FASHION SPOTLIGHT: COLLECTIVE POWER ~STORMZY & FRIENDS ELLE UK FEBRUARY 2019 "THE GREAT BRITISH FASHION ISSUE"
PHOTO CREDIT: Paula Kudacki
COVER STORY: Shannon Mahanty
BRIEF EXCERPT FROM COVER STORY WRITTEN BY: Shannon Mahanty
We’re in a photo studio in West London, and Stormzy is meant to be on set - but the Croydon-born MC has snuck off to greet the final arrival of his ELLE cover shoot. From an upstairs balcony, he bellows down to Temi Mwale, a South London activist known for her work against youth violence, and his booming voice floods the studio.
At 6'5", Stormzy—real name Michael Omari— looms over the balcony edge, one hand gripping the bannister while with the other, he punches a glass of Courvoisier skyward. “This” he says, “is for the culture”.
He has reason to toast. In the last two years, Stormzy has entered unprecedented territory for a British rapper. As well as a number one album and a handful of BRIT and MOBO awards, he’s launched #Merky Books, a Penguin imprint that champions BAME writers, and created a scholarship to fund two black students through Cambridge (six of the university’s 31 colleges had admitted fewer than 10 black or mixed race students between 2012 and 2016*).
Stormzy along with Damson Idris, poet Yrsa Daley-Ward and supermodel Leomie Anderson
Stormzy & Jourdan Dunn
(Left) Poet Yrsa Daley-Ward (Right) Supermodel Leomie Anderson
WILFRIED ZAHA, PREMIER FOOTBALLER
(Bottom) YRSA DALEY-WARD, POET
(BACK LEFT) JOSHUA BUATSI, CHAMPIONSHIP BOXER
TIANA MAJOR9, SINGER/SONGWRITER
DINA ASHER-SMITH, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SPRINTER
DAMSON IDRIS, ACTOR
TEMI MWALE, ACTIVIST
JOURDAN DUNN, MODEL