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Vintage furniture and fashion reviews: what inspires BBH creatives Gen & Selma

Newly appointed BBH creative directors Selma Ahmed and Genevieve Gransden divulge their creative inspirations

By Selma Ahmed and Genevieve Gransden

It's fair to say that when BBH poached Selma Ahmed and Genevieve Gransden from adam&eveDDB as creative directors earlier this year, the move was seen as quite a coup.

The award-winning pair have a very impressive portfolio. They've worked on Booking.com, Lucozade, Peloton, H&M and John Lewis, for whom they created the 2020 Christmas ad ‘Give a Little Love’, which won Gold at the British Arrow’s in the retailer category. And they were also behind multi-award winning campaigns 'WeThe15' for the International Paralympic Committee and 'Midnight Ramadan League' for EA Sports’ FIFA 21.

Helen Rhodes, executive creative director at BBH, describes them as being "modern creatives in all the best ways" and hails their work as "great ideas that are beautifully crafted, and impact culture".

Gen and Selma themselves "jumped at the opportunity" to join BBH and are "really excited" about being a part of what is to come at the agency.

We caught up with the duo to explore the wonderful things that make their creative brains tick.

Selma Ahmed

  • Hard Fork

    I love listening to Casey Newton and Kevin Roose talk all things tech every week. From Elon Musk embarrassing himself to AI versions of Shania Twain classics. They have such good chemistry, and spend 90 per cent of the pod laughing. Such an easy way to stay in the know and have a lol while you’re at it.

  • @OsamaChabbi

    Osama’s fashion reviews and general critiques of the industry are both jokes and insightful and I love how he brings them to life visually. Refreshingly honest and super creative. He puts so much effort into each one and I really admire how he’s carved a niche for himself in the industry.

  • @BrownHistory

    This IG page (now also podcast) documents hidden stories from all over South Asia. I’m Pakistani and so not only do I find it comforting but also inspiring to see the incredible stories of people who look like me and how they paved their way in the world. It’s history we don’t get taught in schools, and challenges the narrative set for us by the West. Love.

Genevieve Gransden

  • Vinterior

    I love things. Especially old things!

    I spend hours browsing Vinterior, not because I’m looking to buy anything (I’m more partial to a car boot fair bargain) but because I just love looking at old stuff. Seeing past trends, patterns and colours. The craftsmanship, the design influences – I find it fascinating.

  • A History Of The World In 100 Objects

    There are lots of great history podcasts out there but I love the concept of this one. It helps you learn about things from a new angle, things you may never have known about or researched otherwise. Plus, if you find the episode boring you can just zone out to the comforting tones of Neil MacGregor’s voice.

  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

    Sometimes inspiration can come from the oddest of places. I for one often find it on my son’s bookshelf. This one in particular struck a chord... just like my favourite kind of ideas it’s to the point, playful, but with a savage twist – all wrapped up beautifully with some lovable characters.


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