Being an advocate has transformed my life. It’s so cheesy to say, but I really feel like this is what I was meant to do. My sensitivity, my co-dependency, all these things that were maybe sometimes looked at – or maybe I looked at – in a negative way are all things that I use for my advocacy.”
So says Adwoa Aboah in the September issue of Vogue. The model and activist, 26, has held a special place in the magazine’s affections in recent years, since she covered the December 2017 edition, the first under current editor-in-chief Edward Enninful. As Enninful wrote at the time: “Adwoa is leading the fashion conversation for women into the modern era.”
And how. Aside from having become one of the decade’s defining faces, Aboah’s ground-breaking work founding Gurls Talk (a platform that straddles the digital and material worlds, with its mix of podcasts, seminars, conferences and online forums) has created an important space where young women can discuss mental health, sexuality, education and identity, that joyfully champions inclusivity and offers a place to belong.
If the scope of many a young model’s career today now includes promoting causes alongside commercial work, Aboah can take a little credit for leading the way. Her modern spin on fashion, philanthropy and community has proved a potent combination, and made her a must-inclusion for the Forces For Change-themed September cover that was guest edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex.
“Gurls Talk has completely changed my life,” Aboah tells Vogue of the experience, adding that her ambitions for its scope are just getting started. “I hope to do a school tour towards the end of the year. That’s where I’ve always wanted Gurls Talk to be. One day it would be great to have a centre. When I dream about it, it is a classroom filled with girls who have an hour a week to talk and be educated on all those things the curriculum doesn’t give you.”
The September issue of British Vogue co-edited by HRH The Duchess of Sussex is available for digital download now on the App Store and for Android, and on newsstands.