To continue our celebration of all things global, Vogue asked 34 stars, whose résumés are without borders or boundaries, to be photographed for our September issue. Whether far-flung or homegrown, these stars are effecting change and leading conversations wherever their careers take them.
Nozomi Iijima (in Vetements)
Ballerina Nozomi Iijima spends most of her time, well, dancing. Born in Osaka, Japan, Iijima has been dancing since she was 6 years old, moved to the States at 15 (without speaking any English), and she is now the first soloist with the Houston Ballet. “It doesn’t matter how hard or painful practice was, I will always love dancing,” she tells Vogue. “Every time I hear the applause from the audience, in that moment, I remember why I love it.” Iijima and her company travel to Jacob’s Pillow (a dance festival in the Berkshires) this August before touring in Dubai—they will be the first American ballet company to dance at the Dubai Opera.
Kiran Gandhi, aka Madame Gandhi (in Balenciaga)
“My mission is to elevate and celebrate the female voice,” says musician and activist Kiran Gandhi, who performs as Madame Gandhi. The 29-year-old is the former drummer for artist M.I.A. and the free-bleeding runner at the 2015 London Marathon. Between business school at Harvard and touring around the country, Gandhi is also set to debut her full-length album this fall. “I’m grateful for the freedom and flexibility that I can navigate my own time and approve my own music production, while putting out a record, giving talks, and working with young students. In my work, I want freedom for others.” She is also currently starring in Gap‘s soft wear denim campaign, featuring activists by Conde Nast’s The Talent Group.
Kristine Froseth (in Balenciaga)
Growing up in both New Jersey and Norway, actor Kristine Froseth doesn’t know if she is more American or Norwegian. “It taught me to put myself out there,” she says. “I always had to be the new girl and reach out.” Froseth only started acting three years ago and now she has two Netflix films being released this fall (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser on September 7 and Apostle on October 12). Her advice to those who want to follow suit stems from her own upbringing: “Put yourself out there. As terrifying as it is, the reward is ultimately so worth it.”
Jen Sungshine (in Gucci)
“You only live once, so you’ve got to be real,” says artist and filmmaker Jen Sungshine. She is one of the cofounders of Love Intersections, a film project about love and queerness. Sungshine’s latest project, a six-part episodic series titled Finding, will premiere at the Vancouver Queer Film Festivalthis summer. “They’re all short and digestible.”
Paola Mathé (in a Ralph Lauren jacket and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini dress)
In 2014, Haitian-born Paola Mathé turned her personal style into a business with the creation of Fanm Djanm(which means “strong woman” in Haitian Creole). What started as a headwrap collection has since grown into a lifestyle website, which aims to empower women to “live boldly.” Mathé, who currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and child, practices this empowered mantra through her experience as an entrepreneur and creative director. “I’m redefining myself through it,” she tells Vogue. “Patience matters: I made everything happen with what I had.”
Leila Janah (in Péro by Aneeth Arora)
“The most important way to fix global poverty is to improve people’s incomes, which means giving them work,” says Leila Janah, the founder and CEO of anti-poverty nonprofits Samasource and Samaschool, and organic skin-care line LXMI. Janah, who grew up in Southern California, has experienced pervasive poverty firsthand after volunteering in Africa as a teenager. Since then, she has dedicated herself to correcting the systemic poverty worldwide. In 2008, she founded her company Samasource, which has employed more than 2,000 people (mostly women) from the slums of East Africa. Her beauty company, LXMI, the first fair-trade brand sold at Sephora, uses only raw ingredients, which are sourced from women’s cooperatives in the region. “It’s 2018. You shouldn’t have to choose between something that is beautiful and luxurious and something that does good in the world.”
Jordan Hewson (in a Sacai jacket and Dior skirt)
Jordan Hewson, the 29-year-old daughter of Bono and Edun fashion designer Ali Hewson, grew up in a charitable household, with her parents serving as living examples that everyone—not just celebrities—can participate in philanthropy. To that end, Hewson created Action Button, an embeddable tool that allows readers to take actions—through tweeting support, signing petitions, or charitable donations—on a wide swath of social and political issues. The tool aims to not only inspire you to take action, it also enables readers to participate in a meaningful way, with just a single click. “It really can be a seamless part of your digital life and experience,” says Hewson.
Adut Akech (in Isabel Marant)
At just 18 years old, Adut Akech, a Sudanese-Australian model based in New York, has already made her mark on runways across the globe (Calvin Klein, Prada, and Saint Laurent). The significance of her globe-trotting lifestyle is not lost on the South Sudanese refugee; in between flights and photo shoots, Akech has become involved with the U.N., helping those who have been displaced as she once was.
Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange (in MSGM)
Devonté Hynes, the mastermind behind Blood Orange, says music consumes almost all of his thoughts. Luckily for us, these are not idle musings; this fall, Blood Orange is releasing a new batch of his own songs off his highly anticipated fourth studio album, Negro Swan, out August 24. Hynes says fans will recognize the style of music, with a few new tricks thrown in. “Same chef, different dish,” he says with a chuckle. The 16-song album features musical appearances by A$AP Rocky, Janet Mock, and Georgia Anne Muldrow, with lyrics sure to touch on politics and the black experience like 2016’s Freetown Sound.
Sarah McNally (in Loewe)
In the age of Amazon domination, independent bookshop owner Sarah McNally has pulled off something remarkable: Since opening her Soho store, McNally Jackson, 14 years ago, her shop—which is Wi-Fi-free and offers an instant book printer in lieu of e-books—has continued to grow. This year, McNally opened her second location, and she has plans for two more in the near future. The key to her against-the-odds success? “It’s about creating a tactile world for the life and the mind.”
Alex and Maia Shibutani (Alex in Coach 1941 and Maia in Michael Kors Collection)
After winning two bronze medals in this year’s Olympic Games, sibling ice dancers Alex and Maia Shibutani are taking a well-deserved break. Since returning from Pyeongchang, the ShibSibs (as they are affectionately called by their fans) have been busy spreading the word of the games: “Sport is such a powerful platform for change,” Alex says. “It’s about unity and respect. It’s about pursuing something to the utmost of your ability. Those are the stepping stones to creating a safer and equitable world.”
Lolita Cros (in Stella McCartney)
“When I tell people my job, they’re like, ‘That’s not a job, that’s so fun!’ ” says art dealer and curator Lolita Cros. Indeed, Parisian-born, New York–based Cros has a kind of artist’s dream job: With a longstanding gig at The Wing, Cros is able to showcase new and established female artists on the walls of its four locations (with many more on the way). “The goal is to really represent the different facets of femininity,” she tells Vogue. “Every artist very much has their own message, but they all work together by being strong female leaders.”
Hoyeon Jung (in Missoni)
Since taking her modeling to the global stage two years ago, Korean-born Hoyeon Jung finds that her travels have really expanded her worldview. “I’ve gotten to understand so much more about people from visiting new places. I didn’t realize how many cultures there were,” she says. The model, known for her fiery red hair, has started documenting her travels on film, snapping photos of friends or the colorful buildings of Austria (her favorite place she’s visited so far).
Troye Sivan (in Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello)
“Literally, since the day I was born, I was like, ‘I want to be a singer,’ ” Troye Sivan says. “I never really had a backup plan. That’s the fire for me: being in the studio and being on set.” Fire is right. In late August, the South African–born, Australian-raised singer will release his highly anticipated second album, kicking off an even busier fall: Sivan begins his U.S. tour, and his movie, Boy Erased, hits theaters in November. A fervent friend of the LGBTQ community, the singer weaves his admiration for the community into his projects through celebration and representation.
Andreja Pejic (in Gucci)
“Being in a situation I didn’t want to be in helped me swim and build my character,” Andreja Pejic says while describing her unconventional modeling path. When the 25-year-old model started her career, she identified as a different gender. Pejic has remained open and honest throughout her career, explaining that she has a responsibility to the community to be vocal about her experience. She is now one of most recognizable transgender models in the world, and she will soon break onto the silver screen: Her first major role, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, is slated for October.
Deepika Padukone (in Michael Kors Collection)
Indian actor and model Deepika Padukone has had an exciting year. Her film Padmaavat, which was met with mixed reviews, has gone on to achieve global success. “In spite of all the roadblocks, to see the glory the film saw and the role specifically for me, I felt challenged in a way that I had never been challenged before.” As she explores her next project, Padukone looks to find another creative piece that will similarly challenge and excite her. Diagnosed with depression during the peak of her career, the actor founded The Live Laugh Love Foundation, an organization that seeks to champion the cause of mental health in India.
Khadijha Red Thunder (in Etro)
Modeling is only part of the job for Khadijha Red Thunder. The Spokane native has already used her platform to spread the word about her community through a GoFundMe for Pow Wows. “I want to build foundations for Native Americans to help with education, the issues that are going on on reservations, as well as the community as a whole,” she says.
Amandla Stenberg (in Coach 1941)
“You are the most powerful when you are your most authentic self,” Amandla Stenberg told Vogue earlier this summer. With three films coming out this fall (The Darkest Minds, The Hate U Give, and Where Hands Touch), Stenberg says she is lucky to have the opportunity to work on her craft and collaborate with other artists. As she gears up for a busy season, the 19-year-old actor still takes the time “to be a young adult and grow and find out what works for me and what doesn’t.”
Chloe and Halle Bailey (Chloe in Diesel Black Gold and Halle in an Isabel Marant vest and a Dôen dress)
This sister singing duo Chloe and Halle Bailey were discovered by Beyoncé in their early days of uploading cover songs on YouTube “back when we were ‘awkward little preteen girls,’ ” Chloe says. They’ve certainly matured since then—they have a summer tour underway and recurring roles in Grown-ish—but the two say they continue to help each other stay grounded. “When you look at it, we are just two girls who love to make music and we are best friends. It’s gotten us this far,” Halle says.
Gigi Hadid (in Lisa Folawiyo)
“Staying creative is a great way to find what ultimately makes you happy,” Gigi Hadid says. How does one of the most famous models stay creative? By merging her profession and charitable passions—like last year when she designed a shoe with Stuart Weitzman, which donated funds to Pencils of Promise. When Hadid isn’t walking runways or working on passion projects, she’s replenishing herself by spending time with family and by being outdoors. “I think that being active and creative in a carefree environment enables me to then go back to the city and embrace my work days.”
Miles Chamley-Watson (in Prada)
Even after bringing home an Olympic bronze medal and winning the World Championships, life doesn’t slow down for Miles Chamley-Watson. As the London-born fencer trains for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Chamley-Watson says he wants to be bigger than his sport. The 28-year-old has increasingly become interested in fashion (his mother is a former model). This year, he’s collaborated with Nike and starred in a number of Gap campaigns. “I love fashion, taking risks, and doing what I love,” he says. “If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point of doing it?”
SZA (in Miu Miu)
Between working on her second album and launching her charity mission, SZA stays centered by calming her chakras. “I try to just take a deep breath and go through each chakra and clear them,” she tells Vogue. With her fan base growing by the hour, the singer-songwriter hopes to spread messages of love and tolerance through her platform. “If you can accept yourself, educate yourself, and forgive yourself, you can truly love others.”
KiKi Layne (in Johanna Ortiz)
“I’ve been booking very dope stuff,” KiKi Layne, the lead in Barry Jenkins’s latest film, If Beale Street Could Talk, says with a smile. Before moving to Los Angeles, the 26-year-old Cincinnati native was studying acting in Chicago and spent years working the city’s theater scene. “There was so much work that went into preparing me to receive this [Beale Street] opportunity. It takes all of the work plus believing that you are good enough and you are worthy.”
Sophie Turner (in Louis Vuitton)
Since making her acting debut on Game of Thrones, Sophie Turner has been careful not to become complacent. “Keep stretching yourself in your work and choose things that challenge you,” she says. The 22-year-old just wrapped X-Men: Dark Phoenix (set for release in February 2019) and is producing and starring in Girl Who Fell From the Sky, which tells the story of a sole survivor of a plane crash. Between wedding planning—Turner is engaged to Joe Jonas—and recently wrapping Game of Thrones, the actor is focusing on her happiness and mental health, a message that she shares with fans: “If you are struggling: People love you, people care for you, and most importantly, people believe and recognize the problems that you’re facing.”
Dakota Fanning (in Gucci)
Dakota Fanning has been a household name for nearly 20 years. Even more impressive is that the 24-year-old keeps upping the ante: Fanning recently starred on the period television drama The Alienist, which she considers her greatest experience, both personally and professionally. Next up on her agenda is portraying one of the Manson girls in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Quite a full plate and Fanning still manages time for family and friends, as well as an active role in the charity Save the Children. “They do a lot of work in early education for children, especially for girls around the world. I’ve put my energy into that and it’s been really nice.”
Sandra Uwiringiyimana (in Dsquared2)
Forced to flee Congo as a 10-year-old child, Sandra Uwiringiyimana chronicles her memories of the horrific massacre in her book, How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child. Her family resettled in Rochester, New York, and became advocates for refugees after experiencing the problems of the system firsthand. The author and activist has become passionate about telling stories that aren’t heard and starting an organization that provides financing and training for women in Congo. “The way for Congo to progress is through women, from the bottom up. A lot of times they get left out.”
Madeline Brewer (in Junya Watanabe and Comme des Garçons)
“My voice is my own and my story,” actor Madeline Brewertells Vogue. “With the platform I have, I need to be raising the voices of other people who may be screaming very loud, but no one can hear them.” The 26-year-old, who has Orange Is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale on her résumé, works closely with the organizations Equality Now and Planned Parenthood. “As women, we need to be allies for other women.”
Elektra and Miranda Kilbey (Elektra in Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and Miranda in Paco Rabanne)
Working with your sister can save you time and energy, according to Elektra and Miranda Kilbey, the twins who make up dream-pop duo Say Lou Lou. “We always know what the other means and you don’t have to explain yourself, or kill each other with kindness,” they say. “You can be rough and be honest.” The pair, who splits their time in between Los Angeles and Stockholm, is releasing their second album, Immortelle, on September 21, three years after their debut album, Lucid Dreaming. Their sophomore album touches on “the idea of women and the roles that we play, subconsciously or consciously.”
Alek Wek (in Chanel)
Since entering the modeling industry over 20 years ago, Alek Wek is able to appreciate her unique position: “I get to work with some of the same photographers I worked with in my 20s,” she says. “I’ve gotten to evolve from a little girl to a woman. They helped me blossom.” At 41 years old, Wek models in moderation, focusing much of her time working for the U.N.’s High Commissioner, a refugee agency. “As a former refugee, it really puts things in perspective.”
Hasan Minhaj (in Dolce & Gabbana)
Upon graduating from his “senior year” at The Daily Show, Hasan Minhaj already has his next job lined up. Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj will debut on Netflix on October 28, making him the first Indian-American host of a weekly comedy show. “It’s sort of long-form investigative comedic reporting on political and cultural events in society,” he tells Vogue. “It’s TED Talks meets political satire meets mock storytelling, all wrapped into one show. It’s a big order and I’m really excited.” In the lead-up to his show, Minhaj is also kicking off a 16-city North American tour this August.
Hoda Katebi (in Valentino)
Hoda Katebi, a student and the founder of the Muslim fashion blog JooJoo Azad (which means “Free Bird” in Farsi), works just as hard online as she does IRL. She’s a community organizer, an abolitionist, and is starting a sewing cooperative for refugee women in Chicago. “Many of them have kids and don’t speak English,” she says. “We’ll provide transportation, child care, translators, doctors, and lawyers. All my heart and soul has been put into this project.”
Fashion editor: Camilla Nickerson
Menswear editor: Michael Philouze
Hair: James Pecis
Makeup: Diane Kendal