30 / 06 / 2020
Black Lives Matter
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
In response to the recent Black Lives Matter movement, we as a company have taken time to step back, allow black voices to be heard and to listen. We are focusing on education for our whole team, and how we can take action. We feel it's important at this time and moving forward to use our platform to amplify black voices and be a part of the change we want to see. We can do more to be better allies to the black community and provoke change within our industry. With this in mind, we would like to make a start today by sharing some thoughts from our black models on the movement, spotlighting brilliant black-owned businesses our talent have founded and talking about some of their career highlights. It's time we start elevating those around us.
(Cover image Antony & Cheryl - View their couple page here.)
In this beautiful video Curve Model, Corrine Mensah talks to us about what the BLM movement means to her and how we can make steps together to create change.
Lifestyle Model, Angie very kindly shared with us this piece she wrote for her work colleagues recently:
I thought that I'd share a little of my feelings about the current situation in America. I'm funny, I think (my sons might beg to differ), charming, emotionally intelligent and caring. Oh and by the way I'm black. Born in Wolverhampton, I've always been in the minority... the only black family in our road, primary school, secondary school and working life for the most part. From an early age my siblings and I were always aware that our difference meant discrimination and fear!
I've felt fear about my colour and what this might mean for my safety. I'm going to highlight the ones that affected me. Firstly, I am old enough to remember the stop and search mentality of the Police (1980's) and how many black men in particular were targeted sometimes just because... Another during a career, where relying on your team really matters. But the incident that had the most impact on me was the death of Lee Rigby, the soldier stabbed to death in London in 2013 by two black men. It was the first time I really felt vulnerable about the possibility of revenge. I know this is a different situation to that which happened to George Floyd. But, I live in a suburb where different coloured faces are in the minority. I remember feeling really angry and hurt that Lee was taken from his family, that I'd be judged as feeling hatred towards white people and that within my community where I live I was no longer invisible and my being different was a real concern. Was it coincidence people crossed the road or appeared to be whispering?
There is never any justification for taking a life, black or white! My life has been full of positives and over the years I have met some amazing people and I like to think that my being black has had a positive impact in it's own way. This is a difficult time for everyone but I'd like to close with a thank you to all those who have taken the time to check in with me at work. Everyone's life matters.
Have you really taken the time to get to know your non-white colleagues? Start today."
Annabel John is a Lifestyle & Sports Model with us here at SR, but also smashing it in the business world, as CEO and Founder of emerging fashion start up Modestwist - a fashion-forward modest brand catering to Muslim millenials across the globe, solving the ongoing problem of this group remaining underserved within the fashion marketplace for the past decade.
So far in Annabel's journey, Modestwist has been selected as 'Top 36 Global Startup's of 2019' by Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund in which they were flown out to Hong Kong to meet with a Venture Capitalist, conducted a number of TV interviews and partnered with some amazing fashion manufactures. They were also nominated by the Forbes Europe team to be a part of the Forbes Under 30. Although they unfortunately didn't make it to the final list, this was a huge achievement!
And finally... they recently partnered with Indeed.com, and shot a TV commercial/Fashion film that takes you on a behind-the-scenes journey of starting a fashion brand. The commercial will be released this summer both nationwide and also in the USA.
If you'd like to read more about Annabel's journey, here are some links to press coverage...
Whilst attending a Black Lives Matter protest in London recently, Lifestyle Model Damien Le Hoste captured the event in such a wonderful way to the words of James Baldwin.
Jerry Kanchefu, Model and Entrepreneur owns online Vintage Clothing Store - Str.Wear, Creative Community - I.Dentify and Social Media Marketing Agency - Erneu Media. Jerry tells us "an achievement of mine would have to be creating a community full of creative people from photographers to singers to graphic designers.”
Aleesha Hansel - Model, Presenter, Journalist and Cultural Rights Spokesperson
In an interview with Spell Magazine, Aleesha shared very honest thoughts on the modelling industry and about being an acceptable face of diversity; discussing the progress that has been made, but also highlighting that we as an industry still have a long way to go. You can read the interview here...
Aleesha has also spoken on BBC Radio London alongside a panel including Rodney P, White Yardie, Donna Afriyie and Chibundu Onuzo to discuss whether it is ever acceptable for a white person to use the N-word which you can listen to here...
Model, Actor & Presenter Oreke Mosheshe describes herself as "A mother of 2, Healthy Cook, Wellbeing Coach and Level 3 Personal Trainer focusing on total wellness, nutrition, fitness and mental wellbeing." Check out her Instagram here and blog here for some serious food, fitness and wellbeing inspiration and motivation...
And last but absolutely not least, Classic Model Antony Fitzgerald shares with us a moment he is really proud of. "I am the face model for J D Morrison in the video game Devil May Cry 5. It's significant because it is the only black character in the game, changed from what was originally a white character in the animated series. Also, I defy many of the stereotypes of the black characters in video games in that I play the new broker/boss of the Devil May Cry office." Check out the video above, showing the character 'Morrison' in action.