Helen Jennings is a London-based wordsmith, consultant and curator whose specialisms include global fashion and visual arts.
She is co-founder and editorial director of Nataal, the leading media brand celebrating contemporary African creativity. Its website and award-winning magazine hails the brightest artists and storytellers via long-form features and visual essays. Nataal also hosts photography exhibitions and cultural events worldwide.
“A journey into the rich visual culture of contemporary Africa”
— Vogue Italia on Nataal
Contributor to a wide variety of titles including AnOther, Apartamento, BBC, Business of Fashion, CNN Style, Dazed, El Pais, The Fader, The Gourmand, Grazia, The Guardian, Harper's Bazaar, IAM, iD, King Kong, Lula, Metro, Neo2, Newsweek, Osman, Oyster, Russh, The Sunday Times, Time Out, TLmag and Vogue.
Helen was editor of Arise magazine, a pioneering title which hosted fashion shows in NYC, Paris, London and Lagos. Cover girls included Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek and Kerry Washington and she landed interviews with luminaries such as Franca Sozzani, Idris Elba and Grace Jones.
Helen is author of New African Fashion (Prestel) and has contributed essays to several other books including Fashion: The Whole Story (Thames&Hudson), Fashion Cities Africa (Intellect), Africa Modern (KT Wong Foundation) and Fashion & Postcolonial Critique (Sternberg Press).
Brand consulting & content creation
She draws on her journalistic expertise to help brands communicate their DNA, whether defining the voice of a new endeavour or spearheading engaging content. Clients have included Topshop, Epara, Giles Deacon, The Prince’s Foundation, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. She has worked with agencies such as 3CC, Publicis and WGSN.
Public speaking & judging
A sought after talking head, both in the media (CNN, BBC, Bloomberg) and at industry events including the 1-54 art fair, the Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia, Flanders Fashion Institute’s Fashion Talks and the New York Public Library’s Art & Style series.
Helen has also been a judge for cultural events and awards including M-Net Face of Africa, Vlisco Fashion Fund, Pew Fellowship for the Arts, Emerge Alara Prize and the Africa MediaWorks Prize.