2018 will be a meaningful year. On December 6, 2018, 435 House of Representative Seats and 33 of 100 Senate seats will be up for re-election. The people and the things trending in the news and in the media will impact who we will vote into those seats. And the people we vote into those seats will have the power to shape the world we will live in.
For 2018, my goal for The Fashion Plate magazine is to help our readers mobilize and vote in the upcoming election. I also made a commitment to focus on safe and healthy food choices for you and the environment. I promised to look at art and design in the Millennial age and to use health and beauty as a way to promote self-care and self-confidence.
In my efforts to achieve the goals, my team and me will focus on culture-shapers with powerful influence in the media or with great new potential to create positive change. The idea is to leverage the expertise of culture-shapers to provide you with a holistic and diverse view of our world, to mobilize our collective power and to provide inspiration.
Our top 33 culture-shapers of 2018 are broken out into ten categories: The Future of Fashion, The New Sound, The Revolutionary Concepts, The Tastemakers, The Future of Socialization, The Powerful Voice, The Motivational Speakers, The Image Makers, The Beauty & Wellness Gurus, and The Aspirational Speakers.
I’ll start with my favorite topic.
The Future of Fashion:
Aeré-Store, Iris Van Herpen, Adwoa Aboah, Sarah Ziff
CEO, Lifestyle eCommerce
Aere-Store is a luxury eCommerce business with a focus on slow fashion. Most of the designers create limited edition or made-to-order pieces. The young CEO Azhar Safinova has enticed the best new luxury designers of the new world including Hugo Matha, Peet Dullaert and Bougeotte.
Iris Van Herpen
The New Designer
Iris Van Herpen’s three dimensional designs are wearable sculptures. Her originality, courageous experimentation and modern aesthetic contributes to the voice of fashion in a way that Rei Kawakubo did for fashion in the 90s. Herpen designs lay the foundation for wearable technology. She focuses on organic silhouettes, delicate craftsmanship, innovation and collaboration with other artists, architects and scientists.
The ‘Gurls’ Friend
BFC’s 2017 “Model of the year” Adwoa is becoming a household name, but not as a model. Aboah is most known to young girls as an advocate and the founder of Gurls Talk, a virtual space dedicated to building a safe community for teens and young women to discuss things like mental health, sex, and social media. At its first real-life festival in July last year in London, she held talks and workshops for thousands of teens and young women.
“Young girls experience sexual harassment in ways that we don’t talk about enough, or people don’t take seriously. From age 13 onwards, I’ve been catcalled in the street. That’s not OK.”
Model Rights Activist
New York Magazine called Model Alliance founder Sarah Ziff “the Norma Rae of the runway”. The Model Alliance foundation advocates for the creation of model rights in the industry. The labor and human rights of models have been overlooked for decades. In 2012 the Model Alliance was responsible for reclassifying models under 18 as child performers and extended them basic labor protections, including provisions for educational requirements, maximum working hours, and trust accounts. She is currently supporting the male models who’ve filed sexual harassment claims against powerful fashion photographer Bruce Weber.
The New Sound:
FKA Twigs, Jaden Smith, Beyonce
Singer, Tribal Leader
FKA Twigs is famous for her hypnotic voice, her dance skills and for her former engagement to ex-fiance Rob Pattinson. FKA Twigs’ music is described accurately as raw and genre-bending. Her sound draws on a variety of styles including electronic music, R&B, trip hop, choral music, industrial, and avant-garde. Her relationship to her fans is incredible; they are a community. Last year she began an Instagram beauty magazine called Avant to celebrate the beauty of their diversity.
I don’t want to be a pop star forever. I want to be iconic.
Beyonce’s Lemonade album changed music forever. Beyonce opened the eyes of marketing executives to the fact that a singer can create a top selling album with one Instagram post and one visual performance film. And, to find out what new music she may release in 2018, you must follow her Instagram.
Jaden Smith’s new work is 17 tracks ranging from a variety of genres spanning 70 minutes with eccentric sonnets and diverse flows. In it he hopes for equality for all, he hopes for wisdom, and he hopes for a less corrupt world.
The Revolutionary Concepts:
FRAME, Moon Juice, #TimesUp
A Beauty Revolution
FRAME was born in December 2017. It is a young company founded by 5 older beauty brands with one goal – to make AGE great again. The company is a pro-aging beauty brand for men, women and trans-gender. It is a radical new concept with a philosophy that being human is beautiful from the beginning to end.
Natural Food Science
Moon Juice, founded by Amanda Chantal Bacon, is a daily nourishment, in dry and liquid forms, of beauty foods and high-powered natural remedies. The recipes are based upon the scientific study of raw, medicinal foods. The founder is a world-traveling chef, mother, sustainable lifestyle leader and a passionate food educator. Sephora will soon carry the holistic healing potions.
The Human Rights Organization
The #TimesUp initiative is the most significant organization to emerge from the #MeToo movement in 2018. In a span of a few days actress/founder Amber Tamblyn raised 15 million dollars for an attorney defense fund to support the legal fees of marginalized groups who are fighting sexual harassment in the workplace.
The Haute Pursuit, A+A Cooren, Barack Obama, Brandless
The Haute Pursuit
Socially Conscious Shopping
A young Vanessa Hong emerged as an “IT” girl in 2010 and amassed over 400,000 followers thanks to her fashion blog, The Haute Pursuit. Vanessa used her popularity to open her own eCommerce shop which included popular fashion designers. In 2016, after a meeting with Livia Firth the director of “A True Cost”, a documentary film about the fashion industries unsustainable production practices, Vanessa closed her shop. She reopened in late November 2017 with a beautiful new designer list and with a new mission.
We believe fashion can be used as a vehicle to empower – whether it be a community of artisans or young designers. Art is a powerful conduit through which we can express our deepest beliefs and hopes for the future. The current paradigm built on mass fashion, mass destruction is 100% unsustainable.
The Sustainable Design
A+A Cooren are the crème de la crème of beautiful craftsmen. The Paris-based designers bring a Japanese-Nordic design aesthetic that is at once streamlined and poetic. The designs are often simple and organic and they subtly bring an element of nature back into everyday objects and interiors.
The Change Maker
“I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to create change — but in yours.”
Barack and Michelle Obama helm a fellowship program to support and elevate outstanding civic innovators from around the world with one mission, to inspire and empower people to change the world.
The Business Revolutionaries
Brandless is the blueprint of future commerce. Brandless puts people first and profits second. They have one big mission, find everything you need, from groceries to household items, all only $3. Everything on the site is non-GMO, organic, fair trade, kosher, gluten-free, and has no added sugar. Also, for every order, a meal is donated to Feeding America.
The Future of Socialization:
Ai Weiwei, Sophia The Robot, Virtual Reality Goggles
Sophia The Robot
The First AI Citizen
Sophia The Robot is the most famous AI humanoid robot in the world. From it’s fashion model debut on the cover of Elle Brazil to the regular headline gossip regarding it’s travels and new legs, Sophia The Robot is becoming one of the most important topics in the media.
The Communicator, The Transporter
Virtual reality technology will make it so you can visit with friends and experience the world all from the comfort of your own home. You can travel the world, go to the museum, shop at the store, visit the tailor, host in-person meetings, be in films, play in the game, be at the concert and never leave the house.
Humanitarian, Activist for Social Change
Long before Ai Wei Wei received a nomination for Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival 2017 he was a humanitarian and an artist. His work “Rebar in Gold” is one of the most socially powerful artworks of our time. Weiwei’s latest installation “thinline” – a 6.5km-long line running currently through the city of Amsterdam, focuses on a theoretical border. It is part of Amsterdam’s Light Festival.
The Powerful Voice:
Jane Fonda, Lena Waithe, Tavi Gevinson, Kamala Harris
The “People First” Politician
Kamala Harris has spent her life fighting injustice. On immigration, the California Senator is defined as the anti-Jeff Sessions. She fights for the DREAMERS, she fights for stronger gun control laws and she tirelessly advocates for all marginalized Americans. And yesterday she just became the first Black member of the Senate Judiciary Committee this Century.
The “Off Podium” Celebrity Activist
Jane Fonda is a provocateur. She is unapologetic, she is strong and she is not done yet. Jane Fonda stayed in the media last year for posting videos calling out unfair labor policies created by the Trump administration that adversely effect America’s lower paid workers. I expect in 2018 we will see more from Jane who proves that she doesn’t need an award show and a podium to effect change.
The Mental Wellness Advocate
Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Magazine began as a blog for teens to talk about life. The online blog transformed into a magazine that is perceived as safe haven for the teen community and the blueprint for socially-driven teen websites generated in the last few years. Rookie Mag provides a LIVE Instagram talk series and written interviews about adolescent social issues from global teen influencers.
The Culture Writer
Lena Waithe lived a relatively obscure life as an actress who occasionally plays opposite Aziz Ansari as his childhood best friend in the Netflix original series The Master of None. Things changed for the actress/ screenwriter when The Master of None won it’s first Golden Globe in 2017 for the episode titled “Thanksgiving” based upon Lena’s coming out story to her mom (played by Academy Award nominated actress Angela Bassett). Lena’s story propelled her to stardom and landed her a contract deal with Showtime to produce Chi. Lena’s storytelling skills have a way of sharing life as an African American and making it relatable to people of any culture or ethnicity. Waithe’s Chi is an opportunity to show Americans we have more in common than we have difference.
The Motivational Speakers:
Issa Rae, Chimamanda Ngozi, Cleo Wade
The Every Woman
When Issa Rae launched Insecure, a television show about love and life as a single woman in Los Angeles, she caused the unexpected. Fans of Insecure, both male and female, became emotionally invested in the stories of the characters. In interviews, the actress/ screenwriter has said that she wasn’t prepared for the level of anger from fans who empathized with the emotional issues experienced by Inseure’s characters (a reminder people, they are all fictitious). This turned out to be good thing. She is now producing two new shows, one for teens and another that chronicles the single life experience of a bi-sexual black man.
A show about a bi-sexual black man will be a television first and is one of 2018’s most anticipated shows.
The Spiritual Healer
Cleo Wade is a poet who is able to translate positive energy into her writings. Her poem posts on Instagram (She has over 440,000 followers) are the new way to receive your positive affirmations. And her poems are now licensed and placed onto everything from notebooks to coffee cups allowing you to carry them with you everywhere.
Chimamanda Ngozi is the most intelligent speaker on feminism in the world today. Her ability to explain rationally the evolution of society and the organic evolution of the gender role in modern society is what allows for both men and women to embrace change. She is also a role model to young women in her birth country, Nigeria. She is well known in the United States for her support of younger writers through her work with the Nigerian-based Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop. In March 2018, she will receive the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award which recognizes authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community.
The Image Makers:
Ellen, Hilton Als, Daniel Berhulak
The Cultural Activist
Ellen is a stand up comedian, turned actress, turned television host, turned cultural activist. Her shows most memorable moments are of the great achievements of everyday Americans against all odds. Ellen’s most attributable show tactic is how she reinforces good behavior. Guests of the show who accomplish extraordinary things are allowed to share their stories and are often gifted with a reward. Ellen does this in an effort to inspire the broader community to aspire to greatness.
The Global Documentarian
Daniel Berehulak is a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and photo-documentarian whose images highlight the effects of war and ill-designed policies in government and how it impacts humanity. He is most known for how he captures people in moments of crisis. If you take a moment to look at his photos be prepared to be swept over by waves of emotion.
The Astute Critic
American musicals are, for the most part, about boys, or boyish pursuits and aspirations—the fantasy of freedom and resolve—and those dreams have little to do with the reality of most black women’s lives.
The quote above is from Hilton’s review of “Dream Girls”. Hilton is a theater critic for the New Yorker and a 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Als’ writing is a combination of intelligence, astute observation of humanity, literary genius, deep historic knowledge and a respect for both men and women roles in society. In his book, Women, Als’ most remarkable subject is his mother, who emigrated from Barbados to New York at seventeen, worked as a housekeeper, a hairdresser, and an assistant at a nursery school, and raised “six children whom she cared for, more often than not lovingly, though she remained unconvinced that having children was the solution to the issue of isolation.” His mother had a thirty-year-long relationship with a man, Als’ father, whom she refused to marry.
The Beauty & Wellness Gurus:
Chef Rōze, Glossier, Rosemary Ferguson
The Natural Dietician
Rosemary Ferguson is a model turned nutritionist who credits her time as a model for her passion for food today. “I learnt a lot about nutrition first during my years in modelling, then becoming a mum and training as a naturopath and nutritional therapist.” She is celebrated for her firm belief in eating a holistic meal which includes fruits, vegetables and meats. She has a unique method of custom tailoring diets to clients that suit the lifestyle and goals of each person – rather than telling people they should lose weight to be happy. Her company philosophy focuses on the idea that “what you put in your body has a massive effect on how you feel physically and mentally.”
The Traveling Chef
Two years ago Chef Rōze was most known as a model. But the stunning American is also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and a survivor of a serious heart condition that required him to go under the knife, twice. It was having to recuperate that taught him the value of food. Now he uses that knowledge to nourish and protect the body.
Today Chez Rōze is known as the traveling chef. He is invited into the homes of athletes, celebrities and world leaders all over the globe. His show on YouTube documents his travels and his talks with the world’s hottest new chefs. He uses his opportunity to learn something new in their kitchen and to continue to grow. He makes each episode an adventure.
The New Venture
Emily Weiss started with a beauty blog called Into The Gloss. And thanks to a female-led venture capitalist firm Weiss was later able to start Glossier, a beauty product company staffed primarily with women. Glossier has reached cult status thanks to a clever social media strategy, cult-making marketing and an affordable beauty line. The selling point of the Glossier brand is they get to make the products they want, they test them all in-house and then share them with their community of fans.
The Aspirational Influencers:
Rowan Blanchard, Danica Roem and Serena Williams.
The Conscious Teen
Rowan Blanchard is part of a growing teen community of politically conscious young people in America. Tweets like the one below stating, “I believe in my generation. I believe in girls. I believe in women. I believe in people of color. I believe in LGBTQ+ community. I believe” is common for the socially active teen.
As a celebrity Rowan is required to make appearances in an effort to stay in the news, but unlike celebrity teens of the early 2000s Rowan makes appearances standing next to Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. And that’s not all, she pens news stories about white feminism and the importance of inter-sectional feminism, and she uses her Instagram platform of 4.5 million followers to push her agenda for equality forward.
The Beauty Role Model
Serena Williams is the most attacked athlete in the media for her hair and her body, yet somehow she always rises above. Serena was the greatest role model for beauty in 2017. She taught millions of women to embrace their curves, to find their strength and most importantly to love themselves – and let love find you.
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The Living Example of Change
Danica Roem is America’s first openly transgender person elected and seated in a U.S. statehouse. She decided to run after the previous incumbent Robert G. Marshall, who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe”, introduced a “bathroom bill” that would require people to use the restroom that corresponds with the gender marked on their original birth certificate. The bill died in committee.
When asked how she would treat Robert G. Marshall after her victory Roem said, “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
We need more lawmakers like that!