GQ’s Global Creativity Awards Are Back

Last month, the actor Cillian Murphy was on the cover of GQ. We deemed him “The Man of the Moment,” and we cheered him on as he won the Oscar for best actor shortly thereafter, thanks to his virtuosic performance in Oppenheimer. As you may recall, our cover profile describes a person with a singular focus on acting—a craftsman who has organized his life in such a way that he is either utterly dedicated to a role, or he is utterly offline, sleeping 10-hour nights at home in Ireland and going on long seaside walks with his black Lab, happy to be “unemployed,” at least until the next role comes in. (One thing Cillian Murphy definitely doesn’t have is a fucking clothing line.) But that was last month. This month, we are examining a very different breed of talent.

Welcome to the second edition of GQ’s Global Creativity Awards, a program that celebrates the new and very now paradigm of what drives cultural influence in 2024. The tagline is “Big Ideas for a Better World,” and the thesis is simple: We are living in an era when it’s the multidisciplinary, multi-platform, multitasking creative polymaths who are leading the way. With all due respect to Murphy’s awesomely anachronistic existence, this is not the era of narrow specialization. Today, if you want to change the world, spread your wings wide.

Take Lewis Hamilton, for instance. The Formula 1 mega-champion started racing at the age of eight and thought primarily about going fast until, well, he started carving out space for practically everything else, from social and racial justice to music to fashion to film and beyond.

Or take Hunter Schafer, the Euphoria star who first entered the public consciousness as a fearless teen activist for trans rights. From there, she evolved into a fashion model, then a TV sensation, and now a movie star—although her incredible creative range is probably best described by the broadest title of all: artist.

Next there’s the very king of the hyphen, Danny McBride, who has long been American comedy’s leading comedian-actor-writer-producer-director-showrunner. When we went to visit McBride for this issue, we discovered that he is building his own Hollywood (of sorts) as conceptually far away from Hollywood as he can get: in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Which brings us to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who, in addition to being the iconic forces behind Nine Inch Nails and one of the most successful film composer duos of the past 15 years, are also preparing to launch a new company. The enterprise—first announced here in our pages—has all the hallmarks of the newfangled creativity I’m banging on about. In fact, it’s so multi-tentacled and futuristically teched-out that it’s being built on platforms that you and I probably haven’t even heard of yet. (Plus, yes, there’s a clothing line.)

Photograph by Jack Bridgland.

And those are just the cover stars. We are also celebrating the red-hot LA artist Lauren Halsey, the very gonzo Marni designer Francesco Risso, and arguably the most relevant new voice in music: the Nigerian Afrobeats dancer-turned-singer known as Asake.

On April 11, all of this year’s honorees will gather alongside the rest of the GQ creative community—and our host for the evening, J.B. Smoove—for a ripping black-tie gala in New York City. With all those electric minds in one room, the energy is going to be positively thrumming. (I also expect new directions in black-tie dressing to be charted on the red carpet.)

I’m not saying our upstart celebration of creativity can compete with the history and prestige of something like the Oscars. But when it comes to capturing what’s really shaking the present and future of culture, you can count on GQ to make it a moment.

I hope you’ll follow along with us.

Will Welch is GQ’s Global Editorial Director.

Read this year’s Global Creativity Awards cover stories:

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