Alec Maxwell, Director, Editor and Creative Director at KLOSS FILMS and Digital Creative Director at Large of British Vogue, has become the first official patron of London youth initiative Shadow To Shine. The announcement comes nearly two years after Alec was first introduced to the organisation, having attended one of its graduation ceremonies back in March 2019 and taken on one of the graduate mentees to assist him in the KLOSS studio.
Shadow To Shine is an organisation committed to delivering employability training and career opportunities to young people in London who face barriers. It provides its network with specialised professional development courses and connects experienced industry mentors with those who are looking to get a foot in the door.
In a conversation between Alec and the team at Shadow To Shine, he explained his admiration for the work that they do: “As a creative person myself, I remember when I was younger how much I was set on finding my way. I know when you’re young it can feel like what you want to do is so far out of your reach. I think for me, I really connected with the idea of being present in someone else’s journey towards success.”
Alec has been more than present in that journey for Will Rook, one of Shadow To Shine’s graduates, who’s remained working hard by Alec’s side on a number of exciting creative projects to date. “What’s been rewarding,” Alec continued, “aside from his fresh energy and dedication, is knowing that Will is able to come and talk to me about the way we work together, we’re both working it out along the way and I’m learning as much as he is, but for me it’s about making sure that he is set up on his journey in a way that goes beyond your usual creative, business or freelance exchange.”
Having grown up in what he describes as quite literally, “the middle of nowhere up north”, Alec has taken big strides to get to where he is today. His humble beginnings and lack of connections did not stop him working hard: “I always had creative dreams and just knew I had to make them happen. I think it’s important that other people know that too.” Alec was catapulted from Newcastle to London when a placement with his fashion university came up, which provided him with crucial industry insight and connections, as well as learning how to assert himself in the fashion world. “For me, this is an opportunity that I connect with Shadow to Shine. If I hadn’t had this placement through uni, that’s where Shadow To Shine steps in, they open doors to industries, it’s really invaluable.”
Korinna Williams, Director at Shadow To Shine, said of the announcement, “we’re so proud to have Alec as our first official patron. He’s been doing amazing things behind the scenes for our young people and we’ve loved watching Will’s progress unfold. These incredible opportunities for growth, both personal and professional, is exactly what we strive for at Shadow To Shine.”
Alec concluded, “Throughout my whole childhood I was so focussed on finding my way. Now it’s my pleasure to be involved with Shadow To Shine to give some of that back.