Shirt (short sleeve), price upon request, shirt (long sleeve), $921, pants, price upon request, by Craig Green / Boots, $85, by Dr Martens / Rings (left hand), their own, by Verameat / Ring (right hand, middle finger), their own, by Namaste / Ring (right hand, ring finger, and index finger), their own, from Chelsea Market
Ramoan, 30“I was born and raised in Atlanta, but Atlanta’s a super small place and I got bored,” says Ramoan. “I bought a bus ticket, took a 23 hour ride, got here and never left.” Five years later, the DJ counted Le Bain as one of his regular gigs. “DJing was keeping me out of depression and keeping my head on straight. When Covid took that away, I was just trying to figure it out.” Like others, they turned to Instagram Live for a release. “I just enjoy doing it, but it’s missing that energy,” they share. “My roommates are there and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, this is fire.’ But it’s different when you’re looking out and there’s lights and fog machines and people just dancing.”
Coat, $4,290, and pants, $1,590, by Alexander McQueen / Top, her own, by Nasty Gal / Shoes, $645, by Christian Louboutin / Sunglasses, her own
Nazah, 21“For the longest, I did not know what was going on with myself,” says the aspiring singer and lifelong New Yorker. “I thought it was just me, but it was really the environment and so many external factors that contributed to me feeling so lost.” But thanks to a love of music, the budding star is back on track. “I have more inspiration than I did before Covid. When something shakes you up, it makes you think ‘Oh shit, what the fuck is going on?’” she shares. “Before, I felt dormant and I lacked a lot of motivation, but when Covid and the riots started happening, I just got back into the groove of creating things that I could say were for me.”
Jacket, $2,095, and pants, $1,395, by Boss / Hat, their own, handmade / Jewelry, their own, handmade
Kotton, 23“For me, Kotton means to pick what you want. Do your own maneuvers,” says the Far Rockaway, Queens native of what they call their “Earth given name.” Now based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn the performer works at Truthworker Theatre Company, a social justice based, hip-hop theatre company for high school and college-aged youth in Brooklyn. Having performed at juvenile detention centers, jails, festivals, and town hall meetings, Kotton’s found themself in a place they never imagined: “I would never thought that I would be a social justice worker or someone that’s into a movement, but something in me said this was my worth.”
A version of this story originally appears in the September 2020 issue, with the title “New York’s Flyest”.
PRODUCTION CREDITS:Photographs by Justin FrenchStyled by Mobolaji DawoduGrooming by Barry White for barrywhitemensgrooming.comMakeup by Bob Scott for The Wall GroupHair by Gonn KinoshitaTailoring by Ksenia Golub, Olga Dudnik, Chelsea McCarroll, and Dee SerretProduced by Studio Lou