Photographer Gray Sorrenti Celebrates New York City’s New Found Glory

Photographer Gray Sorrenti Celebrates New York City’s New Found Glory

v136

Photographer Gray Sorrenti Celebrates New York City’s New Found Glory

Punk mixes with diamonds in this daring portfolio, capturing the faces of New York City youth, and the grandeur of Cartier high jewelry

Punk mixes with diamonds in this daring portfolio, capturing the faces of New York City youth, and the grandeur of Cartier high jewelry

Photography: Gray Sorrenti

Styling: Gro Curtis

Text: Kevin Ponce

Text: Alex Blynn

This story appears in the pages of V134: now available to order!

In the concrete jungle that V calls home, you'll always be sure to find some of the world's most creative and colorful characters just waiting around the corner. Capturing the current youthquake that breeds soul-baring musicians, rising design maestros, and artistic visionaries, photographer Gray Sorrenti and V's fashion director Gro Curtis aimed to capture the punk spirit of the next-gen vanguard of creatives that inhabit New York City—decked out in some of Cartier's most precious pieces from the High Jewelry collection.

Below, get to know nine of our newest muses from the pages of our new spring issue, V134:

FISHER SMITH, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Pants CELINE by Hedi Slimane / Necklace and bracelet in 18k white gold, and diamonds Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Age, Occupation

Fisher Smith, 22, Model/Creative Director

What do you love most about NYC?

New York is home, there is no place on earth that I feel more comfortable.

What are you most passionate about?

Trying to make a difference in this world, my way.

What words do you live by?

“It is what it is” and “on to the next one”.

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

Stay in school.

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

That I have so much more control of my life and the path that I’m on and will continue to travel then I realize.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Continue to do things the way you want, you control what you get. Just trust people a little less.

What's something you would change about your industry?

The stigma around models and the sense of logic used.

Who inspires you most in this world?

Knowing there’s so much more for me to do and create.

Pants CELINE by Hedi Slimane / Necklace and bracelet in 18k white gold, and diamonds Cartier High Jewelry

SARA SKINNER, SET DESIGNER

Top, skirt, belt Alexander McQueen / Necklace in 18k white gold, rock crystal, onyx, and diamonds Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Age, Occupation

Sara Hiromi Skinner, 29, Designer/Model.

What do you love most about NYC?

For me, I just love that anything feels possible in NYC. For work, I model and do set design-related things at a creative production agency, but at the same time, I have a million different side hustles happening just out of curiosity, from beading for Collina Strada to making and editing silly cooking videos with my boyfriend for his YouTube—I like to be busy.

What are you most passionate about?

Design. From an ethical and emotional perspective, it’s a little crazy the joy that well-made things bring me, and the absolute anger poorly made items do haha. I studied architecture and industrial design at university and I feel like that’s just where I know too much.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t worry so much.

What's something you would change about your industry?

I mean, I’m a very opinionated person, so my answer to that would be everything. But honestly, I try not to think of things on broad levels like that anymore, it can be overwhelming. I focus more on how I can be useful to the people around me because it’s the one way I know I can make a difference.

Who inspires you most in this world?

I don’t think I could pick any singular person, but in general, it’s my friends. I’ve always been really into crafting; ceramics, crochet, beading, and most of my projects are inspired by, if not a collaboration with, them.

AVA FERGUSON, ART HISTORY STUDENT

Jacket Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello / Earrings in 18K white gold and diamonds (worn as nose ring) Étincelle de Cartier Earrings in platinum and diamond Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Age, Occupation

Ava Ferguson, 23, Model/Art history student

What do you love most about NYC?

The sense of always feeling surrounded by people. I get spooked by the emptiness of suburbs.

What are you most passionate about?

As of now, trying to create purpose and fulfillment in my life. I guess finding my passion is what I’m passionate about.

What words do you live by?

Don’t overthink it, Ava!

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

Investing in Bitcoin three years ago.

What artistic work do you wish you created?

Paintings.

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

I have more capacity for creativity than I ever gave myself credit for.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t quit the cello in ninth grade because you think it isn’t cool.

What's something you would change about your industry?

I wish it would put less emphasis on sizes/body types, even when trying to be “inclusive”

Who inspires you most in this world?

Growing up, it was extremely inspiring to watch my parents build their careers from the ground up. I am inspired by what they have managed to accomplish for themselves through sheer hard work and determination.

CRANSTON, PHOTOGRAPHER

Pants and belt Balenciaga / Necklaces in 18k white gold and diamonds Pluie de Cartier Bracelet in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier Juste un Clou

Name, Age, Occupation

Cranston Mills, 26, Model/Artist/Designer

What do you love most about NYC?

The types of people NYC brings together. The collective mind that is live and in-person, more often than not walking right next to you on the sidewalk

What are you most passionate about?

I think I'm most passionate about change. Even as a kid I remember asking questions or why things were the way they were—wanting to evoke inspiration in others and the normal way of thinking and doing.

What words do you live by?

You feel it before you see it or hear it

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

The emotions we experience are merely only indicators of our state in the present time. They are not us—we must understand them but they are not us. Can’t let my current emotion control me.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Remember that what I bring to the table can't be duplicated. That what is mine can’t be taken from me simply—and to have fun and stop taking everything so seriously!

What's something you would change about your industry?

Stepping outside the norm, being more creative, and taking risks.

Who inspires you most in this world?

The people around me, anytime I think of anyone around me right now and where we were just simply 3-4 years ago—it inspires me

Pants and belt Balenciaga / Necklaces in 18k white gold and diamonds Pluie de Cartier Bracelet in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier Juste un Clou

DUSTY ROSE, MODEL

Pants Balmain / Belt Chrome Hearts / Earrings in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier Agrafe Ring in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier Paris Nouvelle Vague Bracelet and necklace in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Age, Occupation

Dusty Rose, 23, Model

What do you love most about NYC?

The people.

What are you most passionate about?

Learning new skills, preferably practical ones I’ll use throughout my life.

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

“Bring an umbrella”

What artistic work do you wish you created?

I’m not sure but I loved the photo book, “Immediate Family” by Sally Mann when I was little and still find it incredibly beautiful.

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

That I’m nowhere near being a fully formed human being.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Not to worry so much about what others think of me. Most of the time, people are too busy judging themselves to actually be judging you.

Who inspires you most in this world?

My mom and dad and all the “bonus” parents they’ve brought into my life to help raise me.

RAI, FASHION DESIGNER

Vest and jeans Coach / Belt Chrome Hearts / Bracelet in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier Juste un Clou Earrings in 18k white gold and diamond (worn as broaches) Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Age, Occupation

Raimundo Langlois, 24, Fashion Designer

What do you love most about NYC?

You can get anything you want whenever you want it. You can make anything you want whenever you want to make it.

What are you most passionate about?

Beauty.

What words do you live by?

You can’t push a cart sideways, do what feels right.

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

I try not to accept or reject any advice in its entirety. Take what’s valuable from any critique and discard what’s not. Intuition tells you pretty clearly which morsels of advice are worth taking.

What artistic work do you wish you created?

Dominique Ropion’s “Une Fleur de Cassie” perfume for Frederic Malle.

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

Things are a lot easier to accomplish if you just *do* them. You’ve got to start somewhere.

What advice would you give your younger self?

All work you do is valuable as long as it’s passionate. Results will manifest themselves in unexpected ways, but you’ll learn something from every effort.

What's something you would change about your industry?

Its fast pace.

Who inspires you most in this world?

My friends.

DONTÉ MCGUINE, STYLIST

Cape Maison Margiela / Sunglasses Celine by Hedi Slimane / Necklace (worn on head) in 18k white gold diamonds Cartier Agrafe Earrings in 18k white gold diamonds Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Occupation

Donté McGuine, Celebrity stylist

What do you love most about NYC?

What I love most about NYC is its authenticity.

What are you most passionate about?

I’m most passionate about creating. When I’m not being creative and working, I feel a sense of emptiness.

What words do you live by?

A quote from John Galliano, that was featured in Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson’s book called Influence—"Be Reckless enough to gamble all or nothing to follow your dreams."

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

The best advice I’ve rejected was to not get a credit card when I turned 18! Sadly I learned the hard way.

What artistic work do you wish you created?

Sometimes, I wish I was a painter. I love telling stories through my work—but as a stylist, that’s mostly on life form and through another person. Painters get to tell their stories on blank canvases.

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

The most profound discovery I made about myself this year is that I should take my own advice! And that I definitely have a type.

What advice would you give your younger self?

The advice I would give my younger self is to apply everything I do with pressure! When I was younger I would hold back talents and the bests parts of me to serve someone else’s ego.

What's something you would change about your industry?

Something I would change in my industry is the lack of diversity, still to this day.

Who inspires you most in this world?

Queen Latifah is a big inspiration to me. There are so many layers to her talents—from being a rapper, actor, producer, and director! I would love for my career path to have that type of trajectory.

SIMONE SMITH, MUSICIAN

Cape Maison Margiela / Earring (top) in 18K white gold Panthère de Cartier Earring (bottom) in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier High Jewelry Necklace in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier Agrafe

Name, Age, Occupation

Simone Smith, 18, Student at NYU, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

What do you love most about NYC?

NYC is where my tribe is.

What are you most passionate about?

Music: listening, appreciating, and creating.

What words do you live by?

Loyalty. Respect.

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

Let yourself be vulnerable. Wear a scarf.

What artistic work do you wish you created?

I wish I created a music video for each song on my EP “Love & Release,” and had written a Young Adult novel.

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

I value my privacy and I like avocado.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone—taking risks is a good thing. And stay lit.

What's something you would change about your industry?

I’m really lucky to have had the opportunities I have had so far. I’m just getting started so I have no complaints, but if I could change one thing it would be the emphasis on self-promotion, and the pressure that comes with it—that’s my least favorite part.

Who inspires you most in this world?

My vocal teacher Mr. Truss who taught me to never sell myself short.

VANESSA AGUASVIVAS, MODEL

Jacket and shorts Dsquared2 / Belt Chrome Hearts / Necklaces in 18k white gold and diamonds Pluie de Cartier Earrings in 18k white gold and platinum diamonds Ring in 18k white gold and diamonds Cartier High Jewelry

Name, Age, Occupation

Vanessa Ana Aguasvivas, Age 23, Model/Artist/Historian

What do you love most about NYC?

The thing I love most about New York truly is the chosen family I have. I treasure my blood family first and forever, and yet there’s something about a chosen family out here—it feels like we are hustling and moving around a little more, so we need that little extra love, that little extra support and we give that. Friends really move like families in the spaces I find myself in and I love that.

What are you most passionate about?

I suppose there are two random things that I am most passionate about—one being entertaining people, whether I can make you laugh and get the glint in your eye, or sing you a song. Another thing that I am passionate about, being from a Dominican family, is uncovering and understanding colonial history, especially in relation to the African Diaspora. History is a funny word, to begin with, but I majored in global studies and minored in race and ethnicity at the New School, so I’m constantly questioning and challenging the current frameworks that our society is moving through today. What’s tendencies are rooted in us today that come from colonial catastrophes that marked the globe forever? What has colonialism done to shift and change the stories of myriads of people, specifically those of the African Diaspora?  So yeah, I’m thinking bout these things from time to time.

What words do you live by?

Lately, I’m trying to live by: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Oh the treasures that are being held from us!

What's the best advice you've ever rejected?

The best advice I ever rejected was once my PE teacher in 9th grade told me I could be a sick runner—it could’ve been kind of cool to have a running career, but I am a lazy bear at heart.

What artistic work do you wish you created?

The album ‘Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants' by Stevie Wonder!

What is the most profound discovery you've made about yourself this past year?

The most profound thing I discovered about myself this year is I actually am pretty fucking hilarious. That's definitely a biased opinion but pretty confident in that thought. I think funniness is profound in itself—what would we be without a laugh or two!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Keep wearing what you want haha.

What's something you would change about your industry?

I suppose the industry I am immersed in right now is the modeling industry, so it would be dope if every agency offered health care/insurance options for their talent/models.

Who inspires you most in this world?

Stevie Wonder through and through. I admire him for his total mastery of music, and I think his voice, his fingers, his genius is connected to the heavens—or the skies, whatever you may call it.

This story appears in the pages of V134: now available to order!

Credits: Makeup Frank B (The Wall Group) / Hair Bob Recine (The Wall Group) / Models Fisher Smith (The Society), Rai (Midland), Sara Skinner (Heroes), Ava Ferguson (No Agency New York), Dusty Rose (Muse), Simone Smith (No Agency New York), Cranston (Midland), Vanessa Aguasvivas (Next) /Manicure Honey (Exposure NY) / Producer Layla Nemejanski Production Manager Katie Fash / On-set producer Steve Sutton / Digital technician Kevin Vast Photo assistants Jared Zagha, Brett Ross / Stylist assistants Sam Knoll, Sarah Kelendji / Makeup assistant Elle Haeln Kim / Hair assistant Kazuhide Katahira / Production assistant William Cipos

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