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Issue 5
24 Articles • 2 Surprises
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Game Changers

Table of Contents
# of words

Cleo Wade

The Influential Poet Turning Girl Power into Woman Power

Misty Copeland

The Ballerina That Became an Icon by Breaking Down Barriers

Julie Gilhart

The Fashion Innovator’s Personal Game Changers

Ian Schrager

How the Visionary Entrepreneur Turned Hospitality into a Celebration

Game-changing Moments in History

A Visual Exploration by the Iconic Magnum Photographers

Black Coffee

The DJ Bringing the South African Club Scene to the World

Mezcal Mamas

Meet the Two Bootlegging Alchemists Transforming the Spirits Industry

Jane Goodall

The Feminist Icon and Conservationist on How We Can Still Save the Planet

Virgil Abloh

How the Creative Polymath Is Pushing Fashion to New Heights

Game-Change Your Life

From Meditation to Entrepreneurialism, How to Make Big Changes with Small Steps

Positive News

What’s Going Right in the World

Saving the World’s Oceans

How James Jagger and Project 0 Are Using Their Star Power for Preservation

Cooking in Motion

For Barcelona’s First Female Sake Sommelier and a Nomadic Chef, Food Is a Simple Performance

Pundy’s Picks

The Six Activists Who Should Be on Everyone’s Radar

Game Changers


nja Rubik regularly graces the cover of Vogue, and is featured in campaigns for the industry’s most iconic fashion houses. Add to that, the Polish supermodel seems to have an insatiable appetite for creative output: She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of 25 Magazine, an impressive annually-published collectible that heralds the most compelling photographers and artists to focus on one unique theme per issue. Her fragrance, Original by Anja Rubik, is not a superficial commercial scent but a manifesto to empower the women who buy it. Her most recent projects include designing a capsule collection for Parisian brand IRO, directing her first short film, and starring in a poignant music video for singer Mary Komasa. But Rubik’s endeavors amount to more than just commercial success: she uses her recognition to champion causes like women’s rights and the protection of our oceans.


Anja, where does your creative desire come from?


I guess it comes from this need of expression. The thing I fear the most in life is stagnation, so through investing my time into all of my projects, I feel that I’m growing. I believe that you age the moment you lose your curiosity for life. People that I see that are in their 70s or 80s who still have that curiosity, it keeps them young. There’s so much to see and do in the world, so all these projects help me learn and grow.


Do you remember when that curiosity started? Did being exposed to the fashion world at a young age accelerate that creativity?


I was always a very creative kid and would build things and come up with the craziest ideas. But when I started modeling it disappeared for a bit because I was flying around the world and focusing on work, night and day. Then suddenly when I was around 24, I found this urge to express something. I thought I had so much to say and really wanted to create something that is mine.


Because as a model you are the extension of somebody else’s creativity?


Exactly, you’re a part of someone else’s vision. I felt that I learned so much and I wanted to say something that expresses me. That’s when the magazine came along, which was a huge opener for me. It’s like a canvas that allows me to paint whatever picture I want thanks to all these incredible people that are part of it. That journey is really amazing.


Where does the journey begin? No matter what the project is, does it always start from the same place?


Everything I do is always connected to a message. That’s where it begins and then it develops further on. With my perfume, Original, for example, I really wanted it to be authentic. We live in a world where it’s easy to lose yourself. It’s easy to be influenced by other people’s ideas of how you should be, what you should do, how you should look…I started to research the power of the sense of smell and how it can really transport you into a different world, go back to a memory, or create a feeling or a state of mind…I thought it was an interesting way of combining a message with a fragrance.


To be reminded to believe in yourself when you smell it?


Exactly. I want my projects to have substance! For example, I approached a certain company for the perfume but they were pushing for it to be pink and glittery and sweet. I’m not pink and glittery and sweet [laughs]! So I decided to do it completely independently. It was quite tough. But it was an amazing path. It’s important that the ideas connect with a moment in my life. I did a music video quite recently with a friend of mine, Mary Komasa, I’m not sure if you saw?


I have.


The song and video is about the idea that very often in life, you just get stuck in a relationship or a job or your state of mind…The video really encouraged people to make a change. I’m very proud of it, and I had people writing me saying they had quit jobs or relationships after watching it. I feel very responsible. I think you have to challenge yourself constantly in life.


I believe that you age the moment you lose your curiosity for life.

Otherwise life becomes repetitive and predictable.


When you get too comfortable, I personally start to get a bit depressed. Maybe that’s just the way I’m wired. It’s not easy! Sometimes you don’t even know where to start. But I really believe it will come to you. If you have dilemmas in life or you don’t really know what decision to make, I always try to think about that before I go to bed.


How come?


I do think what we want in life, all the desires, have a reflection in our dreams. Everything that we think about and also a lot of things that are subconsciously happening inside of us, in our head, come out in dreams.


That’s why people use the expression “sleep on it.”


Human beings in general have a strong intuition but because of the lives that we lead, we’re constantly distracted—we oversee, overtouch, overhear. We don’t have that connection to ourselves and to our intuition. A lot of answers come from dreams. I think we have a big influence on our own lives. If we want, we can actually make a change and turn it in a certain way.


But at the same time, if you try too hard, sometimes you stand in your own way.


I agree with that completely. If you want something too badly, there’s very tense energy around you and things just don’t flow. I think it’s all about balance. I was speaking to a friend of mine and I was not complaining, but I just told her that I feel very rejected by life because of this and this, and she looks at me and she’s like, “What are you talking about? This is exactly what you wanted! This is happening because this will open, this is happening because that will change…” I realized that a lot of times things happen that we interpret as rejection but actually, that’s the only way for other doors to open. Sometimes you just have to let go and let life roll.