Eight Faces Defining the Future of Fashion
Transformation

Eight Faces Defining the Future of Fashion

Photography by Luke Dickey / Styling by Erika Golcher / Interviews by Mario Abad

Pushing against society's limits, labels and norms, these eight trailblazers — Chella Man, Parker Kit Hill, Morgan Saint, Camryn Ruby, Celilo Miles, James Turlington, Jacob Bixenman and Alexis Ruby — are not merely breaking rules, they're creating new ones. We photographed these rising stars in some of our favorite boundary-defying fashion this season and jewels from Bulgari's B.zero1 Rock collection, inspired by unexpected pairings and unapologetically bold self-expression.

CELILO MILES (25 / Model)

Clothing: Marc Jacobs, Jewelry: Bulgari

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

My biggest obstacles have been growing up in a family plagued by alcoholism and addiction. I love my family dearly and would never wish to be born into another family. I am proud to be a Nimiipuu Aayat (Nez Perce Woman). As a child my environment was very volatile. I grew up seeing domestic, emotional and mental abuse. Growing up in a family of alcoholics and addicts has caused trauma in my young adult life. I moved to New York City not only to model, but to heal and start a new chapter of opportunity. In part, Indigenous people deal with historical trauma and this is a main driver in why Indigenous people suffer from depression and addiction. My brother Aaron Jr. Miles also known as Lepit Hisemtuks (Two-Moons) is a victim of this and passed away at the young age of 23 years old from an overdose. I've had to learn how to heal myself and love deeply to overcome the obstacles in my path. I knew if I didn't choose love then I would never overcome my hardships. I take everything one step at a time and each day I wake up focused on gratitude for the small things in life. It isn't always easy but I am on a journey to build a life that makes me feel proud and safe.

What advice would you give the next generation who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I would tell the Indigenous youth to always stay true to who you are and where you come from. As Indigenous people we have the right to exist and this means you don't need to assimilate to succeed in life. I would also tell Indigenous youth that New York City doesn't run on "Indian time." For those who don't know what Indian time is, well it usually means thirty minutes to an hour late. Follow your dreams and don't ever give up. We can all get lost on the journey of life but at the same time we can just as easily find our path and purpose.

JACOB BIXENMAN (25 / Model, Photographer, Filmmaker)

Jacket and scarf: Acne Studios, Jewelry: Bulgari B.zero 1 Rock collection

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

I find myself wanting to speak less and show more through work and then getting in my way by comparing the quality of the things I consume to the things I make. I think that's a common challenge, being a creative person who is still finding their footing. The pressure of constant production/ consumption of information online makes it easy to feel unproductive as well. I think it's good that we are slowing down. I work around all of that by meditating and trying to treat myself like I would a friend.

Do you have any role models or people you look up to that have made a big impact on your life?

People with style and empathy, creators who are meaningfully subversive. Cookie Mueller, Nina Simone, Nan Goldin, Jean Genet are some of my heroes.

What are you most passionate about?

Pleasure and integrity.

What advice would you give the next generation who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Be kind, trust yourself. Write everything down. Prioritize your time to experience the world and to make sense of it alone equally. Look around but not too much.

PARKER KIT HILL (24 / Artist)

Dress: Christian Cowan, Hat: Gucci, Tights: Wolford, Shoes: Prada, Jewelry: Bulgari

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

Always being seen as different was one of my biggest obstacles. I always had to work a little harder than others. The way that I overcame that part of my life was by telling myself that each moment is temporary and none of it would define who I want to be.

What are you most passionate about?

I'm the most passionate about aesthetics. I love design, art, architecture and everything else in between.

How have you used your platform to inspire and educate others?

I would say I've done so with just being authentic and honest about everything that I associate myself with.

What advice would you give the next generation who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Don't be afraid of failure. Make sure you're learning something new constantly, and listen.

Clothing: Marc Jacobs, Jewelry: Bulgari

Clothing: Marc Jacobs, Jewelry: Bulgari

JAMES TURLINGTON (25 / Model)

Top, shorts, shoes and sunglasses: Gucci, Hosiery: Wolford, Jewelry: Bulgari B.zero 1 Rock collection

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

When I was in college I suffered an injury playing baseball that required me to get surgery. That surgery put me out of commission for a while and I couldn't play the game I loved and was afraid I may not get to play again. Luckily, I was able to recover in time to finish out the season and I got drafted by the Dodgers and got three good years playing the game. Ultimately I had to walk away but I learned that I am resilient and that there's more to life than baseball.

Do you have any role models or people you look up to that have made a big impact on your life?

In sports, I grew up loving Kobe Bryant and Barry Bonds. They were both incredible athletes at the top of their games and they inspired me to want to pursue my childhood dreams to be a professional athlete.

What advice would you give the next generation who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I have younger brothers and cousins who look up to me. Some of them are athletes too and they got to get closer to professional sports than they would have otherwise. They got to see how hard I worked and the discipline that went into it at every level. But they also saw that it was fun and that I got a lot out of it in the end. Now, they see that I am going to continue my education and that that's a priority and a privilege.

ALEXIS RUBY (23 / Model)

Dress: Erdem, Jewelry: Bulgari B.zero 1 Rock collection

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

Growing up, one of the biggest obstacles for me is that I had to "grow up" at an early age. My mom was a single parent and I was an only child. She worked a lot to make sure we always had a roof over our heads and food on the table, but I spent a lot of time alone as a kid and had to figure a lot of things out years before most do. I definitely became a very independent and strong-willed person, but it is also why I am able to push myself to do and try new things to this day.

Do you have any role models or people you look up to that have made a big impact on your life?

My mom is definitely one of my role models. I've watched her fight many battles and win my entire life. When I was 14 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and lost feeling in half her body. Doctors thought she'd be wheelchair bound for the rest of her life. But she was not having that. I witnessed my amazing mom fight tooth and nail, learning how to walk again and to this day she hasn't been in a wheelchair in over 5 years now.

What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about helping others to see and live their truth, no matter what that is. It is so important to be able to be your most genuine and true self. Once I started living my own truth I have never felt more free and weightless and I want everyone I cross paths with to be able to see that and say, "Today I'll start living my truth, too. If she can do it, so can I."

CHELLA MAN (21 / Artist, Model)

Clothing: Thom Browne, Jewelry: Bulgari B.zero 1 Rock collection

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

Growing up was a bit of a challenge. Before I hit double-digits, I felt both beautiful and confident simply because I was presenting masculine, which is what I preferred. However, once puberty hit, my body shifted against my wishes. As my chest and curves grew, I felt my sense of beauty and confidence fade away. I fought it, of course. But the disconnection between my mind and body overshadowed any compliment I received regarding my beauty. While this was happening, I was also progressively losing my hearing. Surrounded by able-bodied individuals, I struggled to navigate my deaf identity. I conquered these obstacles by realizing the validity of all of my identities being on a continuum, learning the language to describe myself authentically and accepting who I always have been and deciding to be my own representation.

Do you have any role models or people you look up to that have made a big impact on your life?

Absolutely. Nyle DiMarco, Lauren Ridloff, Douglas Ridloff and Christine Sun Kim have been incredible role models that have shown me true deaf power.

Alok V Menon, Vineeta Maruri, Aaron Philip, Phillip Picardi, Adam Eli, (of course MaryV my girlfriend) and so many others are empowering queer figures within my life that I am proud of call my friends.

What advice would you give the next generation who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Throughout this fight, always uplift and support those within your own communities. Be conscious of the space you take up on and offline. Educate yourself on the negative effects of gatekeeping, cancel culture and horizontal hostility; these events within our own communities prevent us from progressing. Above all, remember that your mental health comes first. It will only bring pain to try to help others when you, yourself, are not okay.

MORGAN SAINT (25 / Singer, Songwriter, Artist)

Jacket and bodysuit: Versace, Tights: We Love Colors, Head mask: NIHL, Shoes: Alexandre Birman, Jewelry: Bulgari B.zero 1 Rock collection

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

My biggest obstacles growing up have been coming to terms with my sexuality and learning to be comfortable expressing myself fully without suppressing any aspects of myself. I've overcome these challenges with the help of my awesome therapist and by surrounding myself with open, like-minded people.

How have you used your platform to inspire and educate others?

I try my best to just be 100% myself in hopes that maybe it can give someone out there the confidence to be fearlessly themselves, or challenge someone's perspective that might normally prejudge someone like me before getting to know them.

What advice would you give the next generation who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Who knows! I need advice haha. I think the biggest lessons I've learned in life the past couple of years are to trust my gut, not to waver what I believe in and that protecting others' happiness and feelings at the expense of my own doesn't always equate to a positive outcome.

CAMERYN RUBY (19 / Model, Artist, Activist)

Romper: Chanel, Boots: Dion Lee, Tights: Leg Avenue, Jewelry: Bulgari B.zero 1 Rock collection

What have been some of your biggest obstacles growing up and how have you overcome them?

One of the biggest obstacles I faced growing up was finding the strength to truly accept myself internally. I would look in the mirror everyday and see someone I didn't recognize. My outward appearance read boy, but deep in my soul I always knew I was a girl. I felt trapped in my own body. When I was a kid I wanted so desperately for people to see the real me despite how I looked. I thought I needed the validation of being seen as a girl from everyone else. But even after I started transitioning I was still called the same names. People still weren't nice. My exterior finally began to match my interior, but I still couldn't fully accept the fact that I was trans. This was because I let other people's words dictate what I thought about myself. There came a day when I knew I had to let that go if I wanted to live my life for me. I stopped caring about what people said of me which was a really hard thing to do. I realized the power I had to make a better world for my community. I gave up living in secrecy and shared my story in the hopes it would inspire change and help others. And in doing so I've never been happier.

Do you have any role models or people you look up to that have made a big impact on your life?

Someone who I have really looked up to since I was a young teenager is Teddy Quinlivan. I saw her slaying every runway and I really admired her strong confident personality. Her coming out was a major moment for the world of fashion and our community. She helped prove that you don't have to choose between being a proud trans woman and being successful in your career. I always knew I wanted to model but before seeing her story I thought it wasn't possible to do both. She showed otherwise. Her contributions are immense and we are all very proud of her. And I am lucky to call her one of my best judys. She has taught me a lot and I hope to follow in her footsteps one day.

What are you most passionate about?

Since I was young art has been my outlet of creative expression. Drawing was a way for me to show my femininity at a very young age. Even before I could use words to express it. This was a huge indicator for my parents to see how I was really feeling on the inside. Fashion was the same. I spent hours watching runway shows and reading magazines. I used to take my moms old clothes and sew new dresses for myself. The little fashion-obsessed diva in me was growing. I was set on working in the industry and becoming a model. Since then my passions have remained the same. Now I'm taking art and design more seriously and would like to turn them into a career one day.

You May Also Like