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Heartstopper's Joe Locke and Kit Connor are still TV and fashion's most fearless

Heartstopper's breakout duo appear on the cover of British GQ, and prove just how far they're willing to take risks

After appearing in Heartstopper earlier this year, GQ cover stars Kit Connor and Joe Locke have enjoyed a rise to fame that you'd normally only see on TV shows. While still at school, the pair took time out to film the Netflix series before heading back to the classroom to await the world's feedback. It was glowing. They've since seen a combined Instagram following of six million users, and become most of Gen Z's internet boyfriend. Not bad!

The fashion industry soon came calling. Connor and Locke were fast regulars during show season – Dior, JW Anderson, Kenzo et al – the young duo, who are just 18 and 19 years old respectively, are having serious fun with what they get to wear. “I think there's a lot for me to try out,” Connor told GQ earlier this year. “I love photo shoots and I love getting to wear things I'd never usually wear.”

For their British GQ cover shoot, which was shot down at a disused building in Aldgate, East London, the Heartstopper duo jumped in with both feet. Previously, we've seen Locke go sleeveless and don Barbie pink suits courtesy of Gallic label Ami, while Connor's rocked a plug holed JW Anderson vest, and their GQ shoot is exemplary of a fearless attitude towards getting dressed.

There's leather! Oodles of leather! Connor wears a merlot-hued calfskin jacket from Brit designer Daniel W Fletcher over a school shirt and tie, and teamed with a pair of stiff leather slacks. Meanwhile, Locke plays around with prom-wear by slipping his frame into a pair of Boss leather trousers and a tailored blazer. For the cover? Doubled-up Boss leather jackets, of course.

While many shy away from pattern and print-clashing, Connor and Locke embrace it, wear them all at once and then laugh some more. In one shot, Locke can be seen holding golden balloons that spells out “Joe”. But it's his mismatched fit comprising a satsuma-dyed knit, a checked turtle neck and galactic print Moschino slacks that really catches the eye. Across the page, Connor's in every colour of the rainbow (well, cerulean, lime and blood orange). Fun! The takeaway? Be bolder than ever with prints.

Furthermore, Locke, who last month wore a JW Anderson womenswear suit to the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, experiments some more in a Daniel W Fletcher collegiate-striped halterneck. It's a little Harry Styles, with a slam dunking from fluid fit flexer Dennis Rodman.

And in one shot, Connor sports a sheer, torso-flashing top that has been intricately embroidered with hearts (clever!), while Locke gives a subtle glimpse of his waist in a top sourced from a vintage store. The younger of the two stars also goes big on sheer, wearing the hell out of a translucent Dior long-sleeved number under a Margiela jacket. Fresh out-of-college kids these are not!

"I grew up in the Isle of Man where you're judged if you wear a nice pair of jeans, rather than the typical tracksuit or hoodies most people wear," Locke told GQ this year. "I find it really freeing to be able to embrace fashion in a place that allows me to do so, without being judged." In his cover interview, he goes onto explain that most of their peers have gone off to university, and he muses “maybe I would've enjoyed freshers' week."

Somehow, we can't see him doing it in sweats and scuffed sneaks.


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