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Jude Liana on Instagram model photographer
Jude Liana for Vida KushPhotography Rhianna Cooper

Six multi-talented NYC fashion kids to hit ‘follow’ on

Not content with just one calling, meet the talented creatives trying – and succeeding – in a myriad of roles

Being skilled in multiple fields is a rarity. However, in the exceptionally competitive city of New York, the home of some of the world’s leading creatives, being a jack-of-all-trades can really work to your advantage. Introducing the new wave of NYC polymaths — photographers, models, stylists and artists who are experts at multi-tasking and who reflect their non-stop creative flow through social media. Invite these six go-getters into your Instagram world, but try not to get #fomo or overwhelmed by their countless talents.

WALTER PEARCE (@WALTERPEARCE)

Slashie Walter Pearce can not only be found snorting poppers in a campaign for Eckhaus Latta but also posing for Gosha Rubchinskiy's SS15 collection. In addition to modelling, the 19-year-old throws lavish warehouse parties in New York and is also a part-time photographer — capturing the confronting side of the city’s fashion industry and the wild life of a runway model through his lens.

GIA SEO (@GIAXSEO)

Multitalented creative Gia Seo employs a liberated approach to her styling work. Treating clothes simply as garments, free of judgement or gender segregation, Gia is an advocate for the changing perceptions towards fashion and is leading this movement in New York City.  “I feel that pronouns have become less important than ever,” Gia told Dazed. “No longer do I think ‘okay, since I’m styling a woman today, does that mean this PR company won’t allow this brand to be styled as men’s?’ That’s where I've seen a lot of change, in the companies that are handling and representing certain brands. There’s no longer a restriction for which brands would prefer to be styled as their given biological make.” In addition, she has (fittingly) modelled for gender-fluid underground brands like Vejas and Moses Gauntlett Cheng, as well as more prominent international labels like Opening Ceremony and Ikumi. Gia has seen progressive labels, like the New York brands she has modelled for, actively reshape the industry mold and force stylists to reconsider the way they work.

K RIZZ (@SLAYRIZZ)

Filipino Musician K Rizz broke the internet when the video for her track “Salbahe” (which translates to “naughty”) surfaced – a clip featuring the artist twerking on the beach wearing assless teal chaps. The glamorous model and singer constantly challenges gender norms with her scantily-clad looks on Instagram, and she liberates women by celebrating her own femininity through her music. “My music and style are one word: salbahe!” K-Rizz explains. “Sexy and full of flava. I like to make sure women remember that there's a universe in them and that we birth life. So, the giving and exchanging of good energies between us is very important for our well being as women united.”

MATT ARDELL (@MATTARDELL)

Matt Ardell, one of the art students behind DISown's $150 Adidas Tracksuit project, is a painter and teen model raised in upstate New York. The young artist’s aesthetic is a mixture of fine and modern art, with canvas and sculptural works that reflect his moods and allow self-exploration. “Modelling gives me the time and money to pursue my dream in art,” Matt told us. “I explore myself (through art) and it feels good to get that out in a physical form.”

JUDE LIANA (@JUDELIANA)

Having recent published her very own zine 22, which captures post-teen feelings of angst and self-doubt, photographer and model Jude Liana’s work is raw and filled with emotion. The creative shoots real people and moments backed by an honest aesthetic that’s personal and diary-like. “I've definitely been drawn to the more candid moments in life, and letting that be translated through my work,” Liana reveals. “I think I have a soft spot for nostalgia too, and even when I look at my own work I feel nostalgic in a way and I believe others do to. It’s a funny feeling when you look at an image and sit there for a moment imagining the story behind it.”  The photographer often highlights her positive mental attitude via her Instagram, posting uplifting quips and empowering feminist poetry like an embroidery that reads “Do you think because you touched me you know me? You're a boy and I have galaxies growing inside of me.”

THIRD FERNANDEZ (@VAGINA.ENVY)

Designer and trans model Third Fernandez is the it-girl in New York’s progressive underground fashion scene. The Parsons graduate has modelled for friends Moses Gauntlett Cheng, Gogo Graham and ytinifnInfinity’s SS16 presentations and shows. She also crafts custom garments with a gender-fluid approach during her off-time. In addition to her creative pursuits, Third passionately advocates trans rights and gender equality. “Fashion is seeing trans visibility more now than ever,” she says. “While this is crucial to the community, it can be problematic too when representation is lacking. It presents limited ideas of how it is to be trans and can potentially reduce the experience to a glamourised image. Now that industry movers are featuring more trans-ness, possibly as a ploy to stay relevant, it is easily the responsibility of these trans individuals to use these platforms to speak up and share their narratives.”