School hallways distort like mazes, defining the awkward stages of youth. Unsaid etiquettes filter and divide peers into groups; it’s the case of the nerds of the jocks. The kids who are invited and those who aren’t. For our Autumn Winter ’17 issue, ‘Tales of a new Generation’, Jake Leaf at Select Model Management serves as solid evidence of a shift towards a more inclusive, diverse outlook on growing up. While the concept of the popular crowd is suited well to the silver-screen, its reality seems to be dwindling with the rise of Generation Z. Jake is a self-confessed math-addict, perfectly happy with solving equations and striding the catwalk in equal measures.
Captured at home by photographer Sophie Mayanne, in gentle lighting and natural tones, Jake's personal spaces blur into an intimate story of his personality. In the moments that divide him from the outside, whether he’s on the drums in his secluded attic or rock-climbing at his local club – these places serve as cocoons of self-preservation. They are the places his mind is free to wander, to escape the infinite digital stream – “yeah, it’s nice to have screens, but once you take a step back and take a look at what makes you happy - chances are it’s not going to be anything to do with technology".
Across the pages of his 12-page feature, stylist Francesca Prudente plays with crisp Autumnal layering. Elements of the past creep in with nostalgic fits and classic references to teenage dreaming – with workwear cuts and a seventies warmth in polo-neck knits, wide-cut legs, and texture clashes. Referencing a time that Jake seems better suited; choosing real-life interaction and outdoor exploration over the digital. His ethos defines his generation – one that questions the mysterious force of the internet and its impact on not only self-perception, but mental health. "We can never escape the pressures that are put on people on social media. About how you’re supposed to look, how you’re supposed to behave or what you’re supposed to have. Just escaping that and doing what you want is so much more valuable, because you’ll feel so much more comfortable in your own skin.”
To read the full feature and see Jakes’ 12-page editorial, make sure to get a copy of the issue, which is available to buy in stockists and via our website.