Culpavinum 20/21 London/Lagos, London/Addis Ababa

The first thing that strikes you about Aisha and Moma is their seemingly effortless cultivation of style. When the two arrived at the last Babyface event, clad in Off White denim and heavy silver jewellery,  we felt like booking an uber home. At just 20, and 21, respectively, they put a better look together than we've ever mustered. Despite coming from contrasting disciplines, with Aisha studying Law and Anthropology at LSE and Momo undertaking Fashion Communication at Central St Martins, together they have seamlessly developed an aesthetic which is rooted in, and shaped by, their longstanding friendship (they dress with amazing duality). “We’ve been lifelong soulmates since we were eleven” they told us. How sweet is that?

Aisha and Momo have been joined by the hip since school. Originally they founded Culpavinum as a creative outlet and nothing more formal than that. The platform traverses the spheres of fashion, photography and writing and the pair are utilising the internet to share their unique outlook on the world.

Though Aisha and Momo currently busy studying in London, they both maintain an international perspective of the world. While Momo bases herself between London and Lagos, Aisha splits her time across London and Addis Ababa. At the core of the project is an exploration of different cultures, across multiple continents. Having been raised primarily in Africa, the pair acknowledged their shared experience of the world. Aisha and Momo quickly recognised that their voices were not represented by mainstream media and popular culture. “We definitely felt a need to share that perspective when we felt such a disconnect [to mainstream culture],” and so, Culpavinum was born in order to respond to this lack of representation.

It is this intelligent and driven approach to social issues, matched with their irreverent street style, which underscores the work produced by Culpavinum. Offering up thought out perspectives on the world around them separates the platform from just another style or travel blog. Uniting fashion editorials with ‘casual critiques,’ on everything from diversity within fashion to the importance of female friendships, Aisha and Momo have developed a zeitgeist which is consistently inspiring. There is no separation between the many spheres Culpavinum explores. Closing the gaps between their academic backgrounds and the contemporary world around them, Culpavinum continually sets out to draw connections between seemingly oppositional practices. “We wanted to connect people and be part of growing a connection between what is sometimes presented as completely different worlds (The global south and the West).”

Doing all this while balancing their degrees, there’s no telling what Aisha and Momo will achieve once they’ve graduated. Now in their final year of university, and with a web series in the pipeline, we’re about to find out. Here at Babyface, we’re certain they’re on to big, big things.

What is Culpavinum?Culpavinum really is a platform for us to creatively express ourselves and themes we see in life in a creative way. Particularly in terms of style, writing, and photography. More recently its becoming what we always wanted it to be; a bridge between different cultures in different continents in a way.Why did you establish CV?  I guess we felt like we had a voice we wanted to share, as two women who grew up primarily in Africa we always felt we had a different perspective or understanding of things. We definitely felt a need to share that perspective when we felt such a disconnect at times from the portrayal of where we are from by mainstream media and pop culture. We also wanted to connect with people and be part of growing a connection between what is sometimes presented as completely different worlds (The global south and the West).What’s been your career highlight to date?Probably getting an all expenses paid trip to Marrakech for 4 days! It was beautiful and we got to take loads of beautiful photos there too.How did you meet each other? Through School What's the first thing you do when you get up? Check our phones, drink lots of water, take our morning vitamins, and stretch.When are you happiest?Either outside in a warm garden, a moment of stillness while travelling, or at home curled up with some good food and watching a movie with good company or alone.What's your current obsession?Aisha: Mine is definitely eye shadow especially since Momo got me an entire rack for my birthday (thanks love).Momo: I don’t think I have any!What’s your best advice?Love and respect yourself because it is so true only then can you really love and respect other people.Also remember that life is never going to be easy and you will always have challenges, or struggle, no matter what you do but choose to accept the struggles you think are worth having, and embracing them. And this can be applied to your career, relationships, and friendships. It makes the process all the more satisfying knowing that each late night or compromise is for something you are completely invested in.What could you not live without?Family for sureBook club recommendation?God of Small things Arundhati Roy, Born a crime by Trevor Noah, The hate that you give Angie Thomas.Best party you've ever been to?Probably when we snuck out Song to be playing as you enter the club? This changes all the time but right now any Future song.What's your signature dish?Chilli honey sweet potato, baked salmon, and loads of assorted seasoned vegetables.What words or phrases do you most overuse?“Cute!” “Mad” “I’m dead”What's your pet hate? Aisha: Passive aggressionMomo: GumWhat's next?Well next we want to start a web series exploring the concept of “The Transcontinental.” AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Abiola Renee
Why: We had a really fun shoot with her recently and she’s stated working on some really interesting projects. Recently shot something for Levi’s which was featured in Dazed! Generally a major cutie with a lot of creativity and drive.
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