The winner of RUSSH's Creative Showcase People's Choice vote is Jokew Wuol – or Jok, as he is more affectionately known – a submission combining vintage motifs with contemporary, refined styling choices. The combination of aesthetics makes sense when you get to know Wuol, who says the first thing you should know about him is he is a "massive fan of rap music," idolises the style of A$AP Rocky and Kendall Jenner and cites cousin Odell Mun as the biggest fashion influence on his life.
Creativity is abundant in South Australia – where Wuol calls home – yet many continue to dismiss it. Wuol is one of the emerging creatives from the City of Churches, known for his unique flare and panache. There's an edge, a refreshing sensibility underscoring the looks he pairs penetrating, now, at a national level. Yet, he has bold ambitions for his hometown of Adelaide and for future generations to come.
“I want my city to one day be like Melbourne or Sydney, or even greater [and] not be limited in jobs,” says Wuol. From one South Australian to another, the bold vision is heartening to read, and we need more of it. Here, we speak with our Creative Showcase People's Choice winner about his journey into fashion, his hopes for the future and the biggest influences on his style and creative process.
Tell me about yourself, your background and what lead you to where you are today…
My name is Jokew Wuol, but all my friends call me Jok. I am 20 years of age and am South Sudanese. My family come from a place called Gambella, Ethiopia moved to Australia in the early 2000s to give me a better chance at life and succeeding. Something you should also know about is I am a sporty person I have played soccer for as long as I can remember – Arsenal is my favourite team and favourite players are Jack Wilshere and Saint maximin.
What motivated you to enter the RUSSH Creative Showcase?
A friend sent me the RUSSH creative showcase and already knowing RUSSH, I knew how much this would mean to me in terms of exposure, opportunities, letting my work be seen my wider audience, which is what I need. Any kind of competition where you are competing for a first-place spot is a healthy competition and to be that potential winner will set me in the right direction.
What is the best part of your medium/work?
The best part about the work I do is creating and styling. I love to create I enjoy making videos both on Instagram reels and TikTok. [The] night before making the videos, I would style myself in three different pieces, wake up at 6-8am [and] start my recording. This is where things get interesting, and the learning happens. As I am a visual person, I would edit and analyse my footage, then see the fits and ask myself, do they go well together or not? how well do they fit? [Does the] location complement and where within the screen should I position myself to capture the best angle and lighting? These are questions I would ask myself frequently while watching my film and of course find answers to them and use them as a learning curve when shooting the following day.
The creative scene in South Australia has grown rapidly over the last 10 years: Has there been any local influence on your work and skills?
My biggest fashion influence has to be my cousin, Odell Mun. I truly admire him in ways words can’t explain, but in simple words, I idolise his layering of clothes [and] how he can combine various pieces and still make it work is immaculate. I have always looked up to him as an older brother and with both of us following the same path, with him setting the standard, I can only see greater things happening to me. I am extremely grateful to have him in an industry I’m also in as he’s been an amazing mentor to me. We all need an Odell in our lives.
What are your hopes for the future as an emerging creative?
Within the modelling industry, agencies and jobs are limited in Adelaide models who grow up here usually end up finding themselves in Melbourne, Sydney or in another state. I want to create something special here that will [add to] my city and open the eyes of everyone that maybe, just one day, kids will grow up wanting to be creator’s/influencers and not feel the need to move from home to creator something because it will already be here by then.