The awards ceremony has so many categories and I’m sure you could add even more, but what was your thinking behind choosing these particular categories?
Jide: We wanted to encapsulate the whole creative industry, from everything behind-the-scenes to what you see in front of the camera. We work in the creative industry ourselves – we create our own editorial content on a daily basis for our agency – so we’re aware of the people who make up a call sheet and tend to get overlooked when it comes to award ceremonies.
We wanted to make sure that everybody gets a chance to be celebrated and since we launched the Gala, we’ve had people come up to us and say, “oh, it would be great if you would add a category for gamers, it would be great if you add a category for hosts”. This is all feedback that we listen to, and then we try to figure out ways that we can incorporate it in the future.
However, right now we have 19 award categories ranging from things like “Best in glam”, which includes your MUAs and hair stylists, to categories for stylists, directors, visual artists, and photographers. It’s quite a wide range, and hopefully, in the future, we can find ways to celebrate even more amazing creatives.
You’ve had the amazing opportunity to have some of your many categories sponsored. How did getting brands like Instagram involved come about?
Ibrahim: We worked with Instagram for a couple of years now, and I think it’s just been a relationship that’s developed over the years. They were one of the partners that we felt really aligned with the vision of what we wanted to do with the Gala, so we approached them with the idea. Last year, they came on board last year as the official headline partner, which was like a really big deal for us. This year they’ve come on as a sponsor again, and I think it’s because we have the same vision for creators and creatives as them. It’s just a clear alignment that works.
Jide: To add to that, Instagram jumped on board the very first year, which not only shows the amazing relationship we have with them as a brand, but also how much they are willing to support the creative community, especially those who are at the emerging level. We’re not the biggest media platform in the world, but what we do is integral to the creative community. Instagram spotted this and showed support when the idea was still just a seed and helped make it blossom. They’re a huge part of the legacy of the Gala, so it’s been amazing.