HAVEN'T YOU HEARD? It's the year of the girl. What seemed to start out as a fleeting trend has flourished into an almighty call to arms – it's a female renaissance, a revolution, and we're all for it. So much so that for our latest issue of the Topshop magazine we had to dedicate it to all things girl. Where do we begin? It's the likes of Lily Allen and Lorde vocally inspiring a new kind of bold feminism for generation Y. It's Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai and actress Angelina Jolie standing up against the odds for women's rights. It's Beyoncé telling us to ban bossy and Facebook's Sheyl Sandberg encouraging us to lean in. It's Hilary Clinton owning it at the White House, all the while rocking a scrunchie. Girls truly are running the world.
With this resurgence in mind we've put together some of our favourite women of the moment - the critics, sportspeople and creatives - blazing a trail of inspiration in their wake.
BLOGGER, EDITOR AND NOW BROADWAY STAR – TAVI GEVINSON IS MULTI-TALENTED
Is there anything this girl can't do? Tavi made headlines as one of the youngest and most savvy fashion bloggers aged just 13. Since then she's sat front row at Dior, launched her own online magazine for teens called Rookie (that nearly everyone we know reads regardless of age) and is now immersing herself in the acting world. Last year she appeared on the big screen with the late James Gandolfini in the critically acclaimed Enough Said and this summer starred on Broadway with Michael Cera. All the while continuing to stay modest, oh-so-cool and outspoken when it comes to girl power. We love.
THE FILM WORLD'S NEWEST IT-DIRECTOR ON THE UP
The film industry is one of the most male-dominated out there so whenever a new female director crops up on the scene, we're all ears. Introducing Gia Coppola - yes, of that Coppola film dynasty - the savvy young director who debuted her movie, Palo Alto, this summer to rave reviews. Inspired by James Franco's book of short stories Coppola got behind the lens to turn a drifting storyline into a killer first movie that had us swooning in our cinema seats. If she's a patch on her aunty Sofia, we're smitten for life.
BARELY-THERE VOCALS AND R 'N' B INSPIRED TRACKS MAKE THIS SINGER-SONGWRITER A WINNER
The self-taught pianist from LA caught our attention after uploading her bedroom-made tunes to Soudcloud and soon after spent the summer touring with The Weeknd, and owning the stage at Coachella. Influenced by Lauryn Hill and Fiona Apple, Banks' mixture of deep soul and minimalist pop is a Topshop favourite for the season to come.
THE WITTY WRITER BEHIND THE MOVEMENT NEWLY EMBRACING FEMINISM
Caitlin Moran's debut memoir-cum-guidebook How To Be a Woman – that touched on everything from periods to fashion - made us want to go forth and change the world as well as laughing til we were blue in the face. Now she's back on the book scene with her novel, How to Build a Girl, a coming of age tale following a young music journalist hitting the streets of London. Sound familiar? Expect hilarity and a few biographical references thrown in.
BEAUTY HAS A NEW DEFINITION THANKS TO THESE TWO MODEL AGENTS
You wouldn't expect a model agency to be challenging the notions of beauty but Anti Agency is doing just that. Set up by BFFs Pandora Lennard and Lucy Greene, Anti Agency does exactly what it says on the tin. Forget about your atypical model, Pandora and Lucy roam the streets of London hunting out girls with a seriously rare quality – from those covered in tattoos to alternative body shapes and striking uncommon faces. It's not only their looks they're spotting but handpick those toting another talent with poets, musicians and feminist artists on their books. Now casting for the likes of Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs, and shooting with Katie Grand and Mario Testino, you're sure to be hearing more about this dynamic duo.
THE LA-ILLUSTRATOR WHOSE DELICATE DRAWINGS ARE MAKING US SWOON
Aside from the fact Langley has the haircut dreams are made of, her real talent is revealed when wielding a pencil. The LA-based illustrator has an eye for the surreal with works that span otherworldly portraits of great beauties to adorable animal studies we can't get enough of. You might think that being Ernest Hemingway's great granddaughter would be a rather heavy weight to bear but Langley dusts this off her shoulders. Not only is she a critical hit but has already won over the fashion biz with collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Love magazine. Expect big things.
THE BRISTOLIAN BRINGING SNOWBOARDING BACK IN FASHION
Professional snowboarder Jenny Jones has guts. Whether it's a broken tail bone in the US Open or concussion whilst training in Austria, Jones knows the hazards of her extreme sport of choice. But with three X Games gold medals in the bag and an historic bronze at this year's Sochi Olympics (the only Brit to ever win a medal for a snow event, we might add) it'll take so much more than an injury to stop Jones' stratospheric rise to sports stardom. We won't be surprised if she causes a snowboarding obsession for the new generation.
WORDS Karla Evans