Introducing ‘The Muse’: Hunger’s new weekly interview series spotlighting the emerging cool alt-girls to follow on Instagram now – sharing their thoughts on everything from sexism and social media to fashion and politics. Models who are passionate activists? Pop stars opening up about Gen Selfie? Digi-designers empowering women? Meet your next must-follow. Next up, Fenn O’Meally…
“It was my birthday yesterday,” Fenn croaks down the phone. Not from a heavy night out, however, the 24-year-old presenter, radio host and emerging filmmaker has been too busy juggling exciting work projects to celebrate yet. When she arrived in London in 2012, from her hometown in Birmingham, Fenn cut her teeth chasing down designers at London Fashion Week for small publications and is now making a name for herself in both the presenting and fashion world (currently she’s signed to Premier Model Management and has worked for the likes of Nike and House of Holland). “The one thing I wanted to do was present and I didn’t really have a platform for it,” O’Meally admits. “I was just trying to create content and presenting backstage for Boys by Girls and XXY magazine and it flourished from there…” Hunger caught up with the one-to-watch to talk youth culture, diversity on the catwalk and future documentary plans…
You’ve created some pretty cool shorts for brands like Nike and House of Holland with a particular focus on youth culture, how did you get started?
I started off knowing absolutely no one in the industry. Then I interviewed Dylan Jones for my dissertation on the change in language in men’s fashion over the past 25 years of GQ magazine. I emailed him – I guessed it – went into the shower, 10 minutes later he came back to me saying he’d do it. I am so interested in platforming people whether you are established or not. There’s so much talent. Collaboration is so important too. As women we have to shout out to other women, because this industry is so hard and there’s so many changes. Social media is constantly changing. If you don’t have anyone to go through this with you can be so lost.
"When I was 8-years-old I was told I would be prettier if I was white."
How would describe your personal style? Who are your favourite emerging fashion brands?
I am super chilled. It depends on my mood. For me, I really go for what is practical. I don’t do heels! I am so clumsy. I love Nicole Saldana’s shoes, she used to design for Opening Ceremony and a cool colourful latex brand HANGER.
Representation on the catwalk was a huge talking point over Fashion Month, do you think there’s more racial diversity on the catwalk now?
Yes, people love to embrace it. We should do! I find it weird not to; I find it weird if there wasn’t a black model walking the runway. Sometimes we herald the one person that is and it shouldn’t be like that. I encountered racism growing up; [but] I grew up in a very white area and very white school. When I was 8-years-old I was told I would be prettier if I was white – by a friend! I remember coming back from school and telling my dad and he went ballistic. Looking back why did I think that was a normal thing to say?
"There needs to be more female filmmakers, but I think there needs to be more support for younger filmmakers in general."
You present your own radio show too, tell me more about that?
On my show with Radar Radio I’ve got a series of interviews, which is based on a new generation of talent in film, music and fashion like Nathan Miller, CassKidd and Annie Greenberg. I do short films with them which I want to make into a longer documentary. There needs to be more female filmmakers, but I think there needs to be more support for younger filmmakers in general.
Any emerging musicians you’re really excited about RN?
I love rapper Noname – I listen to her music on repeat – it’s almost like slam poetry and hip-hop though mixed together. Steve Lacy is great too. Rex Orange County is great too and Connie Constance.