The changing face of fashion week

As London Fashion Week gets underway and our Insta-feeds are flooded with FROW spam, we meet the rising fashion stars – including a hijab-wearing model and a transgender activist – who are challenging the status quo. Get inspired by their fashion week style and discover the change they’d most like to see in the fashion industry. 

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Maxim Magnus

Model and activist for the LGBTQ+ community

Who is your favourite London Fashion Week designer?

“Right now, it would be Halpern, Ashish and Matty Bovan. I love sequins and extravagance. That’s why I love London – all rules fly out of the window and everyone just does what they want. People like Charles Jeffrey are using their platforms to spread a message of positivity and equality – clothes that tell stories. I love that.”

How would you describe your personal style?

“One day I can wear a tracksuit, and the next, I’ll be in a ball gown. With me, it’s always extreme; there’s no in between.”

 

Maxim's top picks

What’s the change you’d most like to see in the fashion industry?

“Positivity is the main thing. And quitting the bullshit. While some brands are genuinely trying to make a change for good, a lot of them just see using a transgender model as a fashionable thing to do. Being transgender isn’t a choice, it’s not fun. With my activism, I want to show that trans is not a trend – there is so much more to me than that. Fashion is such an accurate representation of what is going on in politics and the world in general, and I think the industry has a huge responsibility to educate people about equality and empowerment.”

What’s your life mantra?

“I’d rather say ‘oops’ than ‘what if?’” 

Instagram handle:

@maximmagnus

The modest fashion scene existed for so many years, but didn’t have a presence within editorial or advertising. Finally, everybody is starting to take notice.

- Mariah Idrissi

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Mariah Idrissi
British model, speaker and the first Muslim hijab-wearing woman to feature in a global fashion campaign

Who is your favourite London Fashion Week designer?

“Victoria Beckham – I love her stuff; it’s always been quite modest, which is probably why I’m drawn to it. Or maybe because she was a Spice Girl…”

What’s been your proudest career moment?

“It would have to be the H&M campaign. I was scouted when I was working in a shop and I thought I’d just be an extra, but then it went everywhere – The New York Times, Piccadilly Circus billboards. It opened up a whole new world for me. The modest fashion scene existed for so many years and had a presence on social media, but not within editorial or advertising. Finally, everybody is starting to take notice.”  

Mariah's top picks

What’s the change you’d most like to see in the fashion industry?

“I’d say attitudes towards Muslim women, or women who choose to dress modestly. We’re not seasonal; we dress like this all year round so it’s nice to feel involved all the time.

I definitely feel more catered for than ever before. I think both parties – customers and brands – have a role to play in this. If we’re not putting ourselves out there, how would anyone from a different community know that we have got our own fashion community too?”

What’s your life mantra?

“Stop chasing, start building.”

Instagram handle:

@mariahidrissi

Prada - coat (available in store), jumper and skirt / Burberry - bag / Isabel Marant - trainers / Dita - sunglasses (available in store)

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Cassey Chanel
Kenyan-born, British-based model

Who is your favourite London Fashion Week designer?

“Mimi Wade – her clothes are a bit gothic, school girlie and very Nineties. I love her recent Polly Pocket collection.”

How would you describe your personal style?

“It depends on the day and my mood. If I listen to Madonna, then I’m going to dress like Madonna; if I listen to The Stranglers, I’ll wear jeans and dad shoes.” 

Cassey's top picks

What’s the change you’d most like to see in the fashion industry?

“Less social media, more real life. Followers are currency; you need them to get to where you want to be, but that’s not real life.

Also, I’d like to see more diversity – people of colour, curvier body shapes and the LGBTQ+ community. Some models at shoots still have to do their own make-up because the make-up artist hasn’t got their correct shade. There are more people of colour in shows now, but it runs deeper than that. There needs to be more diversity behind the scenes, at all levels, for it to feel genuine.” 

Instagram handle:

@casseychanel

Head to our Instagram @theofficialselfridges to see more of Maxim, Mariah and Cassey’s style from the streets of London Fashion Week.

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