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Creative Director - Derrick Odafi 

Fashion Director - Jessica Rushforth

Production Manager - Efosa Idubor-Williams

Photographer - Jurga Ramonaite 

Photographer Assistant - Pietro Lazzaris 

DOP - Arthur Loveday

Stylist - Shaquille Williams

Stylist Assistant - Estelle Boachie, Arielle Uno

Set Designer - Murdo Hepburn 

Set Design Assistants - Joe Harrison, Hara Spyrou 

MUA - Painted by Esther 

Hairstylist - Sharon Robinson For Evolved Artists 

Production Assistant - Hassan Gazali, Aaliyah Sanchez

BTS - Lauren Carnell, Ayoba

Creative Production - New Wave Studios 

NEW_WAVE_03-min (1).jpg

NW: You are a successful model, fashion designer, entrepreneur, and activist, did you always know this was the type of career you wanted to achieve for yourself? Or did you have other ideas in mind of how you wanted your career to take off?


LA: Well actually, I always wanted to be in fashion, but originally wanted to be a fashion journalist. I really enjoyed the fact that fashion tells stories and that fashion is much deeper than the outer layer that people tend to comment on and tend to see, so I was always very much interested in fashion as a language to be able to communicate and reflect on what is going on in the world. Then once I was scouted, I didn’t actually wanna be a model as such, I was kind of handed the opportunity and I was like, oh I’ll just give it a try. I had no real expectations apart from thinking it was going to be like America’s Next Top Model which it wasn’t [Laughs]. But yeah, I just went with it from there. It wasn’t like, oh my God, I really want to be a model, I really want to be in magazines, I wanted to write for magazines, but I didn’t care about being in them.


What word describes you and tell us how it has made an impact in your life? 

LA: I would describe myself as someone who takes everything into their stride and is not afraid to try new things. I feel like throughout my life and career, one of the things that have enabled me to have the experience that I’ve had is the fact that I’ve never been afraid to fall down, never been afraid for things to go wrong and I feel like I am just a very persistent person. If I want to do something even if it’s something that would take me years to do, I would. I would do it. I don’t feel scared of time, I don’t feel scared about whether it will do well or not, I’ll just do it.

NW: Growing up, was there any great advice from your parents that stands out and still follow to this day? 


LA: To be honest, once I was in it, I didn’t really get much advice, I was the first person in my family as well as my brother to be self-employed, be just doing their own thing. It wasn’t really much advice they could give, apart from “get a good accountant” and “don’t trust people” but the first thing my mum told me that these people are not your friends and that was just the peak of the advice. I think that every model discovers eventually that people who initially at the beginning of your career say that they are there for you and they fully support you, they just see you like how they see any other model which is something like a business, a business transaction. As much as they want to cover it up in the beginning, you find out eventually down the line that’s kinda what it is. Apart from that, I feel like everybody experiences the fashion industry so differently, it’s hard to feel like people are genuine sometimes.

Full Look: Lanvin

Leomie Anderson Is A Shining Light For Women Creating Without Fear

Leomie Anderson is an extraordinary bright shining star and a powerful force to watch out for. The young Gen-Z British Model strides with every success to achieve her passion and pursuits. She is willing to share her knowledge and experience with others as we watch her dip her many talents in a variety of interests from modelling, designing to podcasting and being a true exceptional representation of her voice for young models starting out in the industry as well as Black and ethnic minority models.


Confident yet ambitious, the British model is a ray of sunshine. She is not shy or afraid to speak her mind and supports others including her loved ones from the Fashion and Music industries. We at New Wave sit down with the entrepreneurial model as she takes us through her interesting journey of being a model, designer, and a remarkable activist who enlightens others.

WORDS Charlene Foreman

Leomie Anderson Cover.jpg

10 years from now we will be the big thing but only if we support each other in growing it.” 


NW: Going into writing is that something which is a big part of your life? What made you so interested in writing in the first place? 


LA: I have always enjoyed English; I’ve always enjoyed reading and being able to express myself with words. When I was younger, I had stories published while in secondary school and primary school, so from a young age, I liked writing and I saw it as a field where you can work and be respected, and I really respected the craft. Of course, it's still a big part of my life, because part of the brand is an online magazine so it’s a platform for women to able to share their stories and perspectives on anything albeit relationships, mental health, politics, pop culture, whatever it is, as long as your self-identifying woman you can write for the platform. 


I wanted to basically give the gift of being able to tell a story and express yourself to be heard by other women because it was something that was a very important part of my life. I have written articles before that have gone viral, which have inspired me to start in the first place, so I feel like writing is something that is very consistent in my life. I’m currently writing a script as well so completely new format of writing, I’m enjoying it a lot. I probably will write a book in my life, but maybe not now.

NW: As a young black model starting out at the age of fourteen, what was the first initial thought going through your mind when you were given the opportunity for your first show to walk the catwalk for Marc Jacobs? 

I was very nervous, it was very nerve-racking and I just knew the runway was really really long, but luckily the shoes were high but not crazy. I had a bag and one thing that is always a lifesaver for a new model when they are walking is to have a handbag or something they have to hold in their hands, because when your nervous when you walk, you often get a stiff arm. You’ll see if you ever watch runway videos, you can tell who the new models are because their arms are really stiff because we are so nervous that we put all our energy into our arms.

 I was lucky enough at Marc Jacobs, I had good shoes and a handbag, so I felt quite good. I walked out after Karlie Kloss which was very nerve-racking as she has an amazing walk, but once you are out there, you don’t feel nervous anymore because you’re focusing on getting to the end of the runway and back in one piece. Once you get off the stage, you feel so happy and relieved, and you just want to do it more and more.


Bodysuit: Alessandre Rich
Tghts: Calzedonia
Shoes: GCDS
Neck Piece: CLO DE VILA
Jewellery (Wrist): Swarovski
Earrings: LOUIZA

NW: How did you find the balance during your career journey as a fashion model, fashion designer, and activist? 


Honestly, I like all of it, so you just find time for everything, I find time for everything I enjoy. Obviously, there are times when one thing could be going well and something else could not be going well or all of it could be going bad like that’s always bad, that’s hard to deal with. I enjoy the challenge; I like things that are my own. 


With modelling, if people are not picking up the phone to get you to work, then you’re not going to work, but if you have your brand and you have all your other passions and pursuits, as much time as you put in is as much as what you're going to get out of it, so that’s why I like the balance actually. With modelling I have been working now for over half my life, I’m established enough now that I don’t have to go to castings as much or I don’t have to do long stays in New York to get jobs, so I can focus on my other things but at the same token, modelling also helps me fund my other projects. Without modelling, I would have been able to do that. All of them are just as important to me as they bleed into one another and their all-different avenues of expression for me. I just find the time because, without one of those things, I wouldn’t feel like a complete person, I couldn’t just model. I couldn’t just have my brand because I wouldn’t have capital for it.

Full Look: AREA
Stockings: Atsuko Kudo
Shoes: Versace
Jewellery: Swarovksi

NW: As a devoted advocate for female empowerment and as a proud and successful black model, please share with us your experiences you have had behind the scenes as a model, has there been a significant difference from when you originally started your career up until now, how has it differed? 


Definitely, social media has changed the industry completely. I feel like its definitely given models a voice but made it so accessible that brands can, kind of, go and find anybody to represent their brands, whereas I feel like before were held to such a high standard or high regard because you had to know your field and really had to be able to model to be able to be a face of the brand. Now you don’t need to necessarily be a good model to be a face or an ambassador of the brand so I think that’s one of the biggest changes. It also allows models who are interested in things outside of fashion to gain [other opportunities]. Even when I use to watch these fashion documentaries, there was a time when Naomi Campbell was the face of a restaurant or owned a restaurant, but it was still a fashion-based restaurant however she was still the number one model even when she did things outside of it, her brand was still so much to do with modelling whereas now you will see models doing all different types of things and it's being celebrated which is really amazing. Models who are really out there, getting degrees or trying to get more people involved in mental health and health awareness. I feel like now, models have more of a voice. 

“Without one of those things, I wouldn’t feel like a complete person, I couldn’t just model. I couldn’t just have my brand.


NW: In a past video, you have highlighted concerns regarding makeup artists and hair stylists struggling with black models’ hair and skin. From your own opinion, do you think this is an issue that requires further training and encouragement to educate the realities of these roles that do not have enough experience with black models’ hair and skin? 


LA: I would, honestly just want the industry to hire more black hair and makeup to then be able to just spread the awareness and educate people. That’s what I would change in that aspect of things because already the industry is very white-washed. I feel like if they want to become more knowledgeable on black models and other minority models' hair and makeup and how we should be treated then I think at this point in time that they just stop gatekeeping the industry. I feel like the industry is very gate-kept and very much about nepotism and I think they need to just allow more black creatives in at this point. I don’t think it’s really about giving the tools to people that are already in there, but I think they need to understand they need new people in, new blood in and allow them to educate people instead. I’m passed that point of trying to educate the same people. I’m passed that because the tools have been there and they still didn’t want to do it so forget it, lets's just move on from that.


NW: Backstage at Fashion Week can be the most chaotic and frustrating space to be in if all does not go to plan. From getting your makeup and hair perfect to ensuring you have the right garments plus accessories to wear, do you have rituals or a formula before you go out on stage? 


LA: No, I don’t have anything, I just go out, I just do it. I’m thinking about what I’m gonna be eating when I get home [Laughs]. Or literally, I have done it so many times at this point, I have to be wearing something super amazing for me to feel like, omg, can’t wait to just step out and kill it. Other than that, I’m good at what I do, I go out there and do my best and go home, I don’t really have a ritual or anything that I do beforehand anymore because I just feel comfortable with it, but maybe if I was doing something was completely new or different then I might try a different technique, I might say a few prayers but is something I have done a lot of times before, I feel very comfortable. It's like a second home.

Top: David Koma
Latex Stockings: Atsuko Kudo
Jewellery: Swarovksi

I’ve never been nervous about letting people know who I am and what I’m about.

NW: Being a  Victoria Secrets model is a very coveted concept in your industry. When you heard you’re going to be Victoria's Secret model, what was your reaction, how did you feel? 


LA: It was amazing when I found out! I was finally gonna be walking for Victoria's Secret after trailing them for two years prior to that. I remember just being so happy because it's definitely one of the most coveted jobs in the industry and the fact that doing the show – open view, ups the opportunity to be an angel which I then became. Knowing that you can possibly become an angel is always a good feeling. Now that the angels no longer exist but before it was kind of one of the longest contracts that model could get in a way. There are girls that had contracts with VS for like 10-12 years, there are not many brands that would do that. Add to your contract, money going up yearly and actually being treated really really well while being able to travel all over the world, and get to walk in the show. If you became an angel, it was like a big, big deal because was one of the most stable jobs in the industry. So, to be able to get that and to be an angel for two years on top of that, I’ll always speak fondly of my time with Victoria's Secrets, it was a great experience overall.


NW: Travelling is also a big part of what you do, you recently went to LA, you were just at Cannes in France recently, this time around when you went to Cannes, what was the actual experience, what happened, what did you get up to? 


It was very last minute so a little bit more chaotic than usual, but I like Cannes because it's just very beautiful there, the weather is always beautiful and you just get to feel beautiful. That is what is nice about Cannes, you get to see so many of your friends whilst out there. however it is  very stressful because it’s a lot of people in a very small city, moving around all the same places. It’s definitely not smooth necessarily but you don’t mind it. What people think the whole of the Fashion Industry is like, is what Cannes is like and it's funny because it's not about models, it’s not about fashion so that’s the irony. Cannes is about the big hotels and red carpets etc but I really enjoy travelling. Traveling is a big part of my job and I feel it gives a new perspective on the world when you get to travel and experience countries and work there as well not just for holiday.

NW: Where would you say is your favourite place to visit or take a break? 

I haven’t taken a break in a long time [Laughs]. Probably, The Caribbean, I’m Jamaican so going back to Jamaica is always beautiful. I took my mum to Barbados. Anywhere in the Caribbean, I think is somewhere that I feel the most at home and where I can really really relax.


NW: You have a YouTube channel that you’ve had for 9 years now which is a really good insight into who you are as an individual, your ambitions as well as giving people advice on things, what would you say throughout that process is your main challenges with that channel or letting people know about yourself which can be nerve-racking? 


I’ve never been nervous about letting people know who I am and what I’m about. I’ve never been that person. When I say I don’t care what people think, I really don’t. I think I am very aware, and I think everyone has to have self-awareness. I will always accept if someone is telling me something about myself that is true or constructive criticism because that is also a part of modelling, I take that very very well, but who I am as a person, I don’t mind people seeing the real me, the ups and the downs because I feel like it would be more draining for me to hide my personality then just to let people know what it is, so I’ve never felt nervous showing people who I am. 


Generally, with YouTube, it’s really time-consuming, and the editing process…I use to enjoy it when I was younger but once I started working on other things like LAPP, my blog, and all those sorts of things, I preferred the return that I got on that. Doing YouTube video and spending 4 days to edit the video and then at this point I couldn’t really monetise. YouTubers, even if they have been on YouTube for 10-12 years, the first 4-5 years they’re not making any money and that was not something that sat well with me. I can’t be editing and staying up until the crack of dawn and there is no money in site while I had modelling and I knew there is other ways to get the same thing. I could reach out to people through modelling as much as I could through YouTube, I just chose my other outlets, chose to write for publications, and I chose to become more established in the industry as a voice as opposed to focusing on putting out regular content on YouTube. Sometimes, I wished I carried it on because I like looking back at it and I definitely from my personality see to like video. Like I want my own TV show. I don’t want to have to edit myself [Laughs]


Dress: Christopher Kane
Leggings: Atsuko Kudo
Boots: Balenciaga

NW: One of your videos on YouTube, you speak about the value of personal and public life so are there any personal things that are getting too public? 


Not really as nobody knows anything that’s going on in my life, only people that I know in real life really know what is going on in my life, I have just been that way for a very long time. Not since I was 17 and I had my first relationship, was I very open. I’m very fine with people not knowing what is going on in my life and it’s interesting because I know for a fact that if I was open about my private life maybe I would have more supporters or more of something else that comes with so much other stuff that I don’t want and is not valuable to me. 


You could have a million people supporting you but with how our society is set up, there is definitely like more than 50% of those people are waiting for something bad to happen to you so rather just have my genuine supporters and people that support my work and what I decide to put out there as opposed to them supporting me for my personal life. Realistically, I don’t want my personal life to be entertainment to people and that’s my main thing. I’m happy for people to know things about my downfalls in business, work, and those sorts of things that a lot of people don’t want to speak about but one thing I’m never gonna have is my personal life to be entertainment to someone.

NW: Going back to two people that you hold dear to your heart, two people I would say is Bree Runway who is one of your best friends and Lancey Foux, what is your opinion on how they have grown since your profession to now? 


Both of them are very amazing and unique artists and I feel like with Bree, it’s been beautiful to watch her journey, her blossom into the star that she is because I always saw it in her, even if in times she didn’t always see it in herself. When we were younger, I always knew she was it and she always secretly knew she was it too but we have known each other from 16 till now so we have literally watched each other grow up which has been amazing. With Lancey, we have been together for 7 years this year so I’ve been there from the beginning of his career till now. He again same thing, I always knew he was a star from when I first saw him perform before we had even spoken, I knew that he was going to be a star. I have this thing about people, always see when someone is a star. 


I can remove my emotions from it and be like that person is going to make it regardless of whatever happens around them because they are just the package, both of those two are the perfect packages in my eyes so to watch their growth has been beautiful and watch people see what I have seen in them from when they were kids is amazing. Same with me, we always believed in each other and now we’ve been there through some of the most, our biggest successes together so it’s been amazing, it’s been a really beautiful experience to have those two people so close to me, I feel very blessed.

I think that having conversations and getting inspired in real life is something that is very important and want to be able to offer more of those opportunities to young women and men.

NW: You are very influential to black models in the UK and around the world but the UK especially, as you say you have a great eye for talents that have come under your wing and done great things so who would you say in the next star in the industry, and you agree they have got it? 


LA: I would need to go on my Instagram to find her surname,  Bibi Abdul Kadir, I think she’s gonna do really really well and she’s doing well already, but I definitely think hers will continue on. Obviously, Eva is doing really well, she can definitely do things outside of the modelling industry and really well. I love what Leah and Mana are doing well with their DJing, I think it's sick. I think that’s a brand right there, they are gonna do very well as long as they stay consistent with that, they will do very very well. Who else do I think is fire? Obviously, my ambassadors of LAPP, you have seven of them and they are all fire too and sassy. Their all gonna be great.


NW: You started a podcast called “Role Model,” what would you say is some of your favourite conversations that you had? 


LA: Definitely, the one with Odell Beckham is probably one of my favourites because it’s just very interesting to see the parallels between modelling and sport and how important family is, he had a very serious injury, and how he came back from that was really really good and the one with Khloe Kardashian as well. l like that fact that I got to kind of ask her as a white mum to a black child like what do you want to see different in the world, I think that’s cool because often time people try to trip her up. People always try to trip up a Kardashian because they want to see them fall but I wanted to kind of show that actually she is way more aware of her situation than people like to make out. She is actually really passionate about making sure the world is a better place for her daughter and I love that so I’m glad I got that message and that side of her out there.

NW: In September 2016, you launched your amazing clothing line LAPP, consisting of women's sports luxe activewear, where do you see the brand going long-term, and what things do you want to achieve with that branding and the business side of who you are? 


I definitely see the brand expanding, I want to get investment to be able to scale the business and be able to do a lot more in real-life events that are open to the public to be able to join in. I think that having conversations and getting inspired in real life is something that is very important and want to be able to offer more of those opportunities to young women and men as well if they want to come through. I definitely just wanna keep designing, all my designs are original and have ideas for days, so I just want to be able to get them all out, so I think the future for LAPP is very bright for the next five years.

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