Style Feature: What It Means To Be Rene Harrison In Today’s Fashion

I got Rene Harrison on the phone and the first question I asked was why he calls himself ‘The Original Guiding Light’ on his Instagram bio. You would be amazed to find that his answer had nothing to do with spirituality and everything to do with selfies!

Photo: @thereneharrison, Instagram.

Rene Harrison is a Fashion Stylist, Consultant, and the Creative Director of Drifters LDN, a luxury menswear brand and BIDHAAR Partner. You can already glean Rene’s passion for style from the way that he talks about his work, but he has degrees to show for it too! The 26-year-old has bagged a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s in Fashion, both from the University for the Creative Arts, London. He lights up when he talks about this, and this energy is infectious all through the conversation.

Now, where did that name, ‘Original Guiding Light’  come from? It’s nothing profound like you may have imagined. According to Rene, it was inspired by his knack for finding the best angles and light for selfies! His friends told him how great he was at this until the name stuck. However, Rene would rather style the muse than take the photographs.

There is a lot to know about this spirited young man, from his Jamaican-Ugandan heritage to his earliest style influences. And over a 40-minute conversation that felt even longer, one thing is for sure: Rene Harrison knows his onions.

Growing up

Young Rene Harrison and Mum. Photo: @thereneharrison, Instagram

Rene Harrison’s background is a mosaic of cultures. He was born in London to a Jamaican Dad and a Ugandan Mum, then later got a Nigerian Step-Dad. When asked how he navigates this European/African/Caribbean triangle, he laughs. Then, goes on about how much he loved growing up and being a part of these different cultures. He is most proud of his Afro-Caribbean lineage and how he can relate easily with both communities. Of course, I ask him to do a Jamaican patois accent and he says I need to hang around long enough to observe it slip into his regular accent. Side-eyes, Rene.

It is also important to note that although style has always been a part of his life, Rene once dabbled in the music business as an Artiste Manager, having initially started college chasing a music degree. Today, he is still keen on music, but now as the ‘Life of the party.’

What inspires Rene? 

Rene’s first editorial of 2020. Muse: Sonia Gisa

Behind every Creative is a mental mood board of influences from which inspiration is drawn. For Rene Harrison, it begins with his Mum, who used to run a fashion store. Then, he grew up to embrace fashion influences from the ’90s. From Madonna to Missy Elliot to Janet Jackson, Rene fuses hip styles from an era with his urban vibe, and you will find these pointers on most of his work.

Speaking of Work…

Bisi Akins - 7
He was the stylist behind Bisi Akins’ stunning ’90’s chic for BIDHAAR Press Night!

Rene Harrison has definitely been around, shining through in an industry where the odds are high. He has worked on set with Artists like Wizkid, DJ Tunez, Renya, and Shingai, amongst others. When he speaks about these experiences, he comes across as perceptive and intuitive, both key traits in styling people with varying personalities and inclinations.

About his role as Creative Director of Drifters LDN, he says, “Drifters has kept me on my feet and made sure I don’t give up. I am so grateful for Latifah Usman as my business partner and Bestie.”

He goes on about meeting Latifah Usman, founder of Drifters LDN, and how they struck a quick friendship. The duo is making milestones in the UK Streetwear Industry with a mix of style and unique experiences.

Ayoba had the waviest look for our Press Night, Thanks to Rene Harrison.

On styling Bisi Akins and Ayoba for our Press Night, Rene Harrison came through blazing! He talks about how both made the work so easy for him – with Ayoba’s laid-back coolness and the radiant energy that is Bisi Akins.

While it may seem as though his journey to the top has been rewarding, it is not without its many obstacles. As a result of the heavy competition in the UK Fashion Industry, it was tough for Rene to find his footing while stilling himself not to be intimidated by the crowd. However, he speaks glowingly about Seyon, a colleague whom he refers to as a brother and arch supporter.

Rene’s dreams


For a long time, Rene Harrison has been a staunch member and supporter of BIDHAAR tribe, and we are rooting for his successes and growth in the fashion space. He wants to one day open his Fashion Consultancy as well as create a platform that integrates Black Creatives in the Fashion industry, from Photographers to Models. With this, he will be empowering Black Creativity by pushing more growth opportunities for these Creatives to leverage on.

To grow in this fast-paced world is to constantly find courage while inspiring yourself on a daily basis. In light of this, Rene says:

The only competition I see is myself.”

It was a pleasure conversing with the Style Connoisseur and BIDHAAR man (for life!). We wish him the absolute best in all his endeavours.

See some more looks from Rene Harrison’s amazing work.













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