It’s been a monumental three years for young creative Yagamoto. The model, dancer, and movement director has achievements under his belt that include work for Pharrell, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, and THE Naomi Campbell on her historic Vogue India cover shoot last year. But sitting across from his longtime friend and creative collaborator, Campbell Addy, on the top floor of Kings Cross’ legendary Standard Hotel, he admits he hasn’t celebrated a single moment of it. Yet.

It’s an important lesson for us all. Sometimes to see how far we've come, we need to raise a toast to where we are. Recently, we saw Johnnie Walker Blue sit down with Campbell Addy and award-winning designer FEBEN, raising a glass to some of her recent achievements. Now, it’s time to do the same with Yagamoto.

Highsnobiety / Julien Tell, Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

Abdourahman Nije, better known as Yagamoto, is a multi-hyphenate creative with a particular focus on movement direction. A lot of his practice focuses on the self and how our body moves within spaces — something we need to constantly be socially and politically aware of. Born in Sweden and raised in Essex, Yagamoto studied acting, improvisation, and physical theatre at college in Southend-on-Sea before getting scouted, which is what kickstarted his modeling career. He actually did a lot of his early modeling alongside Addy, which is what brought the two even closer together — attributing Addy's first studio as a "safe space" for him as a young black creative new to the London scene. A consistent red thread throughout Yagamoto's work is tying his Senegalese-Gambian heritage into his pieces, with the end goal of trying to tell not only his own narrative but those of the people around him.

When I came to London, Campbell used to own a modeling agency. Coming to a space where there was a black creative who owned an agency, it made me feel like I was in a safe space where I would be cared for.


With celebrations most commonly had with those you love, we took a backseat while Yagamoto opened up to his mate Addy about the whirlwind journey he's been on.

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That's the great thing about our community. We always help each other out when we've got projects going on.

Campbell Addy

Yagamoto has worked with some big names in the industry. Victoria Beckham, Bershka, Zegna, Mulberry, and Naomi Campbell for Vogue are some of his most well-known collaborators, putting trust in Yagamoto’s spontaneous and improvised approach to movement (and modeling skills) to bring to life their vision.

With Naomi Campbell herself having a dance background, Yagamoto commented that "I think she's got the mentality of forever being a student. It's an honor and a privilege to work with someone like that." Yagamoto has the desire to absorb as much as possible and be independent at the forefront of his practice. Growing up with six sisters and a brother meant that he had to learn pretty quickly to fend for himself and make his voice heard. "I always knew that I would go far in regards to how much I wanted to grow. I’ve had such a hunger just to make it," he says — and maybe this drive and ambition is what's stopped Yagamoto to take the time to celebrate himself and his achievements.

I haven't celebrated this recent project, and I don't think I've celebrated practically anything I've done in the past three years. It's really important to have that self-reflection and to look back — I'm still processing everything.


Fancy trying Campbell Addy's Whisky Highball? Here's everything you need to know:

40ml Johnnie Walker Blue Label

30ml Pink Grapefruit juice

5ml Crème De Peche

5ml Passionfruit

5ml Honey Syrup (3:1)

3 Dashes orange Blossom Water/Fresh Yuzu juice

Shake and Fine strain into a highball over ice – then top with soda water. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and mint bouquet.

Now it's your turn. To make your celebration that bit more special, why not pick up a personalized Blue Label bottle from malts.com, or find out more about Johnnie Walker Blue Label here.

Please drink responsibly. More info at www.drinkaware.co.uk

  • DirectorCaleb Femi
  • PhotographerJulien Tell
  • Creative DirectorNat Brown
  • Creative DirectorJanak Jani
  • Creative ProducerJerome Glock
  • Account ManagerYelena Clausen
  • Talent ManagerAlexis Edevbie
  • HostCampbell Addy
  • TalentYagamoto
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