Youth culture today is at a turning point. Today’s young adults are in a space that was previously completely unexplored. Nowadays everyone is a brand. Youth culture appears to have homogenized, and rather than having distinct movements that different types of youth follow, it seems that these days we all work to a common goal. Many things inspire this change. Mainly, it appears, music and fashion.
Chris is a 19 year old model from Kent. He is passionate, articulate and above all interested. He’s interested in youth, music and fashion, and most importantly how all of these things collide. Growing up surrounded by people different from him has meant the boy has an unique perspective on what it means to be individual. He understands people, and he understands branding.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 19, I’m from Orpington and I’ve been modelling for about two months now. I got scouted for a Trill x Harvey Nichols show by Eddie Martins, and then I got picked up by IMG Models later on that year. I’ve done some great shoots with kickers and stuff, but before that I just did a lot of sports like Football and boxing
Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.
Is football your passion?
No, boxing is something I'd say I'm most passionate about sports wise. I’ve done a bit of football, but back when I was at school I went to something called boxing 4 schools run by some of the guys from Frank Bruno Boxing Academy. It's co-run by a guy called Wayne who was previously a boxer, and he was going round teaching loads of kids. I was hyper at school, and I could never keep quiet so I used to always get into trouble. I never was the bad kid, well I was, but I was never rude to teachers or anything, it was always just talking to my friends. We had too many jokes in my class room. Me and my friends would always sit next to each other and they’d always have to move us to get us to do anything
And then you started boxing?
Boxing is so good for discipline, you have to put in so much time and effort. You can see people boxing, but once you get into the ring and people are throwing punches at you there’s nothing like it. I love boxing. I go about three times a week and work with this guy called Nicky, so I’m always doing that.
Have you made a lot of friends through boxing?
I’ve made more friends through football if I’m honest. At IMG Models we have the brit boys and they’re all really cool. A lot of the time though the industry can be tough.
What else are you passionate about other than boxing?
Fashion. Me and my friend, he’s into clothing and he wants to make his own brand. I love reading like i-D Magazine and seeing how culture has changed. They say that youth look back to move forward, and it’s crazy how fashion changes so quick. It really interests me, punk rock to email and all black, that changes and the youth culture changes the way all of these things manifest themselves. I love watching documentaries on it. I was in their A-Z video, it was really fun. I’m very interested in clothes. I was up until 3 last night just watching things, seeing different things and intergrating them into my own style. I like being myself, but taking influences from elsewhere.
You like learning?
Yeah I like learning. I feel like everybody is trying to be different. I think it’s a good thing, because before everyone wanted to be like everybody else. It’s cool, I like it. The whole scene is really changing. It’s interesting because we used to have such subcultures, with emo and dark themes, but now everyone wears that. Rock and punk rock is mainstream, Kurt Cobain. When I look back at what they used to wear I think it’s brilliant. Kanye West is such an influence too, he’s so passionate and that’s why I love him. He wants to change the world, and says that he wants to be the first person to make a trillion dollar company and I think he’ll do it. He says stuff and people think he’s crazy, but actually I kind of believe.
That’s true. A lot of the time these days people take the piss if someone is really passionate.
Yeah, but I think it’s a really good thing to have. He wants to change youth and culture and to make it better. I appreciate that, it isn’t selfish.
Is that something you’d like to do?
Yeah, everyone wants to make a change. They all want to be that guy. Like my friend wants to make something that has an impact. He wants his brand to be high fashion and street like Raf Simons and affordable like Stan Smiths. Suitable for anybody to wear them. Watching him grow with his ideas has inspired me alot.
Did you think how you grew up affect what you are passionate about now?
Yeah, where I grew up there were a lot of different types people from different backgrounds and I learnt a lot about people and different cultures. The world is full of different people, I don’t like it when people segregate each other. I think we should all just muck in.
How do you feel about instagram?
It’s so good. Everyone in the world of modeling asks for your Instagram as soon as you meet. I was somewhere the other day where they were offering £200 of River Island vouchers to people with a lot of instagram followers. Sometimes agents make you change your Instagram, because it’s so important. I like that though, because it’s an excuse to share what you do, and you’re a brand. You’ve got to show off what you do. I love Instagram. The first thing I do when I wake up is go on Instagram. You can do what you want on it too, your Instagram is your Instagram, so you can design it however you want. It’s so creative. Tumblr is almost the same.
Words by India Opie Meres.