London-based cultural journal Nataal has published its debut digital edition, the first in a series of bite-sized issues to complement the annual print offering. With a focus on celebrating contemporary African fashion, music arts and society, Nataal is a media brand and creative studio that is known for creating space for Black talent, culture and creativity.
With modern Romanticism as its theme, the digital issue is a treatise on love and the various forms it can take. “We’ve all longed for the simple pleasures of being close to our nearest and dearest over the past year, so let’s stop to fully appreciate love, whether of the nostalgic, lustful, platonic or familial kind,” says the Nataal team.
Designed to “capture the mood of the moment” and deliver something special to its community on a regular basis, the project is also the first undertaken by Nataal’s new creative director, Marie Gomis-Trezise, who is also the founder and curator of Galerie Number 8, a contemporary art gallery that represents young, emerging artists in photography and mixed media.
In a way, the new issue a return to the magazine’s origins. Nataal was initially founded as a digital platform in 2015, and steadily grew to include a glossy print edition, which was first published in May 2018 and carefully curated to highlight creatives and stories from across the African continent and the diaspora.
The cover story of the new digital magazine, titled “I Love Your Love” is a fashion editorial based on the sense of joy, safety and intimacy that comes from being embraced by a loved one. Featuring romantic couples, families and platonic pairings, the spread delivers different creative expressions of love. Photographed by Olivia Lifungula and styled by Nathan Klein, the story features high-fashion looks by designer and 2021 LVMH Prize finalist Bianca Saunders.
The Romanticism issue also contains interviews with Los Angeles-based musician serpentwithfeet – who talks his sophomore album Deacon – and Kenyan poet Ngwatilo Mawiyoo. Other highlights include Senegalese architect Mamy Tall and Vintage Arab podcaster Hajer Ben Boubaker.
Nataal’s first digital issue is out now and available to download here
Created by Nataal (@nataalmedia)
Creative direction Marie Gomis-Trezise (@mariegtee)
Editorial direction Helen Jennings (@hellojennings)
Photography Olivia Lifungula (@olivialifungula)
Styling Nathan Klein at CLM (@nathankleinstyling)
Makeup Mary Jane Gotidoc (@maryjanegotidoc)
Hair Amidat Giwa at Bryant Artists (@am_stagrams)
Nails Aliyah Johnson (@_arjenesisnails)
Set design Gabrielle Oke (@gabeepaints)
Set mentoring Alice Andrews at The Wall Group (@aliceitaandrews1)
Casting Tytiah Blake at Unit C (@unit_c)
Production Ayesha Marr (@ayeshamarr)
Models Haruna (@harunajebak) at First London and Barbara Broadley Photography assistance Irene Arraez and Tenille Foster
Styling assistance Elena Scanagatta
Hair assistance Avrelle Delisser and Muriel Cole
Art direction assistance Stephanie Kane (@stephaniekkane)
Fashion Bianca Saunders (@biancasaunders)