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Monocle 24: The Briefing
"simon foxton" Discussed on Monocle 24: The Briefing
"Edition of the briefing, a new season of the big interview kicks off this coming Friday and first up, we will hear from Monaco's Sophie grove, who sat down with Edward enn full, a trays trailblazer, in fact, in the fashion industry who currently serves as editor in chief of British Vogue. Edward's new book a visible man traces his remarkable journey that has taken him from a military base in Ghana to one of the most powerful posts in fashion. Sophie began by asking Edward why he decided to write his memoir now. I mean, there is something to be said for turning 50. I mean, I'm always sort of trying to look forward, always about forward motion. But in my 50th year, I mean, I got married. We were together for 20 years. And I started looking back at my life. And then I also saw that a lot of young people sort of see the end result. They see people like me like you and they don't see the journey. So I just felt I was important to let them know that the journey was as much about my failures as well as my successes. I want to go back to the very beginning of this beautiful memoir. You were born in Ghana in taqueria, your father, major Crosby, NFL, was a military man who moved about quite a bit, but the family was there living in a military enclosure. Tell me about that period, your childhood was this a happy time. All I remember all these beautiful bungalows and just running from house to house and taqueria and being with my siblings. When you live on a military race, very sort of very family oriented, so from house to house, then we move from takoradi to Accra, just the capital. It's one of the military base called Burma camp, Burma caples opposite the sea. And there were sort of a little hail with these sticks on and. And we realized that, you know, that's where they sort of executed people, but when you're a child, you normalize everything. So you'll be like on Sundays, we're like, oh my God, it's firing squad day. But essentially people will be dragged out and shot. It was a very surreal growing up in Ghana, but on a military base. And then eventually we moved to the town of tema, and things were a little more normal. And the book is dedicated to grace, your mother, who was a very unusual military spouse in a way. She had a very successful fashion business, 40 scenes such as underneath her, you know, she sounds like a woman with a lot of character, a lot of style. And you assisted her as a young boy, even attending fittings in the presidential palace, tell me about her and tell me about those formative memories. I mean, I always say my mother made me who I am today. Very young age I'd watch her sewing out what's her make all these incredible clothes, all these incredible women come in. People always talk about sort of diversity and inclusivity, but I grew up with cousins and aunts and my mother's friends. All different shapes and sizes. My idea of beauty came from my mother. It wasn't a specific eurocentric style, but it was anybody could be beautiful. And she really showed me the most incredible things you could do with fashion, how women would feel so beautiful and just one dress, the right dress. She also showed me for women didn't feel comfortable. Well, that was also like, should take me everywhere. I was with her little, I probably her favorite. But I learned about beauty from my mother. Well, tell me about the move to London because you talk about the executions and the change of power that happened after the crew came to power in Ghana, lots of coups and eventually the family and their allegiances came really under threat and your dad left for London and the family followed him shortly after. Tell me about leaving Ghana. How you felt at that moment? There we were running around the streets of Tama. And then we hear there's a coup, you know, rolling, coming to power, and uncle of ours was executed. And my dad was gone. From one day to the next. And we didn't really know how serious it was until we came home one day and my mother was like, all right, you're all going to London. And we thought it was an adventure. But it was, it was so crazy when we landed in London. I mean, it was, it was like Disneyland in a way. You know, I never seen buildings like this before. The weather was so cold, but you know, I come from a weekend from a country that was so hard all year round. And the most incredible thing was that everybody was white. We just come from a country where the majority of people were black. But it was like, you know, a Disney run. I mean, we all crammed into two bedrooms, but it didn't matter, because it garnered rooms anyway. And you talk about going to Tesco, loading up on lilt, but also that feeling a bit like the Willy Wonka chocolate factory, the sense of wonder. This is exactly what I say to my friend. It was like Willy Wonka, I'd never seen a supermarket before. And all those biscuits and lilt, which we were so obsessed with and tango and it was just like, you wanted everything, fill up the cars that we weren't rich, so you know you couldn't afford much. But it was so incredible. I remember the idea of being in the UK at that time was like magic. It was magical. On one hand. And one day you were on the tube and you were approached by Simon foxton of ID, who scouted you for a shoot. Tell us about that moment and how that shaped your career. I mean, I remember I was 16 and I was at kingsway college before that I always had a big Afro, huge glasses, so I remember throwing my glasses away and I was on the Hammersmith and city line heading to college and this man was staring at me and I just kept thinking what does he want? And then the baker street he gave me his card and it was Simon Fox still one of the best fascist stylist of our generation really. He worked for ID magazine and arena. And I remember going home and shooting his car to my mother and my mother wasn't so convinced. And you know, 16 year old and really pestering her and Pasteur, so she eventually called Simon and before I knew it, I was working with Nick knight on a photo shoot and Simon and that was the beginning of my modeling career while I was also at college. And really my introduction into the fashion industry. I mean, I remember the meeting Simon and thinking, this is the world I want to be in. My God, the world of fashion. And I just knew that I wasn't going to be a doctor a lawyer. It was so amazing being on shoes. I mean, I knew I wasn't a great model, but I loved what was going on behind the scenes. I love immature, and I remember every time I'd go to college, I'd literally be like, what am I doing here? But this carried on, and then I sort of started that ghost with university. And I really didn't want to be that I wanted to be in fashion. And tell me about some of your breaks. I mean, you talk about your work, for instance, with Kevin Kline. And these two years of consulting and working with some of the greatest stylists and models we now consider to be supermodels, but back then they were really up and coming. People like Naomi. Tell me what you learned doing those years. I learned that you could say so much about fashion through images. I learned that fashion had the power to, you know, to really affect change, and then what's in my little friend that Kate moss, I met when I met at the casting, and I was 16 and she was 14 and just watch her grow into this incredible supermodel and in a meeting Naomi in the early 90s, you know, she started to do well. We were the same generation, you know, we were all navigating sort of really grown-up spaces. And the experience that Calvin Klein really taught me that, you know, what we were doing in London at the time, we used to call grand, had really caught the world's eye. In the past you've said that fashion is a mirror. Can you explain what you mean by that? Yeah, I'm in fashion is a mirror and just, you know, it mirrors society.
"simon foxton" Discussed on Fat Mascara
"Said that you'd notice a lack of playfulness in the industry when you entered. And you were coming in with a very different perspective. Now, that was ten years ago. Fast forward to today, do you still feel there's a lack of playfulness? No way. I mean, it's amazing now. I have to comment on all the amazing makeup artists that when I did get into makeup at the beginning were very inspiring, like Alex box. Pat McGrath. She's my parents, Alex. Oh, she's so great. She was a huge inspiration to me because she really was doing a lot of really amazing kind of colorful painting, interesting work, bal Garland, obviously, Peter Phillips, topolino, there's like loads of people, you know, so to say people was doing were doing boring stuff is not fair because they really were. But I think maybe in hindsight we're talking like ten years ago, maybe what I brought to it was just a kind of a bit more of an uneducated approach, a kind of an outsider approach where I was sort of tackling the face, not as a face to take the makeup, but make up to take a face. So I was trying to abstract the face all the time. I was kind of putting paint and almost not even using the face in the way it kind of maybe should have been. And I think that just was a slightly different perspective. And it was really young. I was like, I was 20. And I think they were, you know, just that sort of playful attitude. Maybe came through. Yeah. You mentioned that shoot where you were like, the clay cleaner and painter. And there was the proper makeup artist. Was that like a breaking moment where you decided to make the switch or did you have a big break where like ID then booked you as the face painter, not the body painter? Like, what was your big break? Well, after that, I got booked by designer called Christopher Shannon in British designer, he did menswear. And I and I did face painting in his shows, and I drew the I painted these kind of landscapes on the model's faces as they were going down the runway, like sunsets and stuff. And backstage I met and I make a part is called Adam de Cruz, and he was like, what is this girl doing? Like, I've never seen this kind of thing before. And he was like, look, do you want to do you want to join me on set for a day? You can see how I work and you can show me some of your techniques. So we kind of did that and I went and he showed me how to conceal and do a little bit of kind of basic stuff. And then I showed him some of my blending and doing other things, whatever in the body painting style. And then I just kind of, I don't even know really what came next. I think I just was in a circle where there were photographers and people around me who were testing and working for free and doing shoots and it was amazing like creative time in London where everybody was just working for free and testing all the time. And I just kind of, yeah, linked up with some people and brought my very small kit. To certain stuff and just kind of went from there, really. Is your kit still small? No, my kids. My kids like, oh like 70 a like 90 kilos or something, 80 kilo. Oh wow. In multiple roles, how do you travel? Yeah, I carry it and these like Burton snowboard, suitcases, my friend and mother makeup artist, so she loves those bags. Oh, they're the best, yeah. So yeah, sometimes snowboard bag. Who are some of the other people at this time in London that you're collaborating with at this point, you've collaborated art, musicians, other makeup artists. What are some that feel really personal to you? I mean, I think some of the post like all kind of testing and whatever. Some of my sort of biggest breaks I think were the beginning with ID magazine. And I did some great shoots with Daniel sandwood. Where we did and Simon foxton the stylist where we were kind of, I got to, I got to do a lot of really cool painting stuff I like tattooed, all these funny sort of characters all over a boy, and then I did this prosthetic lizard face for another shoot for interview magazine and interview magazine also I did quite a lot of fun stuff for and it really was like every time I got booked, there was something really like full on colorful, crazy. And that was really nice. And then shows as well. I remember Aggie and Sam. I did these LEGO masks where I was like, the whole thing was inspired by kind of kids, and so I was like, how would kids approach your face? Well, they probably just chuck something at it, wouldn't they? And just see what lands. So that's kind of what I did. I chucked LEGO at face and just stuck it where it kind of landed and so it was all just about kind of exploring interesting ways of approaching the face, I guess. So now you're talking about your vibe is so different than really any other makeup artist that we've certainly interviewed. And we've contributed a ton of makeup artists. You have a really singular vision, you know, no one else is talking about shocking Legos at a face. For fashion show, you know? But you're talking about in the beginning, like you're working these very editorial gigs and now you've worked with so many massive corporate designers and corporate fashion houses that are.