Young, gifted and black: Fashion and design choices

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I would like to see the British fashion industry taking more risks and using a lot more black, Asian and Indian faces on the catwalks and fashion magazines. We are a multi-racial nation and this should be reflected in advertising

Tandy Anderson is co-founder of Select Model Management

Kesh, 20, Fashion designer

Fashion designer, DJ and former editor of style title Super Super, Kesh has caught the eye of musicians such as MIA, Mariah Carey and Lupe Fiasco with her signature fusion of eclectic vintage, neon 1980s tracksuits and oversized gold jewellery. Last December, she launched the fashion-label Keshwear, and is now in talks to expand to New York.

Kesh says: "My style is what I call 'maximalisation': go-go 1980s glamour, big jewellery, big hair, bright colours. I've been customising clothes since I was 12. As an only child I used to spend hours in my bedroom with old tracksuits, trainers, paints and pens. I was quite wild in the way I dressed, but when I moved to London at 17 to study fashion at Southgate College, the girls thought I was odd for wearing vintage gear. Eventually I got kicked out for fighting, which was when I started customising for people on the garage scene.

"Being black in this business, people love to class you as 'urban', whereas a white person would be classed 'high fashion'. I'll never understand that. But there are benefits too: I haven't got much competition as a black female fashion designer. Fashion is very white-dominated, and I think that's partly down to a reluctance in the black community to try to get in to fashion. What I'm trying to do is show young black girls that it's OK to be ambitious."

Junior Phipps, 35, Furniture designer

Phipps launched his company, Conscious Forms, with a line of cool, concrete-based lighting designs in 2005. He is now working on a range of products that encourage elements of interaction from the user.

Anderson says: "He has a functional, minimalist style, with a Mediterranean feel; simply beautiful."

Richard Ampaw, 33, Model

Ampaw is one of the highest-earning black British models of the decade. He has worked for Swatch, Hilfiger, Banana Republic and Macy's, and featured in editorial work for i-D and Wallpaper.

Anderson says: "He's like the male Naomi Campbell in Europe – and one of the biggest models that Select Men has on its books. When he walks through a door with that million-dollar smile, people pay attention."

David Adjaye OBE, 40, Architect

David Adjaye's designs continue to create waves a decade after he started out in the business. Trained at the Ghanaian Royal College of Art and with a masters from the Royal College of Art, he is best known for the landmark building Rivington Place and the Whitechapel Idea Store in east London.

Anderson says: "Adjaye is amazing. He is the future of British architecture."

Edward Enninful, 34, Stylist and fashion director

London-based Enninful trained at Goldsmiths and, at 18, became the youngest ever fashion editor of i-D, and is now fashion editor of Italian Vogue and fashion editor-at-large of Japanese Vogue. He recently put Kate Moss in a platinum wig on the cover of i-D.

Anderson says: "Enninful is one of the biggest stars in the industry. I respect the fact that he's willing to take risks with up-and-coming people, when they are still brand-new and exciting."

Pat McGrath, 37, Make-up artist

Dubbed by Vogue as "the most influential make-up artist in the world", McGrath makes inventive use of colour, latex petals and vinyl lips, which have become a much-copied trademark. McGrath has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Jil Sander, John Galliano, Prada and Dolce & Gabanna. In 2004, she was named global creative design director for Procter & Gamble.

Anderson says: "Everywhere I go in the world I see Pat. She is very good at coming up with ideas and at pushing the boundaries of fashion."

Gavin Douglas, 24, Fashion designer

Douglas was named Young Avant-Garde Designer of the Year in 2004, and last year won the prestigious Fashion Fringe competition. He has also had his collection exhibited at Black British Style at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, curated by the V&A, and has just staged his second show at London Fashion week.

Anderson says: "Retro-chic with hints of 1940s Yves Saint Laurent, his colours are autumnal and the metallic fabrics complement the slick design – an inspiration."

Naomi Campbell, 37, Model

Campbell is one of the most successful black women of her generation. She made the cover of Elle at the age of 16 and, two years later, in 1988, she became French Vogue's first black cover girl. Campaigns for major labels such as Ralph Lauren and Lee followed, and she has since starred in music videos, dabbled in writing, acting and singing. Despite various high-profile legal battles, she is still one of the UK's foremost black female icons.

Anderson says: "Naomi has always been one of my favourite models, and is one of the best out there. Plus, she seems to have calmed down a lot lately."

Dennis Brown, 33, Graphic designer

Brown graduated only recently from the London College of Communication with a BA in graphic design, but has already won a fellowship at the college and was featured in its recent Black 100+ exhibition of portrait photographs celebrating the work of outstanding black achievers.

Anderson says: "It's great that exhibitions such as Black 100+ are recognising the work of young people such as Brown – and hopefully it will encourage more young people to succeed in the world of design. It's a step in the right direction."

Duro Olowu, Fashion designer

Olowu started out designing clothes for his boutique on Portobello Road, and is now considered one of the UK's most promising young designers. Last year he was named New Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. He has just launched his second collection (right), and his signature Duro Dress is now internationally recognised.

Anderson says: "An all-rounder, outstanding designs, totally classic and wearable with an ethnic twist. I'm sure we'll see much more from him."

Research and interviews by Sarah Harris

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