Africa-Press – Gambia. When he was an infant, Khabane (Khaby) Lame moved from Senegal to Chivasso, Italy with his family in pursuit of opportunity. Years later, Lame began his professional career working at a local factory. When the pandemic hit, he lost his job and had no idea what to do. He took to TikTok, and his wordless videos mocking overly complicated life hacks, like this one about creating storage space for a pot, quickly went viral. Today, he’s the second-most followed person on the social platform with 137 million followers. Couple his online fame with a major partnership with Hugo Boss earlier this year, and Lame was the obvious face of the 2022 Forbes Under 30 Europe Art & Culture list.
Our list highlights the most promising young people in the arts and other creative industries like fashion, modeling and theatrical performance across Europe. When crafting this list, we consider candidates’ backstories, spheres of influence and monetary success. We source candidates from our open online nominations page, as well as recommendations from Under 30 alumni, trusted sources and cultural and academic institutions. To be considered for this year’s list, all candidates had to be under the age of 30 as of May 3, 2022, and never before named to a 30 Under 30 list.Candidates were then evaluated by a panel of judges featuring Anne-Sophie Pic, the most Michelin-starred woman chef in the world with nine stars for her restaurants in France and London; Guillaume (Saype) Legros, a French artist who creates monumental frescoes on grass and a 2019 Under 30 Europe alumni; and Amar Singh, a fellow 2019 Under 30 Europe alumni and founder of Amar Singh Gallery, which specializes in representing overlooked female artists. Of those named to the final list, more than half are women and 50% identify as people of color.
Though the other members of the 2022 Art & Culture list are not household names like 22-year-old Lame, they are no less influential in their communities. Take Asian-American, London-based designer Chet Lo, who draws inspiration from the spiky durian fruit for his halters, bags, cardigans and garments under his namesake brand. Through his unconventional, brightly-hued designs, he’s made fans of Dua Lipa, Kylie Jenner and Doja Cat, helping the 25-year-old go from Central Saint Martins graduate with well-heeled internships at Proenza Schouler and Maison Margiela to a designer to watch.The list features a whopping 13 first-generation Europeans. Spoken word poet Sophia Thakur, who is the first member of her Gambian family to be a born-and-raised Londoner, says she’s performed her emotional works at over 80 universities and the House of Parliament, among other cultural institutions. The 26-year-old has turned lyrical flow into deal flow, partnering with branding powerhouses Nike, Samsung and MTV. Fellow first-generation performer and Londoner Malik Nashad Sharpe, the 29-year-old who performs under the alias Marikiscrycrycry, has been an artist-in-residence at the Tate Modern and a performer at the Center for Human Rights in the U.S. and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Their work aims to disrupt social currency and force viewers to confront dark perspectives.
Tobi Kyeremateng, a 26-year-old freelance producer and the founder of the Black Ticket Project works tirelessly to expose young, working-class Black people to theater. Lexxola’s first-generation founder Zane Saleh, 29, represents a more classic Forbes success story. He’s sold over 50,000 sunglasses to customers of his designer shades brand–including Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Lorde–across 3,000 cities, and he was the first member of his Iraqi family to be born in London.
Saleh is not the only glass mogul on the list. For the first time in Under 30 Europe history, the founder of a company that exclusively makes luxury wine glasses appears on our list. As a lover of fine wine, Switzerland-based entrepreneur Alexander Mackh, 27, wanted a chalice that accentuated the tannins, acidity and bodies of his vino. He started hand-blown glass company Grassl Grass to do just that. This year, the company expects to rake in over $1 million in revenue selling to restaurants and wine-lovers alike.