To the Dearly Departed and those that Stayed

Cultured Magazine

Photography by Gogy Esparza

From left: Austin Williamson, Isaiah Barr, Eloisa Santos and Shawn Powers on the Manhattan Bridge. Styled by Sebastian Jean. Stylist Assistant: Share Koech. Hair: Illeisha Lussiano. All fashion by Dior. Produced by Isabel Flower.

When we started to put together this issue, almost four months ago, we could never have imagined the events, both close and far, that would unfold by the time we went to press. The first in what would be a series of monumental shifts pertained to this story, a suite of photos in collaboration with Dior, for which we were planning to work with beloved Brooklyn-born rapper Pop Smoke. Days before the shoot, he was murdered, in a devastating blow not just to all those who loved him and his work, but to his home. Stunned and heartbroken, we wondered if there might be a way to pay homage to the uniquely New York spirit that he represented to so many. In the pages that follow, you will find four young New York-native creatives—musicians Austin Williamson and Isaiah Barr of jazz ensemble Onyx Collective, actor and model Eloisa Santos and skateboarder and artist Shawn Powers—each of whom we believe embody the resilience and innovation that define the energy of this city.

Actor and model Eloisa Santos and skateboarder and artist Shawn Powers on the Manhattan Bridge.

Drummer Austin Williamson of Onyx Collective.