited to see what this young model will do next. Stay tuned. Border Politics: “Cultural identity played an important role in forming my perception of myself, the world and how to communicate certain things.”




Words by Leendert Sonnevelt Featuring: Hiram Diplo, Imane, Luvinsky Atche and Yannick Mabille

Embody by Ari Versluis

Swen Founded in 2015 by Swann Amdéo and his ex-partner Steven Jacques, the birth of Swen instantly garnered attention. Designing clothes for men described as “modern nomads”, aka #swenmen, the designers stood out by merging Eastern and Western creative visions. And while mixing menswear from various cultures isn’t necessarily new—look at the streets of the world’s metropolises—there’s more to be felt here than merely a geographic blend; an intimate, almost sacred atmosphere prevails throughout Swen’s designs and imagery. Describing his collections as “reflections” or “studies”, on masculinity and friendship, for example, Amdéo takes his quest se­ riously—but also just wants to make quality menswear. Glamcult teamed up with Ari Versluis to meet the un­ conventional maker and his dearest associates in the French capital.

“I try to discover things other than Paris because Paris is really into Paris...” Shining a confronting spotlight on fashion’s Eurocentric side, Amdéo gets straight to the point of his practice. Inspired by Mediterranean menswear, his clothes bring together what he calls a “Oriental outfit” with a European cut and feel. In reality, Swen’s designs reflect more of Paris than that which “fashion” considers Parisian. Amdéo isn’t out to raise an ideological issue, however. “I feel very far from political questions; I just try to mix two very different things and it looks like this.” In the Swen philosophy, a body and its clothes shape each other equally. Pinning down his influences as religious—an easy mistake to make— would be incorrect. “The djellaba, for instance, is just an outfit from the city, made for a local climate. It’s not a religious thing at all…” That being said, Amdéo does have to face prevalent prejudices.

From regularly being labelled a “streetwear designer” for using black or Arab models, to people in the subway looking scared because of the way he dresses, the designer has seen it all. Yet he tries to keep a somewhat naïve attitude towards these stereotypes. “I like the idea and mood of Lost in Translation. When people wear my brand, that’s what they look like.” If anything, Swen’s here to open up boxes and borders. When questioned about a possible homoerotic element in the work, Amdéo ponders: “Difficult question! You could be gay now and straight next year, we just don’t care.” He adds: “For me, it’s just not about categories. I think it’s important to detach; Swen isn’t something to be defined by sexuality, gender or religion. I just want people to think: ‘Can I enjoy it or not?’” Surrounded by his loved ones— #swenmen in the broadest sense of the wor(l)d—Amdéo keeps his visor wide open. “Everybody can be an


inspiration, ‘muse’ doesn’t seem like a current concept; the term seems obsolete, based on a single person. That’s selfish stuff. I find it important to connect, and to see how the lines go between a lot of people.” Working with real, caring people is crucial to the designer, who loves to see how they shape themselves through the way they dress. “How can you be you with clothes? That’s the game I play. ‘Swenmen’ is all about sharing and sweet love.” Embody is an ongoing collaborative project by photographer Ari Versluis and Glamcult, exploring the relationship between influential contemporary fashion designers and those who influence their work.

Gc Embody

Visual Essays

Shirt Walter Van Beirendonck, jeans Kenzo, slides Y-3

Jacket Berthold, jeans Acne Studios, shoes Topman Design

Sweater Walter Van Beirendonck, sweater worn underneath and trousers Berthold

Suit Roberto Cavalli, harness Alex Mullins

Total look Songzio, scarf Danshan

Tracksuit Topman Design, shirt Loha Vete, sneakers Clarks Originals, necklace Mirabelle

Shirt McQ Alexander McQueen

Photography: Campbell Addy Styling: PC Williams—The Book Agency Hair: Virginie P Moreira using Bumble and bumble. Make-up: Ammy Drammeh using MAC Cosmetics Model: Jordan—Nii Agency Set design: Aidan Zamiri Photography assistants: MC and Lou Styling assistant: Misty Dee Griffiths

Left: top Stussy, jeans Levi’s, belt and shoes Hardeman Right: jacket Xander Zhou, belts Hardeman

Left: vintage coat, boots Knightsbridge Right: hoodie RE by Reconstruct, jeans Weekday, shoes Nike, bandana stylist’s own

Left: top Hardeman, vintage bomber, underwear Calvin Klein, shorts Carhartt WIP, shoes Martan Right: top and trousers Cottweiler, cap and shoes Nike

Next spread: Left: cap WavEnforcer, top Wolford Right: suit Maison Margiela (vintage)

Photography: Florian Joahn Styling: JeanPaul Paula 3D artwork: Omri Bigetz Hair and make-up: Carlos Saidel for Givenchy Beauty—House of Orange Models: Estelle—Paparazzi Models, Mitchell—The Amazing Faces, Sharne Georgi Special thanks to Witman Kleipool

Photography: Olya Oleinic—HALAL Featuring: Ace, Dumani, Edo and Pakama All clothes by 2Bop, South Africa

Glamcult Office Party

Photography: Michelle Helena Janssen

With the New Year no longer being a valid excuse, Glamcult desperately needed a reason to throw a party. Launching a brand new webshop gave us the ultimate justification, so we transformed the Amsterdam office—by day—into the perfect Friday night venue. Gathering the special people that make Glamcult possible, we welcomed them with open arms, drinks by Warsteiner and a newly released scarf. Browse the highlights (and admire the scarves) here.

Offered in three colour variations—black and white, pink or green—the ‘worldwide underground’ scarf is available in our webshop. Get yours now!


Gc Report

Stockists 2Bop


Slim Barrett

Acne Studios



Agi & Sam


Stella McCartney

Alex Mullins




Loha Vete



MAC Cosmetics

Topman Design

Bumble and bumble.

Maison Margiela

Vivienne Westwood

Calvin Klein


Walter Van Beirendonck

Carhartt WIP

McQ Alexander McQueen





Christopher Kane


Xander Zhou

Clarks Originals




RE by Reconstruct



Rejina Pyo

Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto

Faustine Steinmetz

Roberto Cavalli


Rushemy Botter

GLAMCULT / 2017 / ISSUE 1 / #122 / EU

GLAMCULT / 2017 / ISSUE 1 / #122 / EU