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Not In Isolation: Voices of Youth

Not in Isolation: Voices of Youth

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Not in Isolation: Voices of Youth elevates the voices of young people directly impacted by incarceration and solitary confinement, as co-creators, co-hosts and guests. Not in Isolation examines how our history and our legal systems combine to harm youth, with shocking disparities for youth of color and LGBTQI youth. We’ll look at how the punishment paradigm in these systems tears at the fabric of our families and communities. Join hosts Ronnie Villeda and Swey Pineda for in-depth dialogues f ...
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Designed for curious minds, "What's Contemporary Now?" engages various thought leaders across cultural industries taking in their broad, compelling perspectives and unveiling their common threads. Hosted by Christopher Michael Produced by Shayan Asadi
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Paloma Elsesser is a trailblazing model, advocate, and writer heralded for her unapologetic celebration of body positivity and diversity in the fashion industry. Growing up in Los Angeles, she navigated various artistic pursuits before finding her niche in modeling—later going on to win Model of the Year at the 2023 Fashion Awards. Her career skyro…
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While fashion has become culture's greatest Trojan horse, it's only natural that there should be a show exploring both the contemporary landscape and modern-day human experience through its lens. You'll find both the unique and universal in these conversations that illuminate the pulse of our times as we ask different creatives and thought leaders …
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Hanan Besovic, the content creator and fashion commentator behind @ideservecouture, shares his unconventional journey and outsider perspective into the fashion world. Moving from Croatia to the US, Besovic garnered a significant following on his platform during the COVID lockdown, using it to channel and convey his perspective on fashion—which he c…
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French photographer Robin Galiegue has carved a distinctive niche in the world of contemporary photography, captivating audiences with a refreshing vision of beauty, style, and attitude. Galiegue's early experimentation with makeup, styling, and photography laid the foundation for a career marked by raw energy and a timeless aesthetic. Seamlessly b…
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Gill Linton is the cofounder and curatorial persona behind Byronesque, a digital boutique department store that uniquely merges editorial content with a focus on contemporary vintage fashion. As editor-in-chief, Linton is a thought leader in the realm of editorial-based e-commerce and has long been a go-to brand strategist well-versed in the subcul…
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Writer, editor, and creative director Thom Bettridge navigates the realms of storytelling, experience curation, and audience expansion with seasoned expertise. From editorial leader at 032c, Highsnobiety, and Interview to Head of Creative and Content at SSENSE, Bettridge has come a long way since his beginnings as a student of philosophy in New Yor…
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Renowned photographer of the Antwerp Six, Willy Vanderperre is a Belgian-born image-maker best known for his campaigns for Prada, Dior, and Jil Sander, as well as publications like i-D, Another, or W. Longstanding creative collaborations with fashion icons like Raf Simons, Olivier Rizzo, and Peter Philips have informed his creative output over the …
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Derek Blasberg, a dynamic force in the worlds of fashion and media, boasts a multifaceted career as a writer, editor, and a New York Times bestselling author. Previously YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty and director of public figures, Blasberg transformed the platform, earning praise from industry luminaries like Tom Ford. His influence extends…
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Creative consultant and iconic figure Amanda Harlech has played a key role in fashion for decades. Harlech is recognized for her insightful, ultra-collaborative approach, her influential work with brilliant designers, and her mentorship of young designers. She initially joined forces with John Galliano in the ’80s and ’90s before later joining Karl…
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Trailblazing South African fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi's brand story is as distinct and vibrant as the fashion he creates. From early influences of pop culture in the Eastern Cape to the launch of his post-graduate show, Mdingi's journey is a testament to the power of visibility and mentorship in the fashion industry. Winning the LVMH Karl Lag…
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Brendon Babenzien offers a look into his trajectory from a skateboarder immersed in the alternative music scene between Long Island and New York City to the forefront of fashion. His journey is a testament to his unique cultural access and entrepreneurial spirit. Inspired by the convergence of hip-hop, punk, new wave, and rave cultures during his t…
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Movement director Pat Boguslawski reflects on his journey in this latest episode, citing a unique artistic trajectory. Boguslawski has always been sure of his career as an artist throughout his upbringing in Łódź, Poland, fueled by pop culture, film, and fashion shows. Coming to dance—which he immediately perceived to be the most expressive art for…
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Ruba Abu-Nimah is a graphic designer at the vanguard of creative directing—even as the title of that role has become, she says, completely devalued. She’s put her creative skills to work directing brands like Elle US, Shiseido, Revlon, Tiffany & CO., and most recently Balenciaga. In this episode, Abu-Nimah offers her take on the value of formal edu…
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Gordon von Steiner is a force of youthful creativity and talent in the world of fashion film. In this episode, Christopher Michael sits down with von Steiner to discuss how the recent Grammy nominee—for directing Troye Sivan’s showstopping music video “Rush”—honed his passions into a creative practice from a young age and evolved as an artist in ta…
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Editor-in-chief of Interview magazine, Mel Ottenberg, wants to maintain a sense of fun in an atmosphere rife with fear. Previously creative director at 032c, he’s collaborated with an impressive roster of stars, high-profile clients, and photographers. In this episode, he shares his take on where we are in this cultural moment and how fashion, beau…
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Quil Lemons is a photographer and artist renowned for his innovative contributions to commercial and fine arts spaces. As a Black queer creative force, he defies labels and uses his work to authentically represent the multifaceted aspects of his identity. The youngest photographer to capture Vanity Fair’s cover (featuring Billie Eilish), Lemons is …
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Vanessa Friedman has been the fashion director and chief fashion critic at The New York Times since 2014. Her lauded insight as a critic balances both the courage to speak to reality and a responsibility to inform her readers. Working at the intersection of culture and news journalism, Friedman has seen the landscape of the fashion industry change …
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London-born photographer and SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight has remained at the forefront of what’s contemporary since his emergence into the fashion photography scene in the 1970s. Over the course of an illustrious career, Knight has worked closely with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Lady Gaga, Bjork and John Galliano, as well as with fashion hou…
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When we first asked the question, “What is contemporary now?” we thought it made sense to explore the makings of culture by tapping into the varied perspectives of creatives whose work has helped shape the contemporary landscape. This season sees that dream continue, having the chance to speak to a master on the intersection of technology and image…
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British makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench has been challenging our perceptions of beauty and creativity for the past decade. She attributes her unconventional approach to beauty, one that escapes commonality and mainstream aesthetics and paves the way for bold innovation, to her family’s background in engineering and problem-solving. Spurred by a face …
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Fashion journalist, writer, and broadcaster Tim Blanks has had a front-row seat to many defining, pivotal moments in the fashion industry since 1985. Throughout his prolific career, he has witnessed countless transformational trends, with his byline appearing in international magazines and newspapers, including Vogue, GQ, Financial Times, Fantastic…
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Bestselling author and podcast host Gabby Bernstein believes unresolved trauma negatively impacts our lives and deprives us of the ability to connect. Gabby, one of the "soulful thinkers" featured on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, explores the importance of doing the work to be present to each other—and foremost ourselves—amidst the noise and alienatio…
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New York–based photographer Ethan James Green is renowned for his distinct eye and the intimacy and openness portrayed in his work. An early career in modeling and exposure to some of the great photography visionaries of the times paved the path to a whirlwind career in fashion. Today his work, which has appeared in prominent publications and campa…
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Fashion stylist, editor, and entrepreneur Clare Richardson is a champion of environmentally conscious fashion. Previously the Fashion Director at Holiday Magazine, Clare is a contributing fashion editor at British Vogue, and her work has been featured in M le Monde, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, and many more. In 2020, she launched a highly curated re…
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Jesse Israel believes that the time to promote cultural change is now. His journey toward meditation maven is singular: from founder of a record label at 23, with multi-platinum bands, to founder of The Big Quiet, a global meditation movement that brings together massive groups for moments of transformational silence. Today, everyone, from Oprah an…
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Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the dynamic design duo behind New York–based womenswear brand Proenza Schouler, share their thoughts on the evolving fashion marketplace with Christopher Michael and how they’ve seen their work mature and scale with it. Their illustrious journey started 20 years ago at Parsons School of Design when they complet…
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As the youngest and first black fashion director in Vogue’s history, Julia Sarr-Jamois is a powerful driving force for change within the fashion industry. She started her illustrious career by modeling at 17 and then interning at i-D magazine. Her love of textiles and fashion accessories since childhood fueled her prolific rise to consultant, styli…
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With an impressive amount of experience in luxury lifestyle branding, Youssef Marquis has been one of the key players in shaping the image and narrative of some of the most iconic fashion houses, such as Givenchy and Louis Vuitton. His Paris-based agency Marquis, with a content-centric, digitally savvy vision, offers innovative services that bridge…
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Carlos Nazario, stylist, consultant and global fashion director of i-D Magazine, opens up about his work ethic, upbringing, and the importance of vulnerability in the fashion industry. Growing up in a Puerto Rican household in Queens, he credits his ambition, sense of responsibility, and ability to multitask—while maintaining an even temperament—to…
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In coming home to himself, dancer turned photographer Luis Alberto Rodriguez fully claimed the confident perspective that makes him one of the most sought-after talents in fashion and art today. For the gay son of Dominican immigrants, the performance art world offered refuge and exceptional opportunities—such as exploring the globe as a member of …
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Charles Levai and Kevin Tekinel, creative directors and cofounders of the Paris-based creative agency Maybe, chat with Christopher Michael about their inspiring journey to success. Before launching their sought-after agency, they honed their skills separately in various creative fields. Their complementary expertise in graphic design, fashion image…
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Visionary founder of @stylenotcom, Beka Gvishiani, grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia with little-to-no access to pop culture—or even basic electricity. In this episode, Beka shares his seemingly overnight success story in the fashion industry with Christopher Michael. However, his digital platform and unique voice are rooted in years…
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Irish stylist Alastair McKimm joins Christopher Michael to discuss his trailblazing path to becoming i-D Magazine's global editor-in-chief. Growing up in Belfast in the '80s and '90s, Alastair was captivated by the distinct street style and elements of skateboarding, hip hop, and punk cultures. He encountered the fashion world through the pages of …
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We are back with new thought-provoking exchanges with your favorite editors, photographers, creative directors, stylists, media mavens, and even NYT bestselling authors and masters of meditation and manifesting. We'll talk about sustaining creativity in a competitive world, mastermind marketing, the new new media, and also explore the ubiquitous an…
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Vedic wisdom and meditation teacher Jonni Pollard reflects on today's growing wave of people seeking to create space and internal alignment in a noisy world. The co-founder of 1 Giant Mind explains to Christopher Michael why having a practice is more important than ever and how "internal reckonings" produce meaningful, reliable, and profound shifts…
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Jaime Perlman, editor in chief and creative director of More or Less, has a riveting front-row view of fashion's evolving culture and ecosystem. Formerly the creative director of British Vogue, she has helped shape a conversation that embraces the bold and sensational over the noncontroversial and safe. Driven by instinct and a personal need, she c…
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As a tastemaker, fashion editor, and stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson has a thoughtful, respected, and provocative take on the intersection between style and culture. At Vogue magazine, the venue she has long considered a pinnacle of excellence, she has pushed for evolution and has broken boundaries with tremendous success. Gabriella shares thought…
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To Emma Summerton, shooting the 2023 Pirelli Calendar was a dream—one that was years in the making. Entitled "Love Letters to the Muse," the 49th edition of the calendar is steeped in magical realism, with portraits going beyond aesthetical beauty to acknowledge women's strengths, talents, and sensibilities. The sought-after Australian-born photogr…
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Ferdinando Verderi understands that to impact the fashion landscape we need to delve into the diversity of a lived experience—what we don't yet know about ourselves and our world. The lauded creative force and former Vogue Italia creative director today has pioneered a new type of creativity, one that is focused on inclusivity and community. Whethe…
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Global PR Director Kevin McIntosh Jr. sees fashion magic happening for brands that embrace a broad range of creative voices, deploying a 360° strategy to promote their vision. A full-spectrum approach is nonnegotiable in today’s hyper-connected fashion landscape. As the chief executive officer at KMJR.World, Kevin shares with Christopher Michael hi…
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Zinnia Kumar is anything but unseen, but would that have been the case had she not fought so hard on so many fronts? An ecologist, activist, writer, and model, this Australian multihyphenate shares her unique journey to claiming an undeniable presence. In this episode, she discusses with Christopher Michael the stereotypes that have trapped South A…
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What keeps creatives relevant in an industry that’s constantly evolving? Ezra Petronio has done it decade after decade by staying curious and riding the waves of technological and cultural change. In this episode, the Petronio Associates founder and creative director explains to Christopher Michael how he has been very intentional about the early a…
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When it comes to the concept of “flow,” the fashion PR Lucien Pagès is Exhibit A. He has carved out a dynamic career in communications by following his instincts, keeping an eye on the big picture, and always staying true to himself. He explains to Christopher Michael in this episode that his Lucien Pagès Communications team is laser-focused on two…
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Beginning his career at the age of twelve, Sam Visser has become one of the most renowned makeup artists today, lauded for his sense of style, understanding of the camera, and the ability to find a unique beauty in any face. Sam boasts an impressive list of esteemed clients and creative collaborators, including the likes of Kendall Jenner, Amber Va…
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The creative duo Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Işık is behind such brands as GmbH—the label they started out of Berlin—and the century-old Milanese fashion house Trussardi. Bringing diverse backgrounds in fashion photography and design, they discovered in each other the perfect collaborator. Today, they break down the social codes of different cities,…
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“I was fighting, fighting for my humanity - for my liberty - for 22 years.” - Halim Flowers It's time we end the practice of solitary confinement for children, especially as the US is the only country to sentence kids to life in prison w/o parole. “I started doing this work because I was meeting brilliant, beautiful, amazing men like you two who we…
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You might know her as a supermodel, actress, and an activist. She's worn many different hats both on and off camera, but she also plays the role of sustainability ambassador to a diverse roster of partners, such as Karl Lagerfeld, British Vogue, and New York City’s FIT. In this episode, we talk about the joys of creativity, Amber’s love for the fas…
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In this episode, Christopher Michael speaks to Glen Luchford, legendary fashion photographer and filmmaker whose images are often referred to as iconic and cinematic. The conversation flows from discussing the future role of a photographer and the emerging marketplace of the metaverse to new technologies, how Glen has adapted to them, and broaching…
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“What's Contemporary”, the galvanizing platform, has returned in a new podcast format, which felt more fitting for our ever-consuming and insatiable query. This season’s conversations feature returning contributors like Glen Luchford, Ezra Petronio, and Emma Summerton alongside newcomers including Amber Valletta, Ferdinando Verderi, Lucien Pagès, J…
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This episode continues the conversation between hosts Ronnie Villeda and Josue Pineda about Kalief Browder’s case, the long-term solitary confinement that he endured at Rikers Island as a 16-year-old, and the all too common harm inflicted on Kalief by the youth justice system that eventually led him to take his own life. Tragically, the profound ha…
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