END. X PUMA CLYDE OG “CLASSICS”: Spotlighting Emerging London Talent25 January 2023
As part of our three-piece Clyde OG capsule with PUMA, dubbed “Classics”, END. took a trip to London to spotlight a selection of the Capital’s emerging talent.
London has long stood as a focal point for creative talent: a sprawling metropolis where global innovators come together to further their visions, push boundaries and collaborate. The city’s population, which now stands at over 9.6 million individuals, consists of creatives who approach their craft relentlessly, constantly striving to forge their own unique paths that educate, entertain and inspire people from around the globe.
From its world-renowned fashion scene, from which pioneers like Grace Wales Bonner and Samuel Ross have emerged, to its culinary scene that fizzes with excitement and invention, London is a city helped brought to life by its creative tastemakers that sit at its beating heart.
To celebrate the launch of our collaborative capsule with PUMA — three iterations of the Clyde dubbed “Classics” — we took a trip to the capital to celebrate a selection of the creatives and familiar faces from across the city, ranging from trailblazing chefs to trend-defining stylists and visual directors.
Sertaç Dirik: Head Chef & Co-Owner of Mangal II
Sertaç Dirik is one of London’s most exciting talents in the culinary scene, acting as the head chef and co-owner of Mangal II in Dalston. Sertaç and his brother Ferhat followed in the footsteps of their father, Ali Dirik, “modernising the kebab-house model into a more refined Turkish dining experience”. On his approach to cooking, Sertaç takes a rigorous and inventive stance, utilising the time he spent cutting his teeth as a chef in Copenhagen to create dishes that balance the classic with experimental. Before a dish becomes successful for Sertaç, certain criteria must be hit. For starters, seasonality plays a big role, “the menu will change quite drastically depending on what vegetables, seafood and protein is available in that time”, said Sertaç. Secondly, referencing Sertaç’s Turkish heritage is paramount: “if it's a great tasting dish and visually appealing, but we can't link it to Turkish cuisine, then we can't use it”.
Beyond cooking, Sertaç has a deep appreciation for music, dating all the way back to the age of seven when he first picked up a pair of drumsticks. Nowadays, Sertaç struggles to find the time to play music as much as he once did, though he’s constantly discovering as much as possible: “I'm currently deep into my psychedelic 70's; I found a lot of gems from Turkey, Iran, South America and the UK/US. The restaurant playlist often changes depending on what's discovered that week”.
Jade Kelly: Owner of J A D E . K E L L Y
Jade Kelly is the owner and designer behind her namesake label, J A D E . K E L L Y, creating underwear with an emphasis on crafting things by hand and using unique dyeing techniques. On what Jade is aiming to achieve with her brand, she commented: “It's about feeling the confidence of not only yourself, but 100 other people when you get your undies on in the morning”. Jade creates comfortable staples with a streetwear focus, bridging the gap between everyday basics and aesthetics “for hes, shes and theys”. J A D E . K E L L Y is also focused on actively engaging with its community, inviting its audience to liberation days, “like 20 everyday women stripping down to their undies on the London Eye”, said Jade.
Jared Knight: Owner of Sampaix Studio
Jared Knight is the founder and Creative Director of Manchester-based brand Sampaix: a label cutting through the noise thanks to an unwavering eye for premium fabrics, meticulous craft and intricate, off-kilter detailing. Since being founded in 2015, Jared and his label have steadily grown from strength to strength, fuelled by his DIY spirit and desire for constant progression and refinement of Sampaix. On what Sampaix represents, Jared said “Sampaix at its core represents exploration and growth to me, from my approach to design and development down to physical and mental growth. I started this brand as a form of self-education and it's progressed with me along the way. My intentions haven’t changed since day one but my approach and execution has”. On what the future holds for Sampaix, Jared said “we are looking forward to introducing more silhouettes this year and peeling back the layers of the brand to invite more people into our world/my head”.
Alex Robson: Photographer & Director
Alex Joseph Robson is a London-based, Newcastle-born photographer carving his own space in the fashion world, having partnered with a long list of coveted names including New Balance, Aimé Leon Dore and Cole Buxton, to name a few. Alex made the move to London around two years ago — prior to which he worked as an ecommerce photographer for END. — and still finds it surreal working with the brands he’s long been a fan of, “I still have moments of just thinking “this is mad” when pitching campaigns to brands I’d admired growing up”.
On his creative approach, Alex counts the slower, more considered use of film and print as a driver in his engagement with work. “In an age where you can take a thousand photos in an hour, to spend 2/3 hours solely focused on one image — taking that time, care and effort really shows in the images”. On his favourite project Alex has worked on, he counts the Aimé Leon Dore and New Balance Made in UK 991 campaign as a career highlight — “having aspired and looked up to ALD for years and then get the opportunity to shoot for them, that was pretty special for me”.
Maz Ullah: Influencer & Content Creator
Maz Ullah is a London-based fashion content creator who aims at connecting with her audiences in a personal, comforting manner, whether it be through her ongoing “Living Alone Diaries” series or try-on hauls. As well as this, Maz also runs Space Muslim Wellness, which she explains is “centred around the Muslim faith and bringing a sense of community to it”.
Thomas Kwofie: Stylist & Visual Director
Thomas Kwofie is a multi-disciplinary artist who was born and raised in Italy, counting a stylist, casting director, buyer and magazine owner as occupations on his resume. On this do-it-all creative approach, Thomas said “I think I’ve spent my whole life doing just doing things. To be honest, whatever comes my way, if it aligns with who I am, I just do it”. Currently, Thomas works as a brand and image consultant, in addition to laying the foundations for his future projects: “I am working on opening a talent agency as well as a leather bags brand”. The latter of the two will provide opportunity for Thomas to expand into another pursuit, adding another string to his creative bow through designing of both bags and products in general.
Julia Lebossé: Founder of Sneakers by Women
Julia Lebossé is a freelance writer, swim teach and founder of Sneakers by Women: “an online platform and community centred on the incredible women in the sneaker industry”, says Julia. Sneakers by Women is a passion project of Julia’s that “aims to elevate and support underserved women in the industry, acting as an online platform/community. Julia and Sneakers by Women serve as representatives for a new era in sneakers, “in which women are no longer left in the shadows, instead celebrates for their contributions to defining streetwear and sneaker culture”.
Maria Maleh: Creative Director & Graphic Designer
Maria Maleh is a Swedish-born, London-based multihyphenate who combines art direction, content creation, photography and graphic design. She’s the co-founder and Creative Director of the London-based creative agency, Studio Palmetto: an art direction and graphic design practice. In addition to this, Maria is also a photographer and freelance stylist, who describes her style as having “a sporty, comfy base mixed in with cute and feminine elements”. When Maria is not working on her creative pursuits, she loves playing football with her own 5-aside team, Hamsters FC, and spending time with her beloved cat, Miso.
Harriet Russell: Creative Producer
Harriet Russell is an East London-based creative specialising in production, content creation and events in the fashion industry. One of Harriet’s biggest passions is helping the next generation in fashion, striving to open the doors for young people who are looking for a foot in the door and to establish their names in the industry. She’s also a strong advocate for destigmatizing mental health, often speaking openly about her own personal experiences to help those surrounding her feel comfortable in speaking about theirs.
END. x PUMA Clyde OG
Pine Needles & Frosted Ivory
END. x PUMA Clyde OG
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END. x PUMA Clyde OG
Puma Navy & Frosted Ivory