Bicycling Magazine Cover and Interview
Right at the end of last year just a few days before Christmas, I squeezed in a shoot for George Marshall, an amazing photographer who I know from my days riding BMX in London. Back in those days George used to run the visionary BMX magazine Albion which was one of my favourite reads and a huge part of the inspiration for Coven, the women’s magazine that I self published. He now shoots for some of the best cycling brands in the world, has had his work selected by Creative Review for their photo annual and creates videos. And all of that whilst being a part of the team Kibosh and racing at a high level.
I’d already spoken with Bicycling Magazine, the biggest cycling publication in the USA after they’d contacted me regarding a feature. I didn’t realise it was going to be any more than a single page until I realised my chats with writer AC Shilton had lasted several hours.
When George was brought in to take the photos, I realised the feature might be a bit bigger than I first anticipated. Over a couple of days, we spent time mountain biking in the freezing rain, road cycling under watery rainbows, stopped for tea and cake (thanks George!) and shot portraits in many of the helmets and outfits I wear for the diverse range of cycling disciplines I enjoy.
When George mentioned Bicycling might take one of his photos as a cover shot it took me right back to my modelling days. When I’d just started out, my agency told me to fly to New York for a Vogue Italia shoot with Stephen Meisel, which of course, I did. In his building, heaps of models lounged around reading books and crocheting (this was before everyone spent every waking hour staring at a tiny screen), a tantalising buffet laying untouched to one side. Occasionally, one of more of us would be called into the photo studio where he’d instruct his assistants on how to perfect the lighting, have us position ourselves ‘just so’ and eventually take a very small number of photos on film (not on a memory card).
We were told that someone was going to make it onto the cover of the magazine and as I sat on a stool wearing a (caucasian) flesh-coloured leather dress, it didn’t actually cross my mind that he might be trying to get that photo. Nonetheless, after the shoot, I began wondering if one of the shots I was in might be used.
A few months later I was away snowboarding in the Alps with some of my favourite people and we came down from the mountain to visit Milan for some reason or another. I knew that the Vogue Italia I was scheduled to be in was due for release, so we decided to find a news stand and see if they had it. I can’t deny, I was really, really hoping that I’d made it onto the cover. Naturally I played that down.
And so in 2019 I found myself in the position again of hoping I might make it onto a cover. And like back in Milan, when I saw that I had, I was stoked!
If you’d like to read the feature, Bicycling have just released a shorter digital version here.