Behind the Filters

6 March 2019

Words and Interview MATTHEW REGAN

Brian Whittaker at IMG Models. You may recognise him from that virtual-world of possibility, commonly known as the internet. At 17-years-old, he represents a cohort of influencers turning content into a business. Selfies are gold-dust within this paradigm; one where a name can travel like wild-fire, sticking to the minds of followers across the world. Photographed by Jade Danielle Smith, soft-shades merge with the natural background behind; in homage to pre-internet times, where none of Brian’s success would be possible. During the shoot, a crowd of ecstatic teenage girls appeared from seemingly nowhere. Imagine Beatlemania without the music – instead, Brian is the star of a perfectly-lit and curated Instagram feed.

Placed into the limelight, without a guide-book; he stands on a line defined by intuition. Despite the perceived falsity of the digital, and everything it entails – Brian is surprisingly humble, kind and fixated on the idea of authenticity. “Embracing yourself and accepting yourself, you know, just being yourself online. If you can fully be comfortable with yourself and feel like you don’t have anything to hide, you can post away or whatever, I feel like that’s a lot better because I used to have to think about certain angles or if I had a spot I would remove it using apps - now I don’t care about those things.”

Stylist Lewis Evans-Martin combines elements of workwear, in minimalist tones and dusted chinos. The noted retro-cool of Autumn/Winter ‘17 menswear filters into a 60s polo-neck and gym socks with Americana striping. It’s the poster-boy of a generation wired to technology; paired-back, nostalgic and carefree. After all, behind the personas and mirages – he’s still a young man, growing into invisible shoes. “My end goal is always to give people some perspective and maybe if they’re either people who are insecure or on the flip-side, people who don’t treat people very nicely, I just want to give out a positive vibe. Just be nice.”

For more words of wisdom, check out Brian’s full interview and feature in Issue 13, 'Tales of a new Generation, which is available to buy in shops now.


Above left: Top by BEN SHERMAN
Above right: Top by CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN, Trousers by SCOTCH & SODA, Shoes by CLARKS ORIGINAL


Above left: Jumper by SCOTCH & SODA, Trousers by CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN, Shoes by CLARKS ORIGINAL
Above right: As above


Above left: Top by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON, Jacket by SCOTCH & SODA, Trousers by BEN SHERMAN, Shoes by CLARKS ORIGINAL

Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View “My mind works so much better in nature. It flows better. When I was young, I used to write poetry... View Young actor @jackdgrazer has two major movies this year; comedic superhero flick Shazam!, which is in cinemas 5th April, and... View Supported by a backdrop of Pipe and Brick, the performers take a final bow. . . Photography by @messinaphotos Fashion... View Micromovements give the game away; fake smiles don’t reach the eyes. Reading faces to calculate an oppositional move, the villain... View Casting shadows across the stage, shapes and silhouettes rise and fall. . . Photography by @messinaphotos Fashion by @rcolestevens Model... View Act II begins with a midday hush. The show goes on to hit the hero’s redemption and save the day... View Stylist Cole Stevens dresses Azure to steal the show on the streets. The sunny city serves as the audience to... View Curtains close on Act I and the actors exit stage left. Backstage the chaos rules as loud as a Monday... View Masked by costumes, the spotlight highlights our truths. . . Photography by @messinaphotos Fashion by @rcolestevens Model @azu_figgy at @heffnermanagement... View Observing movements from between a smile and a frown. If the brick could whisper and the tarmac could murmur, what... View This week’s exclusive Instagram editorial is ‘Pipe & Brick’ featuring model Azure Figueroa at Heffner Management. Photographer Allegra Messina shoots... View View “...we are all equal in the end. View You may recognise @harryhains from 'American Horror Story: Hotel' as well as upcoming roles in the action feature ‘Chase' and... View It is a rare and beautiful thing to live in alignment with your true purpose. Minutes into conversation with musician... View @harryhains / @theantiboy on gender: View @harryhains has a unique awareness of what it means to be human - which is just that: human. Not a... View Coated in a fine layer of sand, tired legs rest. Remnants of sand still stuck to swim shorts that are... View Salty skin and hair begin to dry. Gooseflesh prickling on the skin with faint breezes drawn with every wave greeting... View The smell of wax mixed with sea salt and burning wood from beach fires are caught in the wind. Paddling...