Adwoa Aboah stars on the cover of i-D's The Female Gaze issue
Fronted by model and activist Adwoa Aboah and shot solely by female photographers, open The Female Gaze Issue to find a celebration of the visionary women shaping the fashion industry and beyond. Who run the world? Girls.
Photography Harley Weir. Styling Julia Sarr-Jamois. Adwoa wears all clothing Prada. Jewellery model's own.
From fashion to politics, it has never been a greater time to be female. If Hillary Clinton wins the US election in November, she will be the first female President in America's history; joining German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May as a triptych of women leading three of the world's six largest economic powers. In fashion, we saw Maria Grazia Chiuri appointed Artistic Director of Dior, the first woman to take the helm in the house's 70-year history. "Having a woman at the label is in keeping with the changing times," Dior's Chief Executive Sidney Toledano told the FT. "It reflects a changing mood… and the women of today have a very important role in the world's future." In The Female Gaze Issue of i-D, we bring you just some of the brilliant and inspiring women in our world today. For the first time in i-D's 36-year history, we celebrate the power of the female lens, working with female photographers only from front to back. From Inez van Lamsweerde to Harley Weir, Letty Schmiterlow, Collier Schorr, Venetia Scott, Zoe Ghertner, Cass Bird, Petra Collins, Brianna Capozzi and more; discover the myriad of ways in which women view women today.
Sometimes a girl comes along who completely defines the times. She's smart, brave, and she possesses the wisdom and mental resilence of someone twice her age. But most importantly of all, she wants to make a change. Adwoa Aboah is that girl. The 24-year-old British born model and actress is the founder of Gurls Talk; the feminist initiative speaking out on addiction, sexuality, body image and mental health in the hope to get girls talking. We invited three female photographers to photograph Adwoa for the issue. From the empowering lens of Inez van Lamsweerde, to Harley Weir's mesmerising vision of modern womanhood and Letty Schmiterlow's raw, honest portraits captured at Adwoa's home; the results are a beautiful, multi-faced study of a girl.
In London, women are leading the charge at some of the most successful and forward-thinking fashion labels in the world. We teamed with Sarah Mower MBE, ambassador for emerging talent at the British Fashion Council (BFC) and chair of its NEWGEN committee, to meet 28 female designers shaping the face of the industry; from Luella Bartley to Simone Rocha, Roksanda Ilincic, Sophia Webster, Marta Almeida, Astrid Anderson and more. "The situation London's women and girls have created for themselves is special and exceptional," Sarah Mower says, "as anyone can see if they search the Milan, New York and Paris calendars for female equivalents." We also talk to 22 of the world's leading supermodels - from Amber Valletta to Milla Jovovich, Freja Beha, Sasha P and Kirsten Owen - to discover how their relationship with the camera has developed over time. London's super agents discuss the rise of female photographers, Lena Dunham and mum, Laurie Simmons, chat mother daughter relationships, Hari Nef talks the power of queer friendships, and Petra Collins handpicks the women who inspire her from artist and activist Marilyn Minter to Tavi Gevinson and rising star Selah Marley. We also chat Patti Smith with Girls star Zosia Mamet, new tunes with Pixie Geldof and Warpaint, and pay homage to award-winning American photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who risks it all to report from the front line. Pioneering, talented, inspirational, bold and brave, these are just some of the brilliant women enriching fashion, art and culture today.