Contact us 24/7 +1 877 678 9627

Buying gifts? Orders placed from November 19, 2018 can be exchanged or returned for a refund until January 3, 2019.

Free 3-day delivery and free returns within the US

United States, $ USD
English

Incredible Women. Incredible Fashion. Every Day.

Porter
Incredible Women

Print exclusive: Incredible Girls 2018

L-R: Photographer Olivia Locher, student Hannah Herbst and filmmaker Elyse Fox

Welcome to PORTER’s first list of the world’s most Incredible Girls, who, for the first time in history, have the potential to be heard, counted and effect real change. By MARISA BATE

What does it take to be an Incredible Girl in 2018? It’s not a million Instagram followers, or YouTube hits; it’s not a pretty face, how well you apply makeup or how sexy you look in a bikini. It’s about understanding who you are in the world and how you affect it. It’s about emotional intelligence and originality of thought and the ambition to want to overthrow the iniquities you see around you. It’s about guts and bravery and challenging conventions. These have always been important drivers for women who have rebelled against the status quo, the difference today is that young girls now have the chance to speak up and be heard. The last 12 months has seen every accepted norm (sexuality, body image, equal pay) turned on its head. That doesn’t mean everything is how it should be, just that it’s never been more important for a generation to set the tone for their gender. When we were researching the list we looked for girls doing something material in their field, ones who are upsetting the notions of what can be achieved by youth, who can teach us how to rethink everything we thought was set in stone. There has never been a time when the old have had so much to learn from the young. This is so much more than a youthquake, it’s a revolution. Welcome to PORTER’s first Incredible Girls.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cara Delevingne, 25

MODEL, MENTAL-HEALTH CAMPAIGNER

This iconoclastic Brit’s professional achievements are staggering: she is one of the most famous and sought-after models in the world, a successful leading actress and has even recorded a single. But more importantly, she is celebrated for her refusal to have her sexuality pigeon-holed by the press. And last year, Delevingne added another string to her bow when she visited Uganda to witness the country’s refugee crisis and became a champion for Girl Up, the United Nations adolescent girl campaign. Her experience featured in a four-part documentary series with Puma called Do You, celebrating young women and sharing their stories of empowerment – a series Delevingne called “a dream come true”. The mini-documentaries saw Delevingne meet young women who had overcome bullying and illiteracy. To support the series, Delevingne and Puma designed Do You Basket Heart laces, the sales of which went towards the UN’s work with refugees.

Emma Gonzalez, 17

STUDENT, GUN-CONTROL CAMPAIGNER

In the wake of the fatal shooting of 17 pupils at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Florida, Emma Gonzalez, a senior student who was present when former pupil Nikolas Cruz opened fire, has emerged as a powerful lobbyist. With a shaved head and fiery, emotional anger in her voice, Gonzalez was globally lauded for the defiantly coruscating speech she gave at an anti-gun rally, which immediately went viral and in which she directly called on President Trump for gun reforms. In the face of tragedy, Gonzalez has become the poster child for a generation, prepared to take on the highest office in the land.

Ann Makosinski, 20

STUDENT, VISIONARY INVENTOR

This brilliant Canadian inventor, of Polish and Filipino descent, has already come up with Hollow Flashlight, which runs off body heat, and the eDrink, a mug that converts the heat from your hot drink to electricity that charges your phone – solving, she says, the two major conundrums of modern life: overly hot coffee and phones running out of battery. She has been on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show twice, has given five Ted Talks, and won in her age group at the 2013 Google Science Fair. Surprisingly, however, she doesn’t own a smartphone and is a student of English Literature. “I think it is important to have a balance,” she says.

Actor and model Cara Delevingne
Model and activist Halima Aden

Halima Aden, 20

MODEL, ACTIVIST FOR MUSLIM GIRLS

When the college student entered a Miss Minnesota USA competition in 2016 wearing a hijab, no one expected her to get very far – but she made the semifinals, a victory in itself. Within weeks, she was signed to IMG Models and, by Fall/Winter 2017, was walking the Yeezy runway. Born to Somali parents in a Kenyan refugee camp, Halima and her family left for the US in 2005 when she was seven. Today, wearing her hijab is not just a feeling of personal identity – Aden often refers to it as her crown, saying that it “shows the world who I am” – but also a political statement. For her, the runway is a platform to combat negative stereotypes around Muslims, as well as championing diversity.

Amandla Stenberg, 19

ACTOR, BLACK CULTURE TORCHBEARER

There are too many significant moments in The Hunger Games star’s life to mention, but her name alone is a clue – Amandla comes from the Zulu and Xhosa word for ‘power’. But it was when Beyoncé cast her in her 2016 visual album Lemonade and told her, “I want Blue Ivy to be just like you”, that Stenberg’s impact on her generation became apparent. Her ascent to global role model began with a video she made for a school project called Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows. It explored how white music artists appropriate and profit from black culture, while undermining the struggle the culture has been born from. The video caused a sensation and Stenberg realized she had a platform to being a powerful young woman of color in America.

PHOTOGRAPHER, POLITICAL PROTESTER

The outcome of the US presidential election prompted the lauded New York-based photographer to create #45protestsigns, a series of banners – plus an exhibition of decrees (some factual, some more folklore) – from each US state, with tongue-in-cheek portraits.

Is there a sisterhood between girls? Yes, an incredibly strong one. Being a female artist who represents other females throughout my work makes that bond even stronger. Women need to encourage one another and raise each other up.

Do you feel powerful? It feels strong to have a body and mind that both function each day and allow me to have the most wonderful experiences. Being alive is a powerful thing!

How would you change the world if you could? If I had magical powers, I would grant everyone a huge dose of compassion for their fellow human beings.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? A person who has grown up emotionally fast; who has a good understanding of who she is and her place in the world.

How do you look after your mental health? I have always been an anxious person. I practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day, it helps me enormously. I also take a low dose of antidepressant.

Do you talk to your parents about any of the following: sex, dating, drugs, money, politics? I’m a total open book and they are too. We speak about all of the above.

Is virginity prized? I worry that today’s society pressurizes very young girls to enter their sexual lives before they are ready. A girl’s own body and desires will tell her when she’s personally ready.

L-R: Gold medal-winning snowboarder Chloe Kim; poet and author Rupi Kaur

Chloe Kim, 17

SNOWBOARDER, TEEN SPORTS HERO

Chloe Kim is the youngest female snowboarder to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She made history at 15, scoring a perfect 10 for her half pipe during the US Snowboarding Grand Prix. The Californian is a keen tweeter whose relaxed manner has earned her legions of teenage fans.

How does social media make you feel? I love it. It really gives me an opportunity to connect with my fans and I just hope I am inspiring other girls out there.

Do you feel powerful? I feel so empowered and confident that I can do anything I set my mind to.

Do you think men are on your side? I think the men and everyone I surround myself with are on my side. There will always be someone who tries to put you down, but you have to rid those people from your life.

What have you learnt from your parents? Everything! The most important lesson is that you have to work hard in life. Nothing comes easy. My parents worked really hard to give me the life and opportunities I have.

How do you look after your mental health? When I am stressed or tired, I give myself a break when it’s needed. I always put my physical and mental health first. I also surround myself with positive people who help me stay positive.

How would you change the world if you could? By making it a happier place. There are a lot of bad things out there, which absolutely terrifies me, and I wish everyone living in the world was happy and healthy.

Rupi Kaur, 25

INSTAGRAM POET, YOUTH CHAMPION

Although first and foremost known as an ‘Instapoet’, a term used for the growing collection of young voices publishing their work on Instagram, Punjabi-Canadian Rupi Kaur can also shift books – her debut poetry collection, Milk and Honey, has sold 1.4 million copies. Kaur’s poetry is well placed for the social-media generation: not only are her words perfectly formed but they embody the full spectrum of angst, from infatuation riddled with self-doubt to a more profound understanding of heritage, politics and identity.

Adwoa Aboah, 25

MODEL, MILLENNIAL CHAMPION

Her captivating gaze, endearing freckles, shaved head and otherworldly beauty are not the only things that make Adwoa Aboah striking. Alongside challenging what a supermodel can look like, the model – who fronts Gap campaigns, is a Vogue cover girl and a muse to Donatella Versace – is also the face of the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion Ambassador for Model Health and Diversity. Aboah wants to challenge conversations around mental health, body image, sexuality and race. It’s the reason she set up Gurls Talk – an online platform created to build a community for young women to find their voice on these issues. The site was born from Aboah’s own experiences. After developing a drug addiction as a teen, followed by two stints in rehab and attempting to take her own life, her subsequent treatment for depression and bipolar disorder drove her to create a safe space to talk about the things she never could as a young girl.

Ariana Grande, 24

SINGER, HUMANITARIAN ROLE MODEL

On May 22, 2017, Ariana Grande was performing at the UK’s Manchester Arena when a terrorist bomb exploded, killing 23 people and injuring over 500. Many of the victims were young girls. Grande tweeted: “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.” In the following weeks, she returned to Manchester to perform in memory of the victims, raising millions for the One Love Manchester fund and garnering the respect of the world. Grande has always had a strong sense of justice; working on anti-bullying campaigns, advocating LGBTQ rights and raising money for people affected by HIV/Aids. When a fan made a sexually derogatory comment, Ariana took to Twitter and told her fans to remember their worth: “We are not objects or prizes. We are QUEENS.”

Hari Nef, 25

ACTOR, MODEL, TRANSGENDER ROLE MODEL

The star of Golden Globe-winning TV show Transparent will go down in history as the first transgender model to be signed to a major agency. Nef has used her experience to raise awareness and support others, and is now a recognizable part of a youth culture defiantly rejecting gender norms. Although she is outspoken about trans rights and transitioning in the public realm, she is also keen to be seen as a young woman with acting ambitions (she’ll be starring with Matt Smith in Mapplethorpe, a biopic of the New York photographer, later this year.) “The more we fixate on people being trans,” she says, “the less we, as a community, feel normal in our day-to-day lives. I just want to grab a meal and, you know, go on a date.”

Model Adwoa Aboah
Musician and activist Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, 25

MUSICIAN, LGBTQ RIGHTS ACTIVIST

From Disney star to pop provocateur, the American singer needs no introduction. Yet her social-justice work might be a little less familiar. There’s The Happy Hippie Foundation, an organization she set up in 2014 that supports charities working with homeless and LBGTQ youth, and other vulnerable young people, and she donates vast sums of money to charities on other issues, too, from Aids research to animal welfare. She also lent her support at the Women’s March, holding a banner calling for the protection of Planned Parenthood, and when a fan was being bullied for wearing a “Legalize Gay” T-shirt, Cyrus called her personally to show support.

Olivia Milch, 29

SCREENWRITER, CHAMPION FOR WOMEN IN FILM

This year sees the release of Ocean’s 8, the all-female reboot starring Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. But the casting is not the only point, it’s the fact that a young female scriptwriter co-wrote the story. Milch’s coming-of-age comedy, Dude, which she wrote and directed, hits Netflix later this year and tells the story of four female best friends in their last two weeks of high school as they contemplate the future. Dude, Milch says, was born out of her frustration at “less than authentic portraits of female friendship”. It’s a transformative time for women in Hollywood, and voices like Milch’s have never been needed more.

How does social media make you feel? I love getting a glimpse into my friends’ lives – it’s nice to know what they are up to. But it can be a big distraction and warped representation of life. I delete apps when I have deadlines and find I’m much happier and more productive.

Do you think men are on your side? There are a lot of great men on our side. I’m heartened by male voices supporting women and the fight for equality.

How do you look after your mental health? Spending time with friends, being physically active and asking for help when I need it. Sleep is also a big one! I love a good 10pm bedtime.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? A badass goofball who loves a colorful ensemble and a good pair of gold hoops, ready to take on the day.

Where do you want to be in 10 years’ time? I would love to be a mother, hanging with my partner and our kids, telling stories about excellent women.

Samantha Shannon, 26

AUTHOR, FEMINIST CRUSADER

Samantha Shannon was a 20-year-old Oxford undergraduate when she landed a six-figure deal for The Bone Season, her blockbuster sci-fi seven-part book series, now an international phenomenon published in 28 languages. Shannon, whose writing was inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, is outspoken on the stereotyping of female characters: “When will we no longer be surprised by women’s strength?”

Do you feel powerful? Not often in the real world. Perhaps that’s why writing fantasy is such a tonic.

How do you look after your mental health? I’ve had anxiety since 2012, which waxes and wanes. I’ve got a handle on it now; I go to the gym after years of not exercising, but sometimes it still sneaks up on me, particularly when I have a new book coming out. When that happens, I try to stay off social media and get stuck into a good book.

Isabel Greenberg, 29

GRAPHIC NOVELIST, FEMINIST LITERARY DREAMER

London-based Isabel Greenberg tells beautiful dream-like stories through her award-winning illustrations. The graphic novelist, whose work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum, caught the world’s attention in 2013 with her first graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, a series of interlinking stories that became a New York Times bestseller and was nominated for two Eisner Awards. Her second novel, The One Hundred Nights of Hero, was not only the Observer’s Book of the Year but described as “a feminist fairy tale… A wondrously intricate book, and a witty attack on the patriarchy – an instant classic”.

Rowan Blanchard, 16

ACTOR, VOICE OF A GENERATION

The Girl Meets World actress is not your average Disney star. Talking to her 5.2 million Instagram followers, Rowan Blanchard is a bold, bright voice, addressing politics, feminist issues, LGBTQ rights, #BlackLivesMatter and domestic violence. From the age of 14, she’s identified as queer – not because she is necessarily gay or bisexual, but because she rejects definitive labels. This year will see her star in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. Part of Blanchard’s success – and her ability to weave her world views with a promising Hollywood career – is her ‘normal’ teenage behavior, from her passionate use of emojis to Still Here, her published scrapbook of diary entries, photos and poems – something most young women collate but don’t usually publish.

Hannah Herbst, 17

STUDENT, SCIENTIFIC GENIUS

Hannah Herbst was just 14 when she invented Beacon (Bringing Electricity Access to Countries Through Ocean Energy Collection) – a small turbine that produces energy from ocean currents, something she hopes will be used in developing countries. She was inspired by her Ethiopian pen pal, who wrote of having no lights or a steady flow of fresh water. That year, the then eighth-grader was named America’s Top Young Scientist. She has since spoken at the UN’s Science, Technology and Innovation summit and exhibited at the White House Science Fair. Today, Herbst is at Florida Atlantic University High School and a computer-engineering undergraduate.

How does social media make you feel? I am constantly trying to maintain a balance between social media and real-life friendships. I definitely consider face-to-face relationships the priority.

Do you feel powerful? I believe that I am powerful and can do anything I put my mind to.

Do you think men are on your side? Yes, the answer begins with my dad, who has always encouraged me in so many ways. I am also surrounded by a group of boys in my church, on my robotics team and in my family, all of whom have been supportive.

Who are your heroes? My dad and my mom, who both inspire me every day through their strength and compassion for others. I am so grateful to have them in my life.

Actor and activist Rowan Blanchard
#FreePeriods founder Amika George

Amika George, 18

STUDENT, PERIOD POVERTY CAMPAIGNER

British student Amika George wants to get the world talking about periods and started the #FreePeriods campaign to demand that the UK Government provides sanitary products for girls who qualify for free school meals. What began as an online petition created in her bedroom has quickly become a movement and, in December 2017, Amika led a protest outside the Houses of Parliament.

Is there a sisterhood amongst girls? One of the main things I’ve learnt from doing the campaign is that women are so supportive of each other. I’ve had emails from women all over the world offering to help.

How does social media make you feel? It’s done a lot more good than bad. It’s where our generation finds a way to get involved in things. The fact that activism is so internet-focused means it’s accessible.

Do you feel powerful? Women in general have this idea that we’re weak and can’t affect change, but in the last few years we have proven that as a force we are really powerful.

How would you change the world? Ending period poverty worldwide.

How do you look after your mental health? Saying no to the things I don’t want to do; organizing well-being events at my school with speakers, yoga and a silent disco.

Who is your hero? My great-grandmother. After having a family, she left south India for Ohio. She ended up doing a degree and became an eminent journalist writing about women’s issues. She didn’t let anything hold her back.

Elyse Fox, 27

FILMMAKER, MENTAL-HEALTH CAMPAIGNER

The founder of Sad Girls Club, a global online and physical community for young women facing mental-health issues with a focus on inclusivity, was spurred into action following the success of Conversations with Friends, her short film about her own battle with depression as a lonely teen growing up in New York.

How does social media make you feel? Like I’m on some bizarre planet where everyone is showcasing the opposite of what they’re feeling internally. I curate my own feed with things that make me happy.

Do you feel powerful? I feel very powerful, sexually, mentally and externally.

How do you look after your mental health? I set time aside to do what makes me happy; I set boundaries, unplug and take time to reset. It’s not always easy but it’s something we all should incorporate.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Depends on the day. I’d like to think I see growth each time.

Is there a sisterhood between girls? My girlfriends are my sisters. I would do anything for them and vice versa.

Simone Biles, 21

GYMNAST, SEXUAL HARASSMENT SURVIVOR

America’s greatest gymnast and four-time Olympic Gold medalist’s success story is even more astonishing when you consider her upbringing – adopted by her grandparents, aged six, after her drug-addicted parents gave her up to foster care. Last year, she partnered with Mattress Firm Foster Kids – a donation-driven organization to help children in the sorts of situations she herself was once in. Biles’s incredible story gained another chapter when she announced on Twitter that she too was a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics coach, Larry Nassar. Yet Biles’s positivity and determination remain undiminished: “I will compete with all of my heart and soul every time I step in a gym. I love this sport too much and I have never been a quitter.”

Amber Yang, 18

SCIENTIST, SPACE VISIONARY

How many 18-year-olds know what space junk is? Amber Yang certainly does. It’s the stuff floating around in space, left over from satellites and rockets, and the Stanford student has found a way to track it more efficiently than the scientists at Nasa. The program she has developed can track junk with a staggering 98% accuracy rate, which is far more important than one realizes – the floating debris poses a serious threat to human space flight. And as the Silicon Valley giants race to find a way to send people to the moon, Yang’s program is not only hugely important, but potentially lucrative. She has also recently founded Seer Tracking to help astronauts negotiate potentially dangerous space matter.

Whitney Wolfe Herd, 28

TECHPRENEUR, DATING PIONEER

Salt Lake City native Whitney Wolfe Herd is on a mission to empower women around the world via her app, Bumble, which the former Tinder co-founder launched in 2014. Unlike its competitors, when using Bumble, women get to make the first move. It’s a philosophy that Wolfe Herd imbues into the app’s other recently launched verticals, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, giving young women a helping hand to take charge of their lives, be it dating, friendship or business. “Be the CEO your parents want you to marry” is one of the company’s slogans. Wolfe Herd is also keen to give women a safe experience online, blocking male users who display signs of abusive behavior, and she famously sued her Tinder co-founder for sexual harassment. The 28-year-old has an estimated net worth of $250 million, lives in Texas and publicly supports – and donates to – Planned Parenthood.

Four-time Olympic Gold medalist Simone Biles
LVMH prize-winning designer Grace Wales Bonner

Grace Wales Bonner, 26

FASHION DESIGNER, POSTER CHILD FOR DIVERSITY

The young designer graduated from Central Saint Martins, launched her own menswear label, Bonner Wales, in 2014 and won the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2016. Yet, along with this glitzy ascent, the south Londoner, who was born to an English mother and Jamaican father, is bringing an important conversation about race to the table. She draws on unapologetically academic frames of reference in her designs – from the worlds of art and literature – to subvert depictions of black masculinity. For the young designer, there are important and complex conversations that need to be had and her exquisite craftsmanship is the mouthpiece she does this with. She’s launching her first women’s line in June.

Sarah DeLappe, 27

PLAYWRIGHT, VOCAL FEMINIST

Brooklyn-based Yale graduate DeLappe wrote critically acclaimed play The Wolves (about nine female high school soccer players and which sold out in less than two hours) in her bedroom in less than a month, winning critics’ praise for rejecting stereotypes and sexualization, and depicting the realities of young women’s lives. Last year, the play was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

How does social media make you feel? Simultaneously connected, stimulated, engaged, exhausted, furious, selfish, depressed, and detached.

Do you feel powerful? I feel like a shrimp. A powerful shrimp! I do have power. I have a lot of power. I want to learn how to see it clearly and use it carefully to affect change in the ways that I can.

Do you think men are on your side? Right now the men in positions of power in arts and entertainment, still mainly straight white men, have a vested interest in programming work by women, by writers of color, by queer and gender-non-conforming writers. That’s good. I don’t know if that means they’re on my side.

What have you learnt from your parents? How to read, how to write, how to be generous, how to be rigorous, how to fight, how to listen to the courage of my convictions.

Do you feel there is a sisterhood between young women? Sometimes I worry that it’s easiest to feel a universal sisterhood in the vaguest, empty, slogan-based corporate feminism kind of way.

Is money important to you? It would be a lie to say no. If you want to be an artist, you have to find another way to pay for your life. Right now, I can support myself through writing alone, which I’m proud and grateful for.

Petra Collins, 25

PHOTOGRAPHER, FEMALE-GAZE CHAMPION

Photographer, feminist art collective founder, It girl and author of photo-driven memoir Coming of Age, Canadian-born Petra Collins is an NYC cool girl who’s been credited with creating a new female gaze for the socially conscious, millennial generation. Alongside taking photographs for Gucci, Adidas and Nordstrom, as well as some of the world’s most famous women, including Kim Kardashian, she’s made a short film about Georgia O’Keeffe for the Tate Modern. Collins’s work resonates with young women because it strips away the sexualized and commercialized lens they are used to seeing themselves through. In an interview, she said, “I create images to heal myself and hopefully others.” Collins tries to celebrate femininity and female bodies in a totally fresh way, exposing the hypocrisies of how women’s bodies are dealt with in the public sphere (she was once kicked off Instagram for posting a picture of her untrimmed pubic hair). Through her photographic work, using herself as the subject, she is changing the way society sees young women for the better.

Avdotja Alexandrova, 28

CHAMPION FOR NON-STEREOTYPICAL BEAUTY

‘Lumpen’ is the Russian word for social outcast and it’s also the name of Avdotja “Dunja” Alexandrova’s modeling agency, which the Moscow-based sweatshirt-and-trainers It girl created to celebrate the less conventional and off-kilter faces in Russian society.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? I see a beautiful girl who looks a bit too young for her age, who is sometimes in bad shape, sometimes in a bad mood, sometimes happy. But, overall, I like myself in the mirror.

Where is your happy place? Any seaside. When I can’t go near sea I head to Saint Petersburg, to the gulf of Finland – it’s cold, but it’s still sea.

What are boys like today? Boys today are more concerned about their looks than before. I see this quite vividly in Russia. If they have muscles, they are for cosmetic purposes, not power and stamina.

Do you talk to your parents about any of the following: sex, dating, drugs, money, politics? My father died when I was 18. The need to discuss a lot of things with him only came after his death.

What would you change about the world if you could? I wouldn’t change a thing, I like this world and the way it is set up.

How has gender acceptance changed your world? There is the masculine and feminine in every person from the very beginning, and one of them just wins at some point. The creature itself, the human, is the most important, not the fact of belonging to one sex or another. In my childhood years, I used to dress like a boy and have a boy haircut – I really liked it. But I always only truly fell in love with boys and at some point I realized I can be both. I have transgender people in my agency and I am proud of them.

Photographer Petra Collins
L-R: Filmmaker Sabaah Folayan and mental-health activist Scarlett Curtis

Scarlett Curtis, 22

COLUMNIST, MENTAL-HEALTH ACTIVIST

“The revolution will be posted on Instagram” is the mantra that defines British columnist Scarlett Curtis’s Pink Protest, an online social media community committed to supporting and amplifying mental-health campaigns, run by young women.

Is there a sisterhood between girls, or is it to each her own? I think it’s very dangerous to generalize all girls.

Where is your happy place? In the sea off the Suffolk coast.

How would you change the world if you could? I would open the borders in Europe to try and help the refugee crisis.

How do you look after your mental health? I take anti-depressants, which really help stabilize my mood, and I do yoga almost every day.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? My roots and if they need dyeing.

How has gender acceptance changed your world? I feel very lucky to have been born into a body that I feel comfortable in. The poet Emma Lazarus said: “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” I believe that we cannot and will not have a successful feminist movement until that movement includes all women.

Sabaah Folayan, 26

FILMMAKER, POLITICAL ACTIVIST

When 18-year-old high-school graduate Mike Brown was shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, Folayan, who was studying to be a doctor, headed to St. Louis to find out what had happened. She was inspired to make her critically acclaimed documentary Whose Streets – which premiered at Sundance and was released in 2017 by Magnolia Pictures – about the subsequent uprising.

Is there a sisterhood between girls, or is it to each her own? There should be a sisterhood. We are much stronger when we work together. Personally, my sisters keep me sane and grounded. Female friendship cannot be underestimated.

How would you change the world if you could? If everyone was taught to be thoughtful about the world, and how they participate in it, we would live in a much better place.

Is virginity prized? Having sex for the first time is a unique experience for every person. Every woman should decide that for herself, and no one else. It’s past time we stop being judged based on our sexual choices, as long as we are being safe and true to ourselves.

How do you look after your mental health? Yoga and meditation are really important to me. I also love working with my hands – it’s about getting out of my own head and getting in touch with the physical world.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? A person learning to accept herself, growing and changing every day, but somehow staying the same.

Who is your hero? My mom, and moms in general. Women do so much of the work that it takes to keep humanity alive. There’s so much personal sacrifice that goes unmentioned.

See the full shoot in PORTER’s Summer Escape 2018 issue

Download the PORTER app on iTunes and Google Play Store now

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.