Mia Isaac

By Mackenzie Hamilton
August 8, 2022

Mia Isaac Is Ready to Be Seen

At just eighteen, the young actor is making a striking début in two films by female directors, the family dramedy 'Don't Make Me Go' and the social media satire 'Not Okay,' as she embodies new stories for the screen.

Live from New York
Alex Lawther

Live from New York: Alex Lawther

After two long and "terrible" years, Robert Icke's acclaimed production of 'Hamlet' finally appears in New York with a lead performance of uncommon clarity and emotional depth.

Fashion
Simone Rocha

Exploring Simone Rocha's Singular Vision

After celebrating ten years of business, the Irish designer looks ahead to her next decade with a focus on womanhood, sexuality, and history.

Fashion
Béni Masiala

Belle Époque

Our inaugural photography grant winner Béni Masiala shares a personal project and discusses the pivotal moments in his life that formed his creative vision.

Live from New York
Matthew Aucoin

Live from New York: Matthew Aucoin

As the artistic director of the American Modern Opera Company, one of the youngest ever to premiere an opera on the Met's main stage, and now a published author, the composer is one of the leading creative voices expanding the reach of classical music today.⁠

Music
Amber Mark

Amber Mark's Music Crosses Multiple Dimensions

On her long-awaited debut album 'Three Dimensions Deep,' the musician offers a cathartic collection of songs with an enticing blend of spirituality and mathematics backed by her endless drive to create.

Fashion
Altu

Welcome to the Genderful World of Altu

Joseph Altuzarra's new contemporary line finds inspiration in the wealth of gender expression flourishing across youth culture today.

Beauty
Elorea

Elorea Redefines Luxury from an Asian Perspective

After the success of their fragrances inspired by the four trigrams of the Korean flag, the new luxury house expands into candles and looks ahead to imbuing their heritage into all their future ventures.

Fashion
Andel

Andel Is Modeling a New Way Forward for Fashion

The new clothing cooperative brings together expertise in science and fashion to offer fresh ideas for a systemic approach to sustainability.

Fashion
Dior x Parley for the Oceans Beachwear Capsule

Dior Partners with Parley for the Oceans for a Beachwear Capsule

For its latest Beachwear Capsule, the men's artistic director Kim Jones collaborates with the nonprofit Parley for the Oceans on a sporty collection produced from upcycled plastic recovered from shorelines around the world.

Paul Kooiker
Allyson Felix
Nick Robinson
Adam Chanler-Berat

Howl

Sonya Mohova stars in our first fashion cover story photographed by Paul Kooiker and styled by Andrej Skok.

Allyson Felix Takes on the World

After becoming the most-decorated female and the most-decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history in Tokyo, the sprinter is ready to focus her attention on fighting maternal mortality and uplifting female athletes through her new sports empire Saysh.

Nick Robinson Wants to Know More

As the abusive ex-boyfriend in Netflix's acclaimed miniseries 'Maid,' the Seattle native shines a light on the impossible situation faced by America's working class.

Live from New York: Adam Chanler-Berat

After spending last year filming HBO Max's 'Gossip Girl' reboot, the actor is finally back onstage in a downtown revival of Stephen Sondheim's 'Assassins,' helping to illuminate the pulse of violence that courses through American politics.

Howl

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Paul Kooiker

Allyson Felix Takes on the World

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Allyson Felix

Nick Robinson Wants to Know More

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Nick Robinson

Live from New York: Adam Chanler-Berat

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Adam Chanler-Berat
Generation Next
Batekoo

Generation Next: Batekoo

Founded in 2014 by friends and DJs Maurício Sacramento and Wesley Miranda, the Brazilian LGBTQ+ collective makes space for Black and queer creative expression through events and education.

Beauty
Dries Van Noten fragrance

Dries Van Noten Introduces a Line of Fragrances

Ten new gender-neutral fragrances reflect another facet of the Belgian designer's signature fluorescent imagination.

Fashion
Paul Kooiker

Howl

Sonya Mohova stars in our first fashion cover story photographed by Paul Kooiker and styled by Andrej Skok.

Generation Next
Tracey Emin

Fighting the Spread of Abortion Misinformation

In the wake of the Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade, forty-one states currently offer legal—if in some cases severely limited—access to abortion. But a wave of bans and restrictions set to come into effect in the next few weeks and months will create a purposely bewildering patchwork of laws across the United States, making abortion funds critical last lines of defense against misinformation and confusion.

Food and Drink
HAGS

HAGS Offers a New Concept of Queer Fine Dining

A new restaurant opening soon in the East Village will offer a dining experience full of experimentation, care, and—most importantly—joy.

Photography
Campbell Addy

Feeling Seen in Campbell Addy's First Monograph

The British-Ghanaian photographer vividly proves the necessity of centering new perspectives and visions.

Television
Toby Wallace

Toby Wallace Is Ready for Anything

After a breakout role in the Australian indie 'Babyteeth,' the actor takes the lead with an emphatic star performance as Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols in Danny Boyle's new miniseries.

Generation Next
How to Help Ukraine

How to Help: Ukraine

Sports
Tokyo skateboarding

Tokyo's Skateboarding Scene

Photographer Sarai Mari captures the spirit on the streets of the Japanese capital.

Generation Next
Krow Kian

Generation Next: Krow Kian

After documenting his journey from his transition to the Louis Vuitton runway in a documentary, the transgender model is focused on increasing representation and understanding.

Food and Drink
Kwame Onwuachi

Kwame Onwuachi Wants to Expand Your Palate

After coming to national attention with his Washington, DC, restaurant Kith and Kin and a memoir, the chef has released his first cookbook, celebrating the influence African and Caribbean cuisines have had on American food.

Events
Ocean Vuong

Celebrating Ocean Vuong and 'Time Is a Mother'

A reception and reading at the Times Square EDITION to toast our poetry editor's new collection.

Generation Next
Jawanza Williams

Generation Next: Jawanza Williams

Inspired by his own experience sleeping in a shelter, the director of organizing of VOCAL-NY is on the front lines of fighting poverty, homelessness, mass incarceration, and a range of other issues tied to racial and social injustice.

Television
Kit Connor

Spreading Joy with Kit Connor

As Nick Nelson, half of the couple at the center of Netflix's new breakout hit 'Heartstopper,' the English actor is honored to be part of a project depicting the beauty of queer love.

Fashion
Tim Ilkin

Is It Pure?

Tim Ashton and Ilkin Kurt capture Jess PW in a wardrobe of unconventional white.

Literature
Pernilla Winberg

A Place With Many Doors

A new work from the Kenyan author and founder of the literary magazine Lolwe inaugurates our series of original short fiction.

Film
Paapa Essiedu

Paapa Essiedu Won't Do Things By Halves

From his early role of Hamlet through his turn on 'I May Destroy You' and now with his crucial appearance in Alex Garland's new folk horror film 'Men,' the actor immerses himself fully in every single performance.

Beauty
Afra

Afra's Fine Art of Hair Care

A collection of art pieces from Guyanese-American celebrity hairstylist Nigella Miller recasts traditional accessories for Black hair in a new light.

Fashion
Terrence Zhou

The Geometry of Terrence Zhou

After transferring from a mathematics degree to Parsons, the designer brings his analytical eye for shape and form to clothes that strike an emotional chord as well.

Live from New York
Ty Sunderland

Live from New York: Ty Sunderland

The DJ and producer behind iconic gay nightlife events like Ty Tea and Devil's Playground is dedicated to bringing together his community in celebration.⁠

Generation Next
Ahed Tamimi

Generation Next: Ahed Tamimi

After coming to worldwide attention for being imprisoned at sixteen for protesting for Palestinian rights, the young activist is pursuing a degree in international human rights law to push for systemic change.

Television
Jayme Lawson

Jayme Lawson Wants to Show Us More

Midway through her breakout year—after turns in 'The Batman' and 'The First Lady' and with two major films this fall—the actor is staying true to her calling of uplifting underrepresented narratives that she discovered back in high school.

Live from New York
Karen Slack

Live from New York: Karen Slack

After years of pushing for more diversity and inclusion in the world of classical music, the soprano says she appreciates the changes she sees her tradition-minded colleagues making but recognizes the need to go further.⁠

Live from New York
Marti Gould Cummings

Live from New York: Marti Gould Cummings

The drag queen brings their progressive vision to everything they do, from a run for City Council to voter mobilization to their role as performance director at the Q in Hell's Kitchen.

Live from New York
Silas Farley

Live from New York: Silas Farley

Having stepped away from one of dance's most celebrated companies just as Covid-19 began to hit, the choreographer and teacher returns to New York City Ballet to create his first work for the company as part of his ongoing calling to support and nurture the future of the art form.

Music
Banks

Banks Is a Fully-Formed Thing

On her latest album 'Serpentina,' the musician offers her most intimate and personal songs yet in a celebration of independence and self-awareness.

Sports
Black Girls Surf

Black Girls Surf Is Making Space on the Waves

Rhonda Harper's nonprofit organization is focused on making surfing more inclusive for women of color, working with everyone from Olympic hopefuls to young girls at surf camps across Africa.

Fashion
Stella McCartney

Elemental

Strong shapes and bold colors dominate in our first accessories feature.

Live from New York
Torres

Live from New York: Torres

After releasing her breakthrough fifth album 'Thirstier' last year, the musician is back on the road touring across North America and Europe but still says there's no place like home.

Literature
Aria Aber

Dante in Sardina

Our series of original poetry continues with a new work from Aria Aber.

Fashion
Ethan Hart and John Handford

Boyhood

In our latest fashion editorial, photographer Ethan Hart and stylist John Handford capture a spirit of youthful experimentation and playfulness.

Live from New York
Dyllón Burnside

Dyllón Burnside Is Looking for Himself

After three seasons on the groundbreaking series 'Pose,' the actor returned to Broadway this winter in 'Thoughts of a Colored Man,' another step in his body of work focused on openness and self-exploration.

Literature
Ocean Vuong

Sweet Jesus

An original poem by our poetry editor inaugurates our series of new work.

Fashion
The Q

The Q

David Casavant digs deep in his own celebrated archive of vintage menswear for a story with Sam Waxman shot at New York's new multistory queer nightclub.

Literature
Jihyun Yun

Safe

Jihyun Yun's new poem is the latest in our series of original work appearing in every issue.

Live from New York
Sidra Bell

Live from New York: Sidra Bell

After becoming the first Black woman to create a work for New York City Ballet last fall, the choreographer prepares for a busy year of performances, commissions, and classes.

Beauty
Sandor

Sustainable Hair Care, At Last, From Sándor

Founded by hairstylist Sabrina Szinay and model and sustainability-policy student Taja Feistner, a new haircare line is creating space for the neglected low-impact haircare market.

Television
James Cusati-Moyer

Finding the Truth With James Cusati-Moyer

As one of the few sympathetic characters on Netflix's true-life scammer hit 'Inventing Anna,' the Tony nominee continues to push for the truth behind the facade.

Fashion
Maison Kébé

Couture Technique Meets African Craftsmanship at Maison Kébé

The Senegalese model-turned-designer Cheikh Kébé returns to his homeland to launch his eponymous line as part of the new wave of African talent bringing the continent to the forefront of fashion.

Events
Andel

Andel and Strategies for Sustainable Fashion

Celebrating the launch of the fashion cooperative Andel with a panel discussion and cocktail reception at the New York EDITION.

Live from New York
Caleb Teicher

Live from New York: Caleb Teicher

After spending the shutdown reframing and refocusing their work, the tap and swing dancer returned to the New York stage last fall with a celebration of contemporary swing now headed on a national tour.

Music
Lolo Zouaï

Lolo Zouaï Won't Sing Any Love Songs

The singer-songwriter sets herself apart from a crowded field by taking inspiration from her French-Algerian background in songs that are personal, intimate, and introspective.

Design
Simone Bodmer-Turner

Simone Bodmer-Turner and Emma Kohlmann's Beautiful Friendship

In their sold-out collaboration with proceeds going to South Bronx Mutual Aid, the longtime friends combine painting and ceramics to find community in an age of solidarity.

Beauty
Air Eau de Parfum

A Scent of Air

Air Company expands its offerings with a new fragrance inspired by air, water, and sun that utilizes its patented carbon-capture technology.

Music
Hana Vu

Hana Vu Knows You're Feeling Lonely

The Los Angeles-based musician balances her pop and rock tendencies on a debut album suffused with a sense of isolation and emotional angst.

Generation Next
Reverend James Woodall

Generation Next: Reverend James Woodall

In his new role at the Southern Center for Human Rights, the former youngest-ever State President in the history of the NAACP continues his fight for racial equity and reform of the criminal legal system.

Live from New York
Julius Rodriguez

Live from New York: Julius Rodriguez

After over a year away from the stage, the jazz pianist and drummer returned with a flurry of shows last fall and sets off on a North American tour tomorrow night.

Film
Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. Is Acting for Himself

With several roles as historical figures, including B.B. King and Jean-Michel Basquiat, on the horizon, the actor continues his quest to entertain and educate himself with every role in the upcoming musical version of 'Cyrano.'

Live from New York
Terence Blanchard

Live from New York: Terence Blanchard

As the first Black composer in the Metropolitan Opera's 138-year history, the six-time Grammy winner is expanding the art form with stories that reflect an underrepresented community.

Photography
"Haut," Shanelle Nyasiase, Vogue Ukraine, July 2019

The Enchanting World of Nadine Ijewere

In her first monograph, the British photographer celebrates her Nigerian and Jamaican heritage and continues to put marginalized perspectives on fashion's center stage.

Live from New York
Teresa Reichlen

Live From New York: Teresa Reichlen

After returning to the stage mere months after giving birth during the pandemic, the longtime City Ballet principal dancer prepares for her farewell season.

Generation Next
Benjamaporn Ploy Nivas

Generation Next: Benjamaporn "Ploy" Nivas

After staging a solo protest against Thailand's strict educational system outside a Bangkok Skytrain station in May 2020, the high-schooler and co-founder of the "Bad Student" movement is working to reform her nation's entire political structure.

Generation Next
Thandiwe Abdullah

Generation Next: Thandiwe Abdullah

The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles Youth Vanguard continues to use their platform to uplift younger voices in support of both racial justice and gun control.

Photography
SXWRKER Erika Long

Erika Long Shows Another Side of Sex Work

In her ongoing SXWRKER project, the photographer and documentarian invites sex workers into her studio to collaborate on their own images.

Food and Drink
Pith Home Goods

Pith Home Goods Bring People Together

When the pandemic forced their supper club into hiatus last year, Jonah and Sarah Reider shifted their attention to Pith Home Goods, a line of elevated sauces, vinegars, confitures, and other ingredients meant to inspire social connection.

Live from New York
Matt Doyle

Live from New York: Matt Doyle

In a new gender-swapped revival of Stephen Sondheim's 'Company,' the Broadway veteran pushes representation forward and steps into an iconic role as half of a gay couple overcome by panic on their wedding day.

Live from New York
Adam Chanler-Berat

Live from New York: Adam Chanler-Berat

After spending last year filming HBO Max's 'Gossip Girl' reboot, the actor is finally back onstage in a downtown revival of Stephen Sondheim's 'Assassins,' helping to illuminate the pulse of violence that courses through American politics.

Fashion
Gui Rosa

The New School

In a time of immense upheaval in the fashion industry, the latest graduates from London's celebrated Central Saint Martins prove that the spirit of creativity lives on.

Television
Himesh Patel

Finding Hope for Humanity with Himesh Patel

In 'Station Eleven' and 'Don't Look Up,' the English actor faces, respectively, an apocalyptic pandemic and a comet aimed directly at Earth, and finds in both a call to action for communal solutions to our greatest crises.

Film
Flee

Drawing the Past Into the Present

Jonas Poher Rasmussen's acclaimed new animated documentary 'Flee' illuminates the inner life of Amir, who struggled to come to terms with his identity as both an Afghan refugee and a gay man.

Generation Next
Zulaikha Patel

Generation Next: Zulaikha Patel

After leading a nationwide movement against school rules prohibiting natural hair and African dialects at thirteen, the self-described "Black radical feminist" continues to lead the movement for abolition in South Africa.

Travel
Reykjavik Edition

The Edition Comes to the Land of Fire and Ice

The new Reykjavik Edition celebrates Iceland with a fresh approach to hospitality, offering an innovative hotspot for the city's nightlife and culture scene.

Television
Nick Robinson

Nick Robinson Wants to Know More

As the abusive ex-boyfriend in Netflix's acclaimed miniseries 'Maid,' the Seattle native shines a light on the impossible situation faced by America's working class.

Live from New York
Chun Wai Chan

Live from New York: Chun Wai Chan

After nearly a decade at Houston Ballet—and an unexpected yearlong hiatus in Hong Kong—the Chinese dancer joins New York City Ballet ready for a new set of challenges.

Sports
Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix Takes on the World

After becoming the most-decorated female and the most-decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history in Tokyo, the sprinter is ready to focus her attention on fighting maternal mortality and uplifting female athletes through her new sports empire Saysh.

Fashion
Commission menswear

The Commission Designers Are Turning Into Their Fathers

As the trio behind the rising New York brand expand into menswear, they are finding inspiration in their own families to question Asian stereotypes and highlight an underrepresented continent.

Fashion
Cero Magazine tote bags

Our First Collaboration Makes Use of Daniel W. Fletcher's Leftover Fabric

Our new oversized checkerboard tote bags are the next step in the English designer's focus on reducing waste.

Generation Next
Tatiana Washington

Generation Next: Tatiana Washington

The Milwaukee native was inspired by her aunt's murder and the epidemic of school shootings to join March for Our Lives and 50 Miles More to lead the fight for gun control in the United States.

Generation Next
Anthony Tamez-Pochel

Generation Next: Anthony Tamez-Pochel

The co-president of the Chi-Nations Youth Council is making space for Native voices and reframing the conversation around his culture.

Live from New York
Jamar Roberts

Live from New York: Jamar Roberts

As he completes his move from performer to creator, Alvin Ailey's first-ever resident choreographer is breaking new ground for dance in both the virtual and real worlds.

Film
Nicholas Galitzine

Nicholas Galitzine Is Redefining Masculinity on the Screen

In roles as diverse as a fairytale prince, a closeted high school rugby player, and, next, a conservative Marine, the British actor is focused on shifting gender roles and expectations.

Photography
Nana Yaw Oduro

If we play like this, we stand a chance. (to good memories)

From the shores of Accra, photographer Nana Yaw Oduro shares a dreamy meditation on relishing the present.

Food and Drink
community fridges

How the Community Feeds Itself

With record food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic, local mutual aid groups have turned to community-based solutions to feed their hungry neighbors.

Photography
Maisie Cousins

Under the Fridge

Photographer Maisie Cousins shares an examination of colorful, moldy treasures.

Generation Next
Sara Mardini

Generation Next: Sara Mardini

After coming to international attention for saving the lives of eighteen fellow refugees by swimming their sinking boat to shore alongside her sister, the Syrian activist faces up to twenty-five years in prison for her humanitarian work in Greece in a trial beginning next week.

Live from New York
Aaron Tveit

Live from New York: Aaron Tveit

The same September weekend he took home his long-overdue first Tony Award, the star of 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' resumed performances with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Music
Alfie Templeman

Alfie Templeman Is More Than Pop's Next Big Thing

With a new mini-album and a North American tour starting next week, the eighteen-year-old boy from Bedford is on the verge of a new kind of stardom.

Live from New York
Keenan Scott II

Live from New York: Keenan Scott II

The playwright of 'Thoughts of a Colored Man' looks to Broadway's rebirth with hope for change, understanding, and empathy.

Live from New York
Jeanna de Waal

Live from New York: Jeanna de Waal

After spending the pandemic shutdown focusing on her musical theater camp Broadway Weekends at Home, the star of 'Diana, the Musical' is finally back on stage.

Fashion
Celine store London

Celine Brings Its Art Project to London

At its new Mayfair store, the fashion house puts part of its impressive art collection on display, including a number of commissions from artists like the Russian sculptor Nika Neelova.

Generation Next
Covid-19 vaccinations

The Covid-19 Resistance

As the Philippines struggles with Covid cases and a delayed vaccine rollout, a group of activists and organizers is fighting disinformation, inequity, and government repression.

Art
Anthony Cudahy

Anthony Cudahy Won't Censor Himself Anymore

In his first solo exhibition at Hales Gallery, the artist offered a compellingly personal creative vision inspired by queer iconography.

Fashion
Alva Claire

Alva

Photographer Nagi Sakai and our fashion director Melissa Levy capture Alva Claire in the most beloved vintage pieces from the closets of some of our closest friends.

Literature
Alexandra Kleeman

Alexandra Kleeman's Future Is Here Today

In her "pre-apocalyptic" new novel, the author explores a Los Angeles ravaged by wildfires, drought, and economic inequity that is closer to reality than she had planned.

Live from New York
Arturo Luís Soria

Live from New York: Arturo Luís Soria

The playwright and star of 'Ni Mi Madre' was a pioneer this season in one of the first Off Broadway shows to return to regular in-person performances.

Live from New York
Calvin Royal III

Live from New York: Calvin Royal III

As only the second Black male principal in American Ballet Theatre's long history, the dancer is working to make the ballet world a more inclusive place.

Live from New York
Karen Slack

Live from New York

After eighteen months of darkness, our Fall issue celebrates the return of live performance to New York in all its glorious variety.

Generation Next
Elana Sulakshana

Generation Next: Elana Sulakshana

After working on the successful campaign to divest Columbia University from fossil fuels, the young activist is now focused on effecting large-scale changes in the insurance and finance industries in response to the climate crisis.

Art
Calida Rawles

The Paintings of Calida Rawles Offer a Space for Healing and Self-Reflection

In her début New York solo exhibition, the artist responds to considerations of life and death for marginalized bodies in her photo-realist paintings of faceless Black men submerged in luminous water.

Photography
Janette Beckman

Janette Beckman's Latest Monograph Captures Four Decades of Culture

In her most comprehensive book yet, the lifelong photographer revisits London's punk scene, the birth of hip hop in New York, and last year's movement for racial justice.

Food and Drink
Flynn McGarry

Food and Flowers

Our food and drink editor Flynn McGarry infuses floral displays with supplies from his kitchen.

Photography
Anthony Cotsifas

Postura e forma

In an original commission for our inaugural issue, Anthony Cotsifas and Haidee Findlay-Levin offer a contemporary vision of the centuries-old genre of the female nude.

Live from New York
Adrienne Warren

Live from New York: Adrienne Warren

As she prepares to return to her star-making run as Tina Turner with Broadway reopening, the Tony nominee looks ahead to her next role as Mamie Till-Mobley, activist and mother of Emmett Till, and her ongoing work for equity and inclusion with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition.

Fashion
Jai Odell

Vic

Photographer Jai Odell and stylist Andrej Skok welcome in an exuberant and energetic new season with a fashion feature starring Vic Ishimwe.

Beauty
Dior Spa

The Dior Spa Opens in Paris

At the brand-new Cheval Blanc Paris in the Marais, the storied house opens a new retreat focused on the luxury of process and care.

Photography
Sarai Mari Sept. 2020 NYC

Sarai Mari Celebrates New York Rising

In her latest monograph 'Sept. 2020 NYC,' the photographer captures the energy and excitement of a single month in the city at the tail end of a summertime lull in Covid-19 cases.

Art
Lea Colombo

Seeing Lea Colombo's Work in a New Light

In her début two-part exhibition in Cape Town and Los Angeles, the photographer and artist reimagines self-portraiture with prints, sculptures, and installations that showcase her vivid sense of spirituality.

Fashion
Supriya Lele

Recent History and Ancient Heritage with Supriya Lele

In her buzzy, vibrant collections, the Anglo-Indian designer explores and revisits her family's legacy along with the iconic style of the Nineties and the early Noughties.

Generation Next
Ruby Wharton

Generation Next: Ruby Wharton

The young Gamilaraay Kooma student and activist with Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance is dedicating herself to the causes of decolonization, abolition, and equal rights for the First Nations community in Australia.

Technology
Whim by Pelle

Pelle's Soft Touch

A new line of handcrafted silicone toys launches with a pair of alluringly curved designs.

Events
Cero Magazine Launch Party

Celebrating the Launch of Cero Magazine at PUBLIC

Drinks and dancing helped us kick off our very first party during one of New York City's busiest weeks in years.

LVMH Prize 2021
Bianca Saunders

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Bianca Saunders

In just a few short years, the London-based menswear designer has established herself on the strength of her inventively "classic" designs and the larger artistic vision she presents.

Literature
Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor Turns His "Science Brain" to Short Stories

After the success of his début novel 'Real Life,' the former biochemistry doctoral student returns with an electrifying collection of short stories about the bewildering experience of living life surrounded by others in 'Filthy Animals.'

Music
Holly Humberstone

Holly Humberstone Wants to Connect

After over eighteen months spent building up her career through the course of the pandemic, the young English singer-songwriter is ready to finally meet her fans in real life on her first American tour this fall.

LVMH Prize 2021
Conner Ives

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Conner Ives

With a graduation collection from Central Saint Martins called "The American Dream," the young designer explores the archetypes his homeland offers from across the ocean.

Fashion
Dion Lee

Dion Lee at 11 Mercer

After five years in New York, the Australian designer is preparing to set up shop in Soho with a store and events space that will bring together his creative community.

LVMH Prize 2021
Nensi Dojaka

Nensi Dojaka Is the Winner of the 2021 LVMH Prize

Taking inspiration from the Nineties fashion she saw on television while growing up in Albania, the London-based designer is preparing for her first solo show with her trademark assertive, artfully feminine designs.

LVMH Prize 2021
Rui

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Rui

The Chinese designer leads a celebration of the human body through a combination of carefully placed cutouts and architectural, elastic knitwear.

LVMH Prize 2021
Charles de Vilmorin

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Charles de Vilmorin

With his namesake couture line and his new role as creative director of Rochas, the young French designer is shaping his own answer to the industrywide question of fashion's future.

LVMH Prize 2021
KidSuper

The 2021 LVMH Prize: KidSuper

Colorful, vibrant, and confident clothing designs are just one aspect of the creative collective Colm Dillane is building with his collaborators and partners in Brooklyn.

Photography
Kirsten Owen

Sylvan

Model-turned-photographer Guinevere van Seenus visits her longtime friend Kirsten Owen at her home in rural Vermont to capture a lyrical essay on womanhood.

LVMH Prize 2021
Christopher John Rogers

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Christopher John Rogers

The New York designer is building a world of his own with his inclusive vision of "pragmatic glamour" with vivid rainbow palettes and floor-sweeping, doorway-blocking gowns.

LVMH Prize 2021
Lukhanyo Mdingi

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Lukhanyo Mdingi

The South African designer mourns and celebrates his late friend with a collection that redefines luxury in terms of craftsmanship and human connections.

Generation Next
Jordan Reeves

Generation Next: Jordan Reeves

Born with a limb difference, the fifteen-year-old founder of Born Just Right is reframing the conversation around disability with her infectious positivity and sparkling sense of joy.

LVMH Prize 2021
Kika Vargas

The 2021 LVMH Prize: Kika Vargas

Taking inspiration from her lifelong loves of art and fashion, the Colombian designer is pulling the spotlight to her own continent and community as the first Latinx finalist for the LVMH Prize.

Sports
Race Imboden Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Loneliest Olympiad in History

In an exclusive essay and photo diary, two-time medalist and our sports editor Race Imboden reflects on an Olympic experience unlike any other.

Film
Hailey Kilgore

Hailey Kilgore Breaks Through On Screen

As she makes her film début as Carolyn Franklin, sister to Aretha, in 'Respect,' the Tony-nominated actress is eager to find her next role to throw herself into.

Design
Minjae Kim

Minjae Kim Took a Winding Path to His Art

On the occasion of his début solo gallery show, the designer and artist reflects on his journey as a multi-disciplinary creator.

Fashion
Stella McCartney sunglasses

Stella McCartney's Brighter Future

The environmentally-focused British designer finds new innovations to reduce plastic in her latest eyewear collection.

Film
Julia Fox

Julia Fox Does It All

The breakout star of 'Uncut Gems' returns to the screen in Steven Soderbergh's new heist film, but acting is just one of her many creative endeavors.

Fashion
Daniel W. Fletcher Margate

Daniel W. Fletcher's Seaside Pop-Up

The London-based designer celebrates community close to home with a summertime shop in Margate on the English coast.

Music
Tinashe

Tinashe Makes Her Own Way

With her new album '333,' the musician continues her independent streak, offering a collection of summer-ready songs on her own terms.

Generation Next
Maureen Muketha

Generation Next: Maureen Muketha

The founder of Tule Vyema is using her studies in nutrition and dietetics to offer women and families in her native Kenya a solution to malnutrition.

Generation Next
Zuzanna Karcz

Generation Next: Zuzanna Karcz

A longtime leader of student government and active participant in her country's recent women's movement, the eighteen-year-old is a prime example of Poland's new liberal youth.

Design
Heven

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Guinevere van Seenus by Hanna Tveite and Melissa Levy

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Calida Rawles

Calida Rawles, The Lightness of Darkness, 2021

The works that Calida Rawles debuted at Lehmann Maupin in September—in her first New York solo exhibition and first presentation since Covid-19 swept through the art world—could perhaps be described as "pandemic paintings." The sizeable canvases, which face each other in conversational exactitude, submerge the viewer in the refracted aquamarine surface of the water in which her subjects float. Atemporal and semi-abstract, Rawles's paintings don't rely on depictions of death, isolation, and the mundane, as one might suspect from a body of work created almost exclusively during quarantine. On the contrary, they are sharp, placid, and contemplative, drawing us in and asking to be reflected upon.

Like many artists, Rawles was forced to grapple with the expediency of life and death in the wake of the pandemic. While her imagery and delivery are specific to her skilled photo-realist technique and personal interest in bodies of water, she was impacted by the same unprecedented thematic and æsthetic challenges faced by many artists. Although she admits her practice is primarily solitary and she was thus able to continue working, Rawles was aware of how the pandemic and last year's climactic racial unrest affected the people closest to her. "Since I paint mostly by myself in a room, I'm always isolated for hours, so it probably wasn't as hard for me as a transition because I'm alone a lot," she reveals, "but I understand how difficult it was for my family and my children. On top of that, what was going on politically and socially out in the world, I had a lot of mixed feelings with it. I was happy that [police brutality] was being acknowledged on a larger scale in our society since it is an issue that we've been talking about forever, [but] sad that it is happening, sad that it is continuing to happen."

As a Black woman raising Black children in the United States, Rawles's identity is inextricably tied up in her practice. She has never shied away from discussing racism, sexism, and the multitude of disparities and dangers that arise from simply existing in public spaces as a person living in a marginalized body or identity. Most Americans only gained awareness in the last year about some of the issues that have long plagued Black communities, such as medical racism, police violence, and income inequality, as lockdowns forced them to sit down and pay attention. "Since the inception of the United States, it has been difficult for us to find a resolution to issues of race," Rawles says. "It's hard to get on the same page about how we all see identity. It seems so big, but on the scale of all of humanity, it's only one thing." Marginalized and intersecting identities, generational trauma, collective memory, (popular) culture, and their interconnectedness are central to Rawles's framework. "I would love to address race, identity, gender politics [in my work] because these are the topics that run around my head," she says.

Though the Los Angeles-based painter is certainly not alone in this sentiment, she foregrounds the personal in her work by making those most affected by these issues her subjects. They are her family, friends, and community, but they also include nameless (and more recently faceless) representations onto which viewers can and will project their own understandings and sensibilities. However, to see her subjects as solely political offers an equally tenuous perspective. Just as the pandemic forced many to reconsider the ways in which race, gender, and countless markers of identity influenced their empathic tendencies, Rawles's suspended figures urge us to contemplate our automatic judgments and responses to the Black body. Through her use of water, she finds a personal balance between poetic symbolism and revealing truth. The challenging motif began to dominate her work after she started swimming for exercise. "When you come out of the water, you feel so much better," she says. "Maybe it's the breathing aspect of it? It's like a meditation in a way. By the end, I just felt so zen. I wondered if I could use water as a metaphor to discuss very difficult issues and they won't seem so heavy."

Rawles submerges her subjects in tenderness, allowing them to experience the same healing capacities swimming offers her. Inevitably, she confides, some of her subjects and viewers don’t have the same relationship to water, as the lack of access to public swimming pools and natural bodies of water and the sordid history of the Middle Passage have led to generational trauma that still haunts Black communities today. "I want to capture a range of different motions, not just strokes," Rawles says, "but many times my subjects will come and tell me they can swim, and they are not as comfortable [in the water] as I thought they would be. So there is a time where I am working to get them comfortable in the water before we can even begin." Still, the artist has always made an effort to depict her subjects as serene, never fearful or panicked.

Calida Rawles, 'On the Other Side of Everything,' 2021

Some will recognize this imagery from the cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates's début novel, The Water Dancer. The book, whose main character is an enslaved youth named Hyram, confronts the brutal history of the American South through the lens of magical realism. Hyram, who is saved from drowning by a mystical force of light, is rendered floating in the crystalline surface of the water, his head ambiguously submerged. As in Rawles's most recent paintings, he could be in danger of drowning or just serenely adrift. The artist leaves that decision up to us, as the conversation evoked between painter, subject, and viewer is central to the dialogue she desires to cultivate—one that is essential to continue as many Americans move on and risk leaving the lessons learned over the last year and a half in the past. 

The five large-scale works presented in "On the Other Side of Everything" at Lehmann Maupin are a departure from Rawles's previous pieces, in which she painted her vision of femininity and fluidity inspired by her maturing daughter and the challenges she faces as a young Black woman. "Most of the figures aren't in a swimming position. They almost look like they are dancing," the artist explains about her earlier paintings. "They just happen to be in water." But her new works are evidence of perhaps the most abstract manipulation of Rawles's skillful, hyper-realist brush, magnified by a shift in subject. Over the last year, the Black masculine figure has become the focus of her work, perhaps subconsciously linked to the frequent circulation of video footage of police killings.

Meditating on Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, Rawles contemplated an all-too-familiar question: "Are Black men invisible or are they hyper-visible?" She found the answer in a quote from the novel, which haunted her throughout the making of this exhibition: "I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me." In Rawles's new works, the pointed gaze shared by her earlier subjects has been abandoned for a heightened viscerality that reflects the viewers' gaze back onto themselves, exposing the illusion of Ellison’s trick mirror. In place of an easy way to conceptualize and process grief, social isolation, civil unrest, insurrection, and racial reckoning, Rawles takes these "quick moments" she captures in the worlds of her subjects and transforms them into echo chambers of self-reflection and metaphorical mirrors of our subjective realities.

Painting with reference photos taken underwater, Rawles positions herself on the other side of her subjects' lines of sight. "I'm thinking more about the viewer than the subjects themselves," she explains. "We're always on the other side of anyone's experience and what they see. A lot of the subjects in my paintings now are looking out of the water at something I can't see. I don't know what they're seeing, what they are experiencing. I can only see a small piece of them and a reflection that distorts the image that I can see. There is a limited view, and then we make a perception." For Black men, this view can become deadly. With these works, Rawles creates an opportunity to reflect on how our perceptions of those around us are always incomplete and structured through a distorted lens.

"On the Other Side of Everything" is on view through Saturday at Lehmann Maupin, New York.

Calida Rawles, 'Dark Matter,' 2021
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