There’s a changing of the guard in fashion and culture. Gen Z creators are pushing the conversation forward in ways both awe-inspiring and audacious. Our latest project, Youthquake, invites you to discover how these artists, musicians, actors, designers, and models are radically reimagining the future.
“In school, people always thought I was a weirdo because I wasn’t really focusing. I never had a plan B, I was only into music,” singer Zoe Wees tells Vogue. She would write songs during math class and show her friends. “They supported me and saw something in me when others didn’t.” The 19-year-old has since been named one of the “most exciting young musicians on planet earth” by GQ. Her debut single, “Control,” came out in March 2020 and she signed with Capitol Records at the start of 2021. 2022 will no doubt be a banner year for Wees.
Growing up in Hamburg, Germany, Wees—who describes her sound as sad, dark pop—never wanted to be like everyone else. “I’ve never been part of the local music scene,” she says. She applies the same mentality to her beauty. “What’s missing here is colors. To be honest, that’s what drives me to go for a more colorful approach to beauty that stands out,” she says. Wees has made her ankle-grazing neon braids something of a signature. “For the ‘Girls Like Us’ music video shoot I thought about including colors in my hair for the first time,” she says. “That’s when we met this really cool braid artist, Awa. I’ve been working with her ever since.” Together, the pair have dreamed up floor-length pastel pink pigtails, neon orange cornrows, and an electric green plait that doubled as a necklace. As she experimented further, Wees says, “I really fell in love with supporting my culture—I want people to see that this is a part of me.”