MEET LUKA SABBAT, THE 18-YEAR-OLD STYLE ICON ABOUT TO TAKE THE WORLD BY STORM
Kids these days, amirite? What’s with these genderfluid smartphone-toting agents of change, walking around with blue hair and bones in their noses, brandishing names like “influencer” before they’re legally capable of being under the influence and cultivating their own personal brand across an ever-expanding network of platforms? Is that insecurity I detect in your professed quizzicality? Jealousy? Are you as unnerved as I am by the hypergenerationalism that sweeps us with quickening strokes into the dustbin of obsolescence?
Meet Luka Sabbat, 18, a cohort of this new generation and at ease with the proverbial broom. Born in New York, raised in Paris, and now back on this side of the pond to pursue his career, Sabbat boasts an enviably perfect cool-kid pedigree to match his Hendrixian mop of hair and his laid-back-bohemian meets street-smart-urbanite style. His mother worked for Bureau Batak producing shows for the likes of Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld, toting him to runway shows as a toddler, while his father designed clothing in Paris where he grew up immersed in the local fashion and skate culture. His modeling career was kick-started “by accident” at fifteen when the owner of Re:Quest Model Management noticed him on the street in New York. Since then he’s been busy, crisscrossing the Atlantic for shows and shoots, landing a spot as a model in Kanye’s Yeezy Season One show, and amassing a legion of Instagram followers for his sartorial sagacity and his ridiculously rad globe-trotting lifestyle.
You could call him a model, but that doesn’t really cut it for him. He’s got larger ambitions, and why does everything need a label for you, anyway? I’ll let him tell it via the bio on his website, laissez-faire attitude towards written English and all: “Don’t believe in titles I believe you do what you want and find the right people who share your vision. If I had to put a name to it, I am a Creative Entrepreneur exploring all the world has to offer. Stylist, Creative Director, Design Director, Actor, Model, etc…” Got that? This is indicative of the confidence he exudes in all his pursuits. Consider his answers to a couple of our questions for him:
Has he felt unsure of himself? “I don’t recall the last time that happened.”
Does the title “Influencer” give him pause? Nope! “I’m confident owning it. I don’t really pay attention to what people are saying. I just focus on what I’m doing.”
So does anything trouble this guy? Does a cloud ever appear on his charmed horizon? Yes, in fact. Literally. “I’m in New York and it’s freezing. The cold makes me lazy and angry. I love spring—it’s not too hot or cold, and it has the best outfits.” What about the future? You’re not going to find him tearing out his well-coiffed hair over it. This is a guy who’s reportedly been smoking cigarettes since he was twelve, after all. As a part of the generation that will likely be affected by global warming, you’d think he might be wracked with fear. Think again. “I feel like I won’t be alive to see it burn down so I will never truly have to worry about it.”
We get it. What is new is always somewhat scary. But maybe if we set aside our judgment we can learn something from today’s youth and the increasingly equitable, tolerant, and culturally decentralized society that they are ushering in. It seems that if you want to look to windward, it’s worth keeping Sabbat in sight.
Written by Sid Feddema
Photographer: Victoria Stevens
Stylist: Rika Watanabe
Producer: Michael Kirkland