The White Shirt Project by COS. Photographed by Flora Maclean

The White Shirt Project by COS. Photographed by Flora Maclean


Making Your Mark

In partnership with COS

The white shirt is a cornerstone of modern style. This apparently simple garment carries with it a myriad of cultural signifiers and historical references: picture Patti Smith on the cover of Horses, writer Carson McCullers smoking on a doorstep in a man’s suit and white shirt or Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy typifying New York minimalism. Whoever it’s worn by and however they style it, the white shirt holds a unique place in our minds and wardrobes.

As well as having these cultural links, the white shirt is also the ultimate blank canvas upon which we project our own fantasies and personalities. Adaptable and versatile, it allows anyone who wears it to tell their own story, to make their own mark.

To celebrate this timeless item, we’ve brought together a line-up of people who have made an impression in the art, culture, design and publishing worlds. We delve into their fascinating careers, how they got to where they are, gain insights into their work and discuss their personal style. In particular, their own relationship with the classic, crisp white shirt.

You can read all of the full interviews at the links below.

Emma Dabiri, author and broadcaster

“What I'm most looking forward to is sharing the largely unknown aspects of black history that I explore that will always be relevant to hair.” On her new book Don’t Touch My Hair.  

Read Emma’s full interview here.


Zoé Whitley, co-curator of the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

“Seeing Janelle Monae's style evolution has influenced my own approach to style: she's given me the courage to embrace suits and tailoring. She used to adopt the formal white shirt and tuxedo as a way of showing reverence to the African American entertainers who paved the way,.”

Read Zoé’s full interview here.

Caryn Franklin, fashion and identity commentator

"i-D and Terry Jones shaped me because we looked at people for their ideas and their unique self, not for the brands that they were wearing.”

Read Caryn's full interview here.


Dan Sandison, founder & editor-in-chief of Mundial Magazine

“The reason I love football is because I’m a very sentimental person and it reminds me of my family, it’s always been a huge part of my life.”

Read Dan’s full interview here.

Caryn Franklin, Emma Dabiri, Zoé Whitley and Dan Sandison are all seen wearing COS, in celebration of The White Shirt Project: a capsule collection designed in their London atelier 

All photography by Flora Maclean, assisted by Milo Belgrove. Styled by Natasha Freeman.