creatives ❤ london

Designers, photographers, writers and models come from all over the world to make it in London. Here everyone from Marques’Almeida to Sam Rollinson reveal what it is that they love about city.

by Bojana Kozarevic
13 November 2015, 3:28am

Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans

For some it's the Southbank or the sense of humour, for others it's freedom or their own flat. Some people see it as Disneyland, others as a grimey spot where you're never more than six feet away from a rat. Hit the Hayward Gallery, avoid M&M World, skip the tube, crack a smile. We found out what London's creative make of living in Europe's biggest city. Get inspired right here.

FIND out how London's changing with our series exploring the shifting city.

Photography Daniel Jackson, NY Fashion Director Alastair McKimm. Sam wears jumper Craig Green. Wetsuit Patagonia. 

Sam Rollinson, Model, Doncaster
"There's a particular spot in St James's Park when you walk over the bridge crossing the lake and look west, you can see Disney Land's Magical Kingdom ;)"

Sid Bryan, Sibling Designer, Yorkshire
"In the beginning when I studied at the RCA next to the Albert Hall in Kensington I was always overwhelmed by the grandeur of the architecture but now I live in the East End - it's hands down the most diverse and inspirational place to be."

Cozette McCreery, Sibling Designer, Woldingham
"London is a total cultural melting pot. And even the anxiety and conflict that this might bring shows that there is still passion and life here. Walk or take buses, keep above ground and observe."

Soraya Jansen, Model, Germany
"When I used to live in Lewisham I loved getting the DLR through Canary Wharf - it felt like I was in some sci-fi film with all the tall buildings! It's so multicultural. London's the first city I've lived in where I feel like I actually fit in, and that's why I think it's the most fashion forward city because designers actually use models of all ethnicities, and that is beautiful."

Mathilda Lowther, Model, Lake District
"I will forever love the Southbank, with the Tate Modern, skate park, Globe theatre, Borough Market, Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's. It's historical and contemporary London all in one lovely package by the Thames. I love the sarcastic attitudes, alternative fashion, great theatre and amazing restaurants."

Photography Angelo Pennetta, Styling Victoria Young. Ryan wears hood Ryan Lo. 

Ryan Lo, Designer, China
"I moved to London alone 10 years ago when I was 16 to study foundation at LCF! Initially I wanted to study at CSM like Christopher Kane but I got rejected three times! My favourite spot is the Hayward Gallery; they always have the best exhibition, from Tracey Emin to Carsten Holler. Londoners, we have seen everything in life and nothing can shock us anymore. People have the freedom to do or wear whatever they want."

Harry Carr, Photographer, Oxford
"London could never be accused of mediocre. It's intense! A smile goes a long way? As ready as people in London are to complain or kick off, I've also noticed how ready they are to accept friendliness."

Leonn Ward, Photographer, Ireland
"Growing up in Ireland, London always came across as one of those really exciting places but just across the sea from us. It was just the right distance to get back home and see family but to make a massive difference to my life. The best thing about London? It still manages to surprise me."

Jacob Bird, Model, Essex
"I think London is one of the most interestingly politically fertile cities I've been to. Whether it's governmental policy, or gender, or the refugee crisis, people in London really care, and they won't let this corporate image take over. The London Generation X are something quite unique."

Faustine Steinmetz, Designer, Paris
"I moved here for the late Louise Wilson! I used to intern in Henrik Vibskov with Craig Green and he was always talking about this mysterious teacher who was yelling at the students and made sure they knew how terrible they were. I thought she sounded amazing! I had to do my best to get taught by her. What also influenced me to move here was the nu rave scene. I love Big Ben and Tower bridge because it makes me feel like I am in Peter Pan, and Holland Park, which makes me feel like I am in Mary Poppins!"

Photography Angelo Pennetta, Styling Victoria Young. Claire wears all clothing Claire Barrow.

Claire Barrow, Designer, Stockton-on-Tees
"I had always wanted to move to London. I love the noise and the stress and even the other bits which are not stressful. I've met like the best people imaginable here and had the greatest opportunity's. Every time I go across one of the bridges on the Thames I always say in my head, 'I live in London' (always the same basic line) because we are really lucky you know!"

Cottweiler, Designers, Bristol & Essex
"We both knew we had to be in London to pursue our careers in fashion. A lot of our inspiration comes from music and our social environment and there isn't a better place to experience that."

Marta Jabukowski, Designer, Germany
"I came to London for the first time with school. It was love at first sight. I remember telling my friends on our way back to Germany that this will be the city I'm going to live one day. I met the most amazing friends in London, I love and trust them and they are my little family. People in the fashion industry are amazing and so supportive. I don't think I could be and do what I do anywhere else."

Marc Faiella, Model, New York
"London hooked me because people aren't scared here. They have no fear about failing, they just create. Also the sense of humour here is unmatched. London is filled with people who know how to make fun of themselves and that's the best trait in a person. The NY fashion scene is beyond boring at this point. It's all glorified street wear brands with no real point of view. London doesn't care about press; they care about design and that's what made me move here."

Charlotte Wiggins, Model, Liverpool
"I wouldn't' have been able to pursue modelling if I didn't live here. I love that you can literally do anything. You can never get bored - don't just stay in your area. Explore!"

Photography Alasdair McLellan. Styling Olivier Rizzo. Hair Anthony Turner at Art Partner. Make-up Lynsey Alexander at Streeters London using Estée Lauder. Photography assistance Lex Kembery, James Robjant, Matthew Healy. Model Lottie Hayes at Select.

Lottie Hayes, Model, Manchester
"I'm most inspired by Soho. There's a sort of raw gritty charm that I haven't found anywhere else in London. You never know what's around any corner!"

Charles Jeffrey, Designer, Scotland
"When I was a teenager I was obsessed with The Horrors, Gareth Pugh, WOWOW! collective and Boombox used to look at it all from my shitey desktop computer on MySpace. That and Central St Martins all pulled me down here. I'm always inspired by Vogue Fabrics in Dalston. When it's either LOVERBOY or one of my mate's nights, there's always someone pulling a look that I've never seen before are just a cool way of wearing something."

Francesca Jane Allen, Photographer, Midlands
"It's absurdly expensive but unfortunately feels like one of the only places in the UK where there's (sometimes) money floating around for creative people. I just moved to a new place in Seven Sisters with a photo studio and huge windows and I'm filling it with loads of plants. My boyfriend painted our bedroom pink and I've become addicted to buying coloramas. I've been shooting here almost every day since we moved in!"

Warren Leech, Fashion Editor, Carlisle
"Nothing ever happened or ever mattered in my home town. London had a bit more going on. London's one of the few places I could actually do the job that I'm doing. I love that in London, you're never more than six feet away a rat."

Sebastiaan Pieter, Designer, Holland
"All my icons went to CSM so I wanted to go there too. Don't take the underground all the time - you discover so much more on the bus or walking. But don't cycle, that's for when you get to advanced level Londoner. If you want some quiet time in London, wake up VERY early!"

Photography Piczo Marques' Almeida autumn/winter 15 

Marques'Almeida, Designers, Portugal
"Our flat, our studio, our shows and the people. The grey and miserable weather and the really good international food. The quick pace of life, the excitement about doing things and meeting people that are doing things and doing things together."

Adam Winder, Stylist, Midlands
"London's opportunities, choice and resources, having your senses abused every day are what I love about the city. To a new Londoner, I would say, walk fast. Avoid the tube and M&M World."

Jarrod Kentrell, Model, New York
"I was practising art in NYC and always had the desire to come and experience London. I'm most inspired by my flat! It's the residue of every look I've done and all my make-up is there. I love the creativity and ability to take risks in London."

Cyndia Harvey, Hair Stylist, Jamaica
"Although Jamaica is my first love the excitement at the thought of living in London was very powerful! Sadly hairdressing is not the most respected career choice in Jamaica. And although there are a lot of very talented hair stylist with a fearless approach to their craft the industry is very limiting how far you can take it."

Anne Sophie Costa, Make-up artist, Portugal
"Nobody criticises your style or your individuality - it's actually the opposite! I love that everything is so accessibly in terms of culture. Everything happens in London. People believe in you, trust you and they give you an opportunity. There's not many places that give that."

Katie Green, Keji Creative Director, Hong Kong
"I moved here for young love - I followed a boy! The relationship was over pretty quickly, but then I fell for London and ended up staying... and now it's been almost 10 years! So many of my fashion heroes have come out of London."

John Holt, Editor of LAW, Brighton
"I moved here because someone told me that Brighton's a creative graveyard and I didn't want to get buried there. The pace of London is the best, you have to keep up or get left behind. We are swimming with the fishes for dear life. Learn the bus numbers, sit on the top deck and admire the view."

Anna Pesonen, Editor of SSAW, Finland
"I was living in Paris before and knew that London was the place for me. I love the constant stimulation but when it gets too much, get hammered and do some yoga."

Charles Jeffrey
Claire Barrow
Marques Almeida
harry carr
ryan lo
sam rollinson
faustine steinmetz
sid bryan
identify london
sebastiaan pieter
katie green
anne sophie costa
cyndia harvey
i-dentifying london
jarrod kentrell
mathilda lowther
warren leech