It’s not easy being a young, creative woman trying to make a name for yourself, especially in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live and create. Spark Progress, a new campaign and platform from Converse, aims to spotlight and support those persevering despite the challenges stacked against them.
Released today, an inspiring new campaign film follows five young creative women making it work in the capital – musicians Lava La Rue, Raye, and Ama Lou, and fashion designers Paria Farzaneh and Feng Chen Wang – blending footage from their everyday lives with other-worldly scenes representing the moment before they share their creations with the world.
Each of the five women worked with filmmakers they knew to capture intimate glimpses at the processes behind their creativity – Ama Lou recording in the studio, Raye preparing for a gig, Paria and Feng putting finishing touches on their shows during London Fashion Week Men’s, or Lava La Rue going for a skate. This is one of the central themes of the campaign; the beauty of the process over perfection, in a world that’s constantly demanding to see less of the former and more of the latter.
“They don’t tell you these things at school. They don’t tell you how to run a business,” says Farzaneh, whose parents came to the UK from Iran, and who explores her heritage through her designs – which have earned her a nomination for the prestigious LVMH Prize. “So you’re kind of just fighting with all the big people while you’re still the little man. But you can dictate what is going to happen.” For Lava La Rue, adversity has only provided opportunities for growth. “I’ve had a lot of things that have meant I’ve had to work five times harder,” she says, “but I constantly make sure that it isn’t something that defines or hinders my progress but rather something that is part of my identity and I’m going to ride with it and make it something that’s going to give me a one.”
“I’ve had a lot of things that have meant I’ve had to work five times harder – but I constantly make sure that it isn’t something that defines or hinders my progress but rather something that is part of my identity” – Lava La Rue
But beyond the film, Spark Progress revolves around community, young people, and giving them a platform for their projects through Converse’s support. A number of London women have been chosen to receive support for their projects in music, fashion, skate, and activism, and collaborative content will be featured on a new London-focused IG account. Finally, a series of physical activations will be taking place across London throughout summer to help kickstart a season of sparking progress.
Watch the “Spark Progress” campaign film above, and keep an eye on the Dazed social channels for some exclusive content with some familiar faces.