Since our early days, we’ve celebrated groundbreakers. Today, we can’t think of a better embodiment of this spirit than women redefining the landscape of their respective fields and carving new spaces for generations to come. Meet the women who are modern-day pioneers, breaking boundaries in their industries and doing so with a whole lot of style.
Kick. Push. Coast. The skate scene has grown immensely over the past decades. You can now find skaters everywhere you turn. But one particular crew, The Skate Kitchen, stands out from the pack. Composed of seven Brooklyn-based friends in their early twenties, this all-girl group has grown from a small local community to a social media phenomenon. What’s next? The skate crew is set to be featured in a film directed by Crystal Moselle, the woman who first scouted them on an NYC subway train for a Miu Miu short video series and launched them into pop culture fame.
With her eclectic mixes, Natasha Diggs is a DJ always on the move, sparking communities and fueling parties worldwide, from Berlin to Beijing. A true vinyl head, she preserves the art of record-spinning with Mobile Mondays, weekly vinyl-only parties in NYC that bridge gaps between generations and expand artistic horizons.
Diggs has lent her talents to Lauryn Hill, Damian Marley and even the United Nations. Her sharp sense of individuality is what drives her, and what she hopes to see in other women with musical aspirations: “Instead of looking to see what everyone else is doing, I hope they can find their own voice. When you’re doing you and living your truth, people can’t help but be attracted to you.”
Last year, DJ Perly was the first-ever woman to win the DMC USA DJ Battle, a national round-up of the industry’s best, and went on to compete at the global showdown in London. Since then, Perly has remained close to her roots, supporting the ever-growing community of New York DJs. The Bronx native joined Scratch DJ Academy to collaborate with fellow musicians and regularly visits the Lower East Side Girls Club, where she teaches music production to young women. They’re initially shy, but Perly sees this as a testament to the work: “Once you start talking about music,” she says, “the shyness goes away.”
Who among us can say we were part of the early stages of UK punk and NYC hip-hop? We’re guessing it’s a list of one. Acclaimed English photographer Janette Beckman has been front and center for many of the pinnacle moments in music history. In 1982, she covered the very first hip-hop concert to ever come to Europe. Today, she lives and works in New York City and continues to shoot music and fashion editorials. The veteran has some solid advice for budding photographers: “Walk around with your eyes open, keep shooting and follow your passion.”
Walk around with your eyes open, keep shooting and follow your passion.