We got our first official look at Freeform‘s new unscripted series “The Come Up” this week (August 31) and it looks like it’s going to be very entertaining. The docu-reality series follows six young creatives in iconic downtown New York as they pursue love, art and friendship on their own terms. You can watch the trailer below.
“The Come Up” is produced by Cousins. Megan Sanchez-Warner (‘The Real Housewives of Orange County, ‘Love and Hip Hop Hollywood’) serves as the showrunner. Jessica Chermayeff, Ana Veselic and Anne Alexander are executive producers for the series. Chermayeff and Veselic also serve as series directors.
The cast–comprised of a group Freeform describes as “ambitious, action-oriented, and diverse Gen Z New Yorkers whose careers are on the rise”–includes: Taofeek Abijako, Fernando Casablancas, Ben Hard, Claude Shwartz, Ebon Gore, and Sophia Wilson. Each character is “thriving in their respective fields of modeling, fashion design, photography, acting, and nightlife organizing.”
According to TV Insider, “These six creatives emerge from downtown with a vitality and magnetism that’s infectious,” Tara Duncan, president of Freeform and Onyx Collective, said. “They are pursuing love and art on their own terms, redefining what success means, and I am so excited for our audience to have a front row seat to it all.”
The first four episodes of the series will air back to back Thursday, September 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, followed by two episodes each week at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series will finale Tuesday, September 27. All episodes will be available to stream on Hulu the day after they air. You can get to know the cast below:
1. Taofeek AbijakoSource:@feek____
At 24, Taofeek Abijako is the youngest designer to have ever shown at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with his fashion line, Head of State. His last collection, “Homecoming,” received critical acclaim and has been picked up by SSENSE for luxury retail sales. Abijako is preparing for his NYFW 2022 collection, a continuation of his menswear and womenswear designs. In April, he was selected as a recipient of the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. In May, he was invited to dress two celebrities, Danai Gurira and Evan Mock, at the renowned Met Gala and made a splash with his stunning red carpet designs. Now branching out into costume design for feature films, Abijako’s career is taking exciting turns.
Abijako’s age is impressive considering his accolades, but the real story lies in his journey. Deeply
intellectual and driven, Abijako is completely self-taught and self-made. He was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, to a family with little money and resources. He immigrated to Albany at age 11 after his father, also a fashion designer, won the American visa lottery. Taking nothing for granted, Abijako launched his first pieces out of his bedroom as a high schooler, deferred all acceptances to fashion schools, and earned a spot on the stage of NYFW and onto the pages of Vogue magazine. For Abijako, fashion is a vehicle for supporting his community. In addition to his fashion collections, he has spearheaded several initiatives to build schools in Nigeria and support local vendors in Albany. Abijako is on the precipice of becoming the next household name in fashion and beyond
2. Fernando CasablancasSource:@thefernandoshow
Brazilian-born Fernando Casablancas is on the cusp of becoming the modeling world’s next international star. In less than one year of his emergence on the modeling scene, he appeared in campaigns for top brands Balmain, Charlotte Tilbury, Wales Bonner and Chrome Hearts. During the fashion week season of fall 2021, Casablancas took to the catwalk for Balmain and Bottega Veneta and, most recently, he walked for cutting-edge designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Casablancas is breaking the mold as a non-binary talent by modeling both menswear and womenswear. The world quickly took notice, and he was invited to attend the 2022 amFAR Gala in Cannes, an internationally acclaimed event to raise money for AIDS awareness and research. Beyond modeling, Casablancas recently wrapped production on his first feature-length film and has been working on DJing and multimedia art projects.
3. Sophia WilsonSource:@phiawilson
Sophia Wilson is a photography prodigy who has been behind the camera since age 13. She has shot campaigns for major brands like Vogue, Nike and Google and established publications like i-D, Vanity Fair and Nylon. Wilson shoots analog only and develops and prints all photos by hand in the color darkroom, a highly technical process that imbues her images with a signature look. Continuing to chart her own path, she deferred her senior year at NYU to focus full time on her artistic pursuits and career in true trailblazing Gen Z fashion. Wilson is committed to changing the face of working photographers by being front and center in rooms that young Black women traditionally have been kept from. She wants to see more people in the industry that “look like her,” and she’s starting with herself.
Currently, she has a worldwide Google campaign across buses and billboards. She is also pioneering work in the NFT space, including creating the first NFT for Instagram. Her previous Clients include Instagram, Converse, i-D, Elle, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Paper Magazine, Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, Guess, Opening Ceremony, Fenty, Juicy Couture, Pepsi, Depop, Swarovski, Dazed, Peloton, L’Oréal, Wilhelmina Models, Barney’s, Refinery29, Parade, Atlantic Records, Missguided and more.
4. Ebon GoreSource:@ebonnights
budding entertainer on her way to becoming a multihyphenate in the public eye, Ebon Gore is a staple in Brooklyn nightlife as a sought-after party host and fixture of the rave circuit. She most recently threw a party for Pride 2022 and is a member of Nosferatu collective, known for their show-stopping Baroque Ball in summer 2021. For Gore, the well-being of the Trans community is paramount. As an active and crucial organizer of queer nightlife, she has recently participated in town hall panels to discuss club safety and accountability. Beyond nightlife, Gore’s modeling career is quickly gaining momentum as she models for the likes of Milk Makeup, Parade and Ganni.
5. Claude ShwartzSource:@clootina
A Tribeca native, Claude Shwartz is a true New Yorker. She is a rising actress who has studied the practical aesthetics technique at David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company, the Meisner technique, and graduated from Tufts in 2020. Recently, Shwartz appeared in an off-off-broadway at the Tank in February 2022, directed by Alton Alburo. A lover of fashion, Shwartz worked as a model during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022, walking in the Batsheva show.
6. Ben HardSource:@ben_hard
Coming from San Antonio, Texas, Ben Hard is quickly making New York his home after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with two degrees in film and theater. A rising performer, Hard is honing his skills as an actor, comedian and dancer — the stage is where he wants to be, and New York is the place to take chances. In spring 2022, he starred in Eastine Theater’s adaptation of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” did his first stand-up comedy performance at The Broadway Comedy Club, and has acted in short films by friends. Hard can also be found behind the camera, taking street photography in New York and doing live videography and music videos for local musical artists.