ARTICLE MANDI LENNARD
LXFL RETURNS WITH NEW KIDS ON THE MODEL-CASTING BLOCK ADWOA ABOAH, 21, AND MADELEINE ØSTLIE, 29, OR AAMO. THE PAST YEAR HAS NOT ONLY SEEN THE SUCCESS OF THEIR AGENCY, BUT THAT OF ABOAH'S MODELING CAREER AND ØSTILE'S STYLING STATUS. BASICALLY, IF ANYONE CAN TELL VMAGAZINE.COM WHAT'S COMING OUT OF LONDON NEXT, IT'S THESE TRENDSETTING FRIENDS
How did AAMO come about?
Madeleine Østlie Katie Grand got us to help with some street casting a while back for a Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott story in LOVE, and it kind of cannonballed from there.
Which shoots have you worked on?
MØ LOVE, W, POP, i-D, and most recently American Vogue on behalf of Tim Walker shooting with Grace Coddington for the Oliver Twist story with Edie Campbell. We got all the young boys together for it.
Adwoa Aboah We also did shoots for Stüssy, Jo Malone, and Tatler.
At what point did it take flight?
AA The W story we did with Tim Walker and Edward Enninful. It was then that we started forming a relationship with Tim, who has given us massive help and support throughout the year.
What is everyone looking for?
MØ You never know, it's not tangible. Often it's character in the wider sense of the word. Something striking and different. And hey, sometimes someone's just fit.
AA It varies between clients. What I've found more and more is that people are getting braver with casting. They aren't just looking for the typical beautiful girl or boy. They want someone who stands out, a character who brings more than just a pretty face to the table. I'd rather see the boy we find working at a hotdog stand, who has no idea how handsome he is, in a magazine, than the same face I've seen over and over again.
Do you both hit on people in the street if you feel they have that something for a shoot?
MØ Yes! Grab 'em if we like 'em. You never know who you'll see round the corner.
AA We both have a good eye and are constantly on the look out, whether we are at a party or on the tube. Although I'd say Madde is a lot braver than me when it comes to going up to them.
How's the modeling going?
AA Rather well. Since finishing university, I've now decided to take a year off to concentrate on the modeling before I start my masters in September 2014. I've been spending a lot of time in New York and will be going back as soon as my visa is processed.
The past year has been insane for you. Name some highlights.
AA God, it's all been great... I finally did the Topshop campaign and was really proud of the photos.
How do you cope with the traveling?
AA I hate flying with a burning passion of a thousand suns, but I have a routine now! I eat at the same place, get the same meal, and always buy extra legroom. Flying has made me the number one OCD flyer.
How's the styling going, Madde?
MØ I'm incredibly ambitious so it's never enough, but I'm proud of how hard I work and all the shoots I've done. I'm glad I'm shooting more women's now, as it was mainly menswear last year, but men's is definitely my favorite.
Give me example of latest trend you are pioneering.
MØ Socks and sandals. I mean, I wasn't the first; Matthew [Josephs] was definitely flogging that donkey in London way ahead of me, but I can't deny I'm a fan.
Any style tips you can give V readers that you've noticed emerging on the London street lately?
MØ Palace [Skateboards] everything and anything. They are the coolest skate and streetwear brand out there. I even have the socks and shoe laces. The founder Lev Tanju's girlfriend, Ashley Williams, is pushing the trend of cuddly toys for bags, which I love too.
What's the latest threads you're into?
MØ Fruit of the Loom tracksuits from Deptford Market for day, which I wear with a full-length cashmere coat.
Where do you like to go out in London?
AA Gaaahd, we both love to party... I'm not fussy to be honest! Anything where there is good music and people I love.
Where do you head to in New York?
AA My friends recently introduced me to a club at the bottom of the Tribeca Grand called Baby Grand. The music is amazing and all the bartenders wear flowery trousers. And my friends Jessica Diehl and Phil Poynter's apartment is right next to Washington Square Park, so in the summer I spend a lot of time there people watching and reading my book.
MØ Brooklyn. I always stay with my friend Dianna Lunt, who's also a stylist.
Adwoa, your mum is a formidable presence in the industry [Camilla Lowther, founder of CLM agency in New York and London]. What influence has she had on you and your career?
AA She is like any mother, loving and supportive in everything I do. The fashion part isn't all that important. She is a fantastic listener above all things and the person I look up to. She is always there to lend a helping hand when it comes to AAMO, and has definitely played a key role in singing our praises to everyone she meets.
I bet you and [photographer] Tyrone [Lebon] talk shop all the time, yawn?
AA Fuck no! If in need we are always there for support and guidance, but to be honest there are way more important and interesting things to talk about together.
Do you work together much?
AA Bits and bobs here and there... Shooting with him is always interesting. The photos he takes of me will always be the best and my favorite, as he knows me so well. He definitely likes it, as he's the one in control!
Madde, Lulu Kennedy [Founder of talent incubator Fashion East] has been something of a mentor to you, how did you meet?
MØ I love her endlessly. She's one of my best friends. We were introduced by a mutual friend and I started working for her right away. We made up my job title as we went along, from Blog Assistant to Lulu & Co Production Manager. She took me to my first ever fashion show and sat me on her lap front row, (how did that not look weird?), and made fashion about friends and love, not the usual bullshit insecurities, bitchiness and queeny behavior you often see and hear about.
Adwoa, tell me something about your 21st birthday.
AA It was the best night of my life: 250 friends and family from all over the world came to the Lake District (Cumbria/Penrith) to celebrate. Usually windy, rainy and cold, God blessed us with a scorching sun all weekend. It was even hot enough to swim in the lake, which many of my friends did naked. We danced and drank all night. I never stopped smiling! The theme was “Too Chic” and I wore a green Alaïa strapless dress and matching stilettos. The fireworks were probably my favorite part of the night. Everyone went mad as [Underworld's] “Born Slippy” and a drum and bass remix of Abba boomed through the speakers, then we had amazing speeches from my mum and dad, sister and best friends. Never have I felt so loved. It was perfect.
photography Ash Kingston (The Book Agency)