‘Boy’ is not a definition. ‘Boy’ doesn’t have one single identity. ‘Boy’ is one thing in this moment, and something different in the next. Fluid like the river, ever-changing like the wind, ‘boy’ is whatever a ‘boy’ wants to be. Uncage the colours. Turn it back to front. And take away the sides that hold it in place. In this issue 12 feature, Oliver Hayes at Milk Model Management lifts our thoughts into open space to take us on a journey where nobody tells you who you are. We’re talking school, art and masculinity, and we’re smashing every square box we see along the way.
Oliver welcomes photographer Sophie Mayanne into his home, to capture a boy who’s happy in his own skin. She crops his body as he stares down the lens, bringing him closer to the viewer and announcing his presence with force. Natural light bounces from his pale green eyes, as red locks fall on his face with an air of self-confessed androgyny. He’s being himself, he’s being who he wants to be. That’s what he has always done.
Styling by Rachel Caulfield tears down gender defined tailoring and prints that construct the norms we’re so used to. The SS17 print editorial see Oliver in head to toe Vivienne Westwood, in Etro, and in Gucci, with ankles that flare, and jumpers that fall with fluidity, not definition. We’re transported somewhere new. Somewhere different. Somewhere free. We can run in this space. So let’s run. Head-first through the walls that hold us in, and turn them into rubble.
Find Oliver's full feature, beyond these brief teasers below, in Boys By Girls Spring Summer issue 'Young Hearts', which is available to buy in selected stores and online now.