A Helping Hand

Fashion photographer Russell James is no stranger to giving back. In between shooting Victoria’s Secret supermodels and the covers of international editions of Vogue, the Aussie image-crafter has busied himself with his foundation, Nomad Two Worlds, which addresses his own home country’s onerous history while connecting his iconic portraiture with artists from indigenous communities. “When I first came to New York, I found that by the early 2000’s I was being asked to constantly support philanthropic endeavors,” James relives. Now after laying the groundwork for Nomad Two Worlds he’s looking to do even more by lending a helping hand to the newest generation of influencers by connecting them with reputable causes worldwide. “I hope when they look at this talent that they see they’re engaged in their community,” James asserts. “In most cases it’s just a case of giving them some help to get there.” With beautiful imagery capturing Maria Borges and social media maven Twan, Models.com had a quick chat with James on his new editorial initiative with these influencers, connecting them with foundations, and how fulfilling giving back is.

All photography by Russell James (LENS)

Raised by her older sister during Angolan’s civil war, top model Maria Borges thought of home when it came to helping others. “I asked her what’s important to her and what’s really important is education,” James recalls. Borges discussed with James wanting to use her platform as a way to help her fellow countrymen get a pathway towards advanced learning and with an introduction to business tycoon and philanthropist, Richard Branson, she connected with One and VIRGIN UNITE. With both global organizations actively working in education throughout the African continent, it is hoped that the inspirational model can rally her considerable following behind her causes of choice.

Before Dutch social media star Twan Kupyer walked for Dolce & Gabbana’s recent men show, his family endured an unexpected setback that undoubtedly tested their will. “My brother had leukemia and it changed not only his life but my entire family as well,” Twan revealed. After talking with James, he felt it was important to support charities that he felt were ‘getting things done’ in curing children’s cancer and lent his (and his millions of fans’) support to charities like Gabrielle’s Angels and The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray foundation.

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