Young, Gifted & Black
By Brett McKenzie Posted on Feb 22, 2019
Eight superstars from the Young Guns and Next Creative Leaders communities
Here at The One Club For Creativity, one of our core pillars is promoting Inclusion and Diversity within the advertising, design and other creative disciplines. And while we could always do better when it comes to nurturing, championing and celebrating black creatives in our industry, we'd be doing ourselves an additional disservice if we didn't acknowledge the ones who have stood in our spotlight in recent years.
As we head into the final weekend of Black History Month, we're tipping our collective hats to eight phenomenal creatives whose talents have earned themselves praise as winners of our Young Guns and Next Creative Leaders programs.
1. A.V. ROCKWELL
Open City : The Dreamer
2018 Young Guns: YG16
YOUNG GUNS 16 WINNER
A.V. Rockwell was born and raised in Queens, New York. Hailed as a “rising indie filmmaker” by Entertainment Weekly, her work is celebrated for its brutal yet poetically humanized depictions of urban life. Her distinct voice dominates her work slyly addressing issues of race, family, identity and systematic oppression. Shortly after she directed "The Gospel", a music-driven short film commissioned by Alicia Keys, A.V.’s work gained traction leading to several accolades including the Guggenheim Fellowship for the Arts and a Sundance Institute Feature Film Fellowship.
She was the grand-prize winner of the Tribeca Film Institute and CHANEL’s Through Her Lens grant, for her film "Feathers" that made its Worldwide Premiere at this year’s 43rd Toronto Film Festival. Feathers was recently acquired by Fox Searchlight — a largely unprecedented move for a studio to venture into the shorts world — the film will now share the same house as Oscar winners "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri", "The Shape of Water" and "12 Years a Slave", just to name a few.
2. HASSAN RAHIM
Loma Vista Records
2016 Young Guns: YG14
YOUNG GUNS 14 WINNER
Hassan Rahim is an art director, artist, and designer originally from California now working out of New York. His aesthetic deals in stark, esoteric imagery; it doesn't recoil from darkness. His direction and design have appeared on and ranged from magazines, gallery walls, record sleeves, concert stages, hats, street corners, and of course online.
Often as distinctive and boundary-troubling as he himself is, his work embodies far-flung but carefully steeped influences arranged into thrilling new harmonies. His willingness to forge new aesthetics rooted in but not tied to his own perspective has won Rahim venerable status as a thought leader, specifically among young black artists interested in nuance and subculture. As an autodidact, Rahim's work is all the more emboldening. His example is part and parcel of a movement which is affecting music, art, fashion, and culture in profound ways.
Rahim has had the honor of working with esteemed clients such as VSCO, Sony Music, Suited Magazine, Urban Outfitters, Marilyn Manson, Willo Perron, Alldayeveryday, Nowness, Commonwealth Projects and more.
In 2016 Rahim founded 12:01, a full-service independent creative studio; the name of which is a wry tribute to his tireless commitment both to aesthetics and the demands of his vocation.
3. NEDAL AHMED
BBDO / New York + The Corner Shop / New York
2018 Moving Image Craft: Craft - Writing / Single
NEXT CREATIVE LEADERS 2018 WINNER
A senior copywriter with Droga5, Nedal Ahmed was born in Libya to Sudanese parents and lived in Egypt and Yemen before emigrating to the United States at age 11. She has worked on Emmy-winning “The Talk,” a Procter & Gamble ad addressing racism; “Mama Said Knock You Out,” a spot from Chase featuring Serena Williams; and #OneGoodReason, an anti-smoking campaign for CVS praised by Michelle Obama.
"I believe the stories we can tell are only as diverse as the voices we have to tell them. In my own work, I try to use any chance I have to work on projects that can go beyond marketing and make a positive contribution towards our society. Sometimes it's as big as a campaign that gets millions talking and sometimes it's as small as a casting choice. There are so many decisions we make along the creative process that are an opportunity to help reframe the way people see the world and fellow people."
4 & 5. JALAN + JIBRIL DURIMEL
Kenzo Spring summer 2017 campaign / "Music is My Mistress"
Jalan and Jibril Durimel
2017 Young Guns: YG15 / YG15
YOUNG GUNS 15 WINNERS
Born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe, Jalan and Jibril Durimel moved to Miami when they were four years old, where they first immersed themselves in American culture. At 12 years old, they moved to the Caribbean island of St.Maarten, where they were separated from their mother.. Although St. Maarten was a culturally shocking environment that was very different to their lives in Miami, it was here where they first became interested in cinema as teenagers. This lead them back to the US to study film in Los Angeles.
Jalan and Jibril's interest in photography and cinema is rooted in a passion for shedding light on life’s unseen, romantic and graceful moments, and in the desire to use their skill to tell the stories of the intersected stories that exist in the world. As they’ve began to travel more frequently, global familiarisation of nations and mind expansion have become leading ideas for them to explore. As these ideas have began to excite them more and more, they've decided to stop taking fashion-focused commissions to prepare a body of their own photo work while also preparing to start an awareness foundation, exploring new ways to help humanity further familiarize itself with experimental mind expansion exercises. Through diversified artistic platforms they hope to facilitate people's knowledge of themselves and healthy foreign traditions.
6. KERBY JEAN-RAYMOND
Pyer Moss SS16 Campaign
2016 Young Guns: YG14
YOUNG GUNS 14 WINNER
Kerby Jean-Raymond was born and raised in New York City. He started his career at age 14, working directly under Kay Unger at Kay Unger New York while still attending the High School of Fashion Industries.
At age 16, he moved on to Marchesa when the fledgling label had been launching their first collection. Since then, he has worked for several houses such as Marc Jacobs, Victoria Keen and Theory.
In 2013, Kerby created Pyer Moss, which is named after his late mother, Vania Moss Pierre. He launched the debut SS14 collection at Milk Studios to great acclaim.
In October of 2013, WWD named Kerby as an emerging designer to watch. In 2014, Kerby was named "the next big thing" by style.com and won the FGI award for Rising Star in the menswear category. Later in 2014, Kerby was hired by Usher to design the wardrobe for all of Usher's live shows including the sold out URX Tour.
In 2015, Kerby was named on the 30 under 30 list on Forbes Magazine and the Ebony Power 100 List. In 2016, Pyer Moss and Kerby Jean-Raymond had been named as a regional finalist in the International Woolmark Prize.
7. NEISHA TWEED-BELL
I DARE YOU
NEXT CREATIVE LEADERS 2015 WINNER
Neisha Tweed-Bell is a compulsive problem solver, unrelenting challenge-seeker and recovering perfectionist, which works out well for her in and out of the office.
By day, she is a Creative Strategist at Facebook, working with global brands and advertising agencies. She is a skilled communicator, creative director, and writer, constantly pushing herself and others to be amazing. This perspective spills over into her passions for mentorship and diversity and inclusion in the advertising and tech industries. With over a decade of experience working on integrated campaigns for multicultural and general market clients, Neisha has received several surprisingly heavy awards for her creativity and community involvement.
Somewhere between work, blogging, speaking engagements, coffee dates with young creatives, and watching SVU reruns, Neisha manages to fit in as much traveling and cheese plates as possible.
8. SIPHIWE “SJ” MYEZA
Chasing the Dragon
Y&R Cape Town
2017 Young Guns: YG15 / YG15
YOUNG GUNS 15 WINNER
We're closing off our list on a bittersweet note, as we highlight South African filmmaker and YG15 winner Siphiwe “SJ” Myeza, who sadly died only a few short weeks ago at the age of 25 while on a shoot in Nigeria.
SJ was from bustling Johannesburg, then moved to the beautiful city of Cape Town. After his studies he joined 7Films as a young director, molding him into the director he was. His work won silver and gold Loeries at the 2016 Loerie Awards, and at the age of 22 he was the youngest winner and ranked 3rd in the country in his debut directing year. He won Gold at Cannes Lions in 2017, and was voted top 200 young professionals in the country by Mail and Guardian.
He was an ambitious, risk-taking individual, who was quick to learn and adapt at problem solving. His style was inspired by real stories with real characters, he believed reality is stranger than fiction.