November 02, 2012

25 influential Londoners

According to the London Evening Standard, these are the top 25 most influential Londoners. 

I found it quite interesting to see the names this year. A) Can’t believe Birdy is 16  B) Glad Tom Odell made the cut as he got a big boost this year which is music appearing on the Burberry SS13 YouTube video. C) Good to see Beattie Edmondson on there who is from Devon ( my home town).  Also GREAT to see lots of young designers/entrepreneurs on the list – this our time.! 

Top 25 Under 25

Lianne La Havas – 23


This soulful 23-year-old talent has a rich sultry voice, paired with an eclectic sense of style. Mixing thoughtful ruminations on past life experiences with a melodic jazz and

folk-infused sound, her debut album was nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize and she counts Prince and Stevie Wonder among her biggest fans.

Pippa Bennett-Warner – 24


In the past two years, Bennett-Warner, 24, has played Cordelia to Derek Jacobi’s Lear, Queen Isabel to Eddie Redmayne’s Richard II and commanded the stage in The Witness at the Royal Court. She has already had a part written for her — in The Swan by DC Moore, which was staged at the National.

Natasha Preston – 24

Online author on

More than four million people have read 24-year-old Preston’s horror thriller The Cellar, that she posts on the story-sharing website Wattpad. She is now an ambassador for the site.

Richard Brendon – 25

Designer and entrepreneur

One of the brains behind Today’s Specials, a group which supports new designers by hosting pop-up shops around London. Brendon, 25, is a talented designer, and his willow pattern ceramics have won a cult following among the fashion crowd.

Charlie McDonnell – 21

Video blogger

McDonnell, 21, is one of a new generation of stars created by YouTube. Known as charlieissocoollike, he now has more than 1.5 million subscribers and some of his videos have been viewed more thanfour million times. His most popular clip, How to make a cup of tea, featured on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Roo Panes – 23


This guitarist and singer/songwriter’s face can be spotted all over the capital. The 23-year-old is following actor Eddie Redmayne as one half of Burberry’s latest ad campaign, starring in a moody black-and-white shoot with actress Gabriella Wilde. The folky music for thecampaign is also by Panes.

Josef Valentino – 22


The youngest artist to exhibit at the Barbican Centre, Valentino, now 22, sold his first painting aged 13. At 17, he dropped out of school to curate Blank Canvas, a week-long exhibition supported by Annie Lennox and Rankin. He has recently finished a crowd-funded film based on a two-week tour of Damien Hirst installations around the world and runs a shop in Covent Garden where he turns unwanted belongings into art.

Sebastian Thiel – 22

Entrepreneur and film director

The Zambian-born entrepreneur, 22, known as “Sir-Bastian” presides over a youth culture entertainment empire that includes fashion label It’s Upshot and an online television channel called The Brand. He has worked on videos for Nike and Adidas and his business spirit has been praised by Sir Richard Branson.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 19

Arsenal and England footballer

The 19-year-old, whom fans call “The Ox”, is one of Arsenal and England’s best hopes. After making his professional debut at 16 playing for Southampton, he was signed to the Gunners last year for £12 million and scored twice in his first three games, becoming the youngest English goal scorer in UEFA Champions League history.

Adam Gemili – 18


He only started sprinting 18 months ago but the 18-year-old from Dartford just missed out on the Olympics 100 metres final,finishing third in his semi. What a prospect Gemili, with his photogenic grin, could be for Rio in four years’ time.

Birdy – 16


Birdy, whose real name is Jasmine van den Bogaerde, is just 16 and had a sell-out September show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire as well as performing at the Paralympics opening ceremony. Her YouTube cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” was watched by millions, leading to the production of an album of self-penned songs and covers, all performed in her rich, haunting tones.

Beattie Edmondson – 24


The 24-year-old’s comedy troupe Lady Garden was a highlight of BBC3’s sketch comedy show Live at The Electric and Edmondson’s team has appeared in her mother Jennifer Saunders’ Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special.

Tom Odell – 21


The 21-year old pianist’s EP, which includes his song Another Love, has sparked a huge following. He regularly plays sell-out intimate gigs in London, and looks set to go on to be a great success.

Bel Powley- 20

Comedian and actress

Aged 20, Powley’s West End appearance as Tamsin Greig’s scantily clad, moody teenage daughter Tilly in Jumpy is the third play under her belt. Previously in the Royal Court’s Tusk Tusk and Arcadia on Broadway last year. She stars in feature film Side by Side with Diana Quick, out next year.

Rae Morris – 20


She only finished her A-levels last year but has already been signed to Atlantic Records and Universal Music Publishing. Thetalented 20-year-old pianist and singer has previously performed for Burberry Acoustic and recorded her debut EP, For You, with Charlie Fink from Noah and The Whale, with whom she went on tour in April. Her debut album is due for release early next year.

Angel – 25


Sirach Charles, aged 25, was a Mobo Best Newcomer nominee before he had even released his debut album. He has worked with top UK rappers Wiley and Wretch 32 and scored his first solo hit this summer with Wonderful. Big things are expected.

Edie Campbell – 22


By the age of 18 she was a face for top brands including Marc Jacobs. She has gone on to feature in Italian and British Vogue, and was chosen by Karl Lagerfeld to close the Chanel spring/summer 2012 show. Off the catwalk, Campbell, now 22, is a keen horse rider and became the first winner of the inaugural all-ladies horse race at Glorious Goodwood last year.

Gabriella Wilde – 23


Wilde spent the summer with Julianne Moore and Chloe Moretz filming the remake of Stephen King’s Carrie, working with Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce. As well as acting, the 23-year-old has been modelling since she was 15 and has been snapped by the legendary Mario Testino for the current Burberry ad campaign.

Serena Guen – 22, Charlotte Summers, 22

Suitcase Magazine, co-founders

Summers and Guen launched hip website Suitcase — a fusion of fashion, travel and digital — last year but soon decided to go into print, creating a cool iPad-shaped magazine. The first glossy issue launched in May and 5,000 copies sold out. The two 22-year-olds were friends of friends and got the idea for the mag after bumping into each other at a chemist’s.

Robbie Grabarz – 25


The 25-year-old won bronze in the high jump at London 2012. Charismatic and with a hint of mischief, he has already got an eye onBrazil in 2016. After the Games, he went on to equal the British high jump record.

Nick D’Aloisio – 17

Summly, chief executive

Aged just 17, his app, Summly, offers a simpler way to search the web by automatically summarising search results. In its first four days it reached 17,000 downloads. He has become the youngest ever entrepreneur to raise venture capital – in 12 months he secured more than £150,000 to develop it, all while studying for his GCSEs. Yoko Ono, Wendi Murdoch, Stephen Fry and Horizon Ventures have all contributed.

Marika Hackman – 21


Usually dressed in jeans, trainers and a denim shirt, with scruffy blonde hair, Hackman looks unassuming. The 21-year-old has been writing songs since she was 12 and is inspired by Nico. Her melancholic, haunted voice has won her many fans and her latest single, You Come Down isproduced by folk star Johnny Flynn.

Laura Robson – 18

Tennis player

Still only 18, she won silver in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray at the 2012 Olympics and shows promise as a singles player — she is now ranked 52 in the world. First shot to prominence in 2008 when winning the Wimbledon Junior Girls’ Championship, and is the youngest player in the top 100 rankings.

Owen Farrell – 21

England and Saracens rugby fly-half

After becoming the youngest player to feature in the English Premiership when he made his debut for Saracens at 17 (a record since broken), this fly-half looks set for great things. He made his first appearance for England in the Six Nations this year, and 21-year-old Farrell has become an increasingly important part of the national set up as well, collecting 81 points in eight appearances.

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