“It’s important to put yourself before others. I stayed in the closet because I didn’t want everyone around me to feel uncomfortable, but then I realised that I couldn’t keep putting others before myself, ‘cause that’s unhealthy.”

Safety, a word often underestimated by the structures of today, but not by Ben and Matt at Anti Agency who were photographed by Nicola Collins and interviewed by Cecilie Harris for Boys By Girls Issue 12 “Young Hearts”. They met in a safe space, both longing to flourish and seek acceptance. They finally found each other.

Photographer Nicola Collins captures the calming relationship between the two boys in this extended online editorial through delicate lighting and explicit intimacy. Gentle touches are frozen within the pictures, whether enveloped in colour or drained off into black and white - no image is without love. Nicola’s lens encapsulates their relationship at the most intimate, but also reveals that utmost loneliness for these two would be to exist without the other. Their vulnerability is only witnessed in those brief moments where they are separate from each other.

Abena Ofei embraces their openness through her choice of garments. T-shirts from The Kooples that don’t cling to the skin, jeans with an excess of movement from Palm Angels, and shirts from Hugo Boss that exposes the skin to the touch of the sun. Fabrics that allow them their space to breathe provide the boys with a safe haven to be forever comfortable in their own skin. They have become each other’s safety net, and are now allowing us to engage in the beauty that is they.

Experience Ben and Matt’s full interview in Boys By Girls Issue 12 ‘Young Hearts’, which is available to buy in selected stores and online now.

 
Photographer NICOLA COLLINS
Fashion by ABENA OFEI
Grooming by AMY CONLEY at Stella Creatives
Models BEN COLE AND MATT TYSON at Anti Agency 

Safe Space

Above left: Ben wears T-shirt by WOOD WOOD, Silver Necklace by LINKS OF LONDON and Jeans by THE KOOPLES. Matt wears Sweatshirt by CHAMPION and Floral Shirt by OUR LEGACY. 
Above right: Matt (left) wears his own Necklace and T-shirt and Trousers by HUGO BOSS. Ben (right) wears T-shirt and Denim Jeans by THE KOOPLES, Silver Necklace by LINKS OF LONDON, Socks by PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND and Shoes by CLARKS ORIGINAL. 

Above left: Ben wears Suede Jacket and top by OLIVER SPENCER, Silver Necklace by LINKS OF LONDON, Jeans by NORSE PROJECTS and Shoes by CLARKS ORIGINALS. Matt wears his own Necklace, Denim Shirt by THE KOOPLES and Denim Jeans by PALM ANGELS.
Above right: Matt wears Vest by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON. 

Above: Ben wears same as above. Matt wears Jumper by CHAMPION and Floral Shirt by OUR LEGACY. 

Above left: Matt wears Vest by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON. Ben wearsT-shirt by YMC and his own Jewelry. 
Above right: Matt wears T-shirt and Trousers by HUGO BY HUGO BOSS and his own Jewelry. Ben wears Denim Jacket by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON, T-shirt and Denim Jeans by THE KOOPLES, Silver Necklace by LINKS OF LONDON, Socks by PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND and shoes by CLARKS ORIGINALS. 

Above: Matt wears ADAM'S SUIT. Ben wears Jacket by WOOD WOOD. 

Above left: Outfit as before. 
Above right: Matt wears T-shirt and Trousers by HUGO BY HUGO BOSS and his own Necklace. Ben wears Denim Jacket by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON, T-shirt and Denim Jeans by THE KOOPLES, Silver Necklace by LINKS OF LONDON, Sock by PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND and Shoes by CLARKS ORIGINALS.