The Makers + Mavericks List 2023.

Hiut Denim Co
22 min readJan 1, 2024


Each year we compile a list of the one hundred+ people that got us to utter the words ‘I wish I had done that, made that, invented that, thought like that, changed that’.

These are the amazing people who have shone the brightest for us over the past twelve months.


Taylor Swift.

A year of unforgettable and incomparable achievements. 2023 cemented Taylor’s place as a business guru, music legend and pop culture queen.


Sam Altman.
CEO of OpenAI.

If 2023 was the year AI became a household topic of conversation, it’s most probably all thanks to Sam Altman. A truly tenacious and maverick CEO.


Xiye Bastida.
Climate Justice Activist.

A major organiser of Fridays for Future New York City. A leading voice for indigenous and immigrant visibility in climate activism.

Yvon Chouinard.
Founder of Patagonia.

Forfeited ownership of the company he founded 49 years ago. The profits will now be used to fight climate change.

Sage Lenier.
Founder of Sustainable & Just Future.

Advocating for better climate education that really prepares us for what a climate-­change future is going to look like.

Sir David Attenborough.
Broadcaster + Biologist.

Inspires millions by bringing the natural world into our homes and classrooms. If Planet Earth III was his last; what an incredible legacy.

Chris Packham.
Presenter + Conservationist.

A fearless voice for nature in these troubling times. Relentlessly ruffling feathers in the pursuit of animal and planet welfare.

Megan McCubbin.
Author, Presenter + Zoologist.

When the BBC chose not to renew their show for Autumn, Meg and Chris (above) took to YouTube instead. True trail blazers. Unstoppable.

Fergal Sharkey.
Post-Punk Legend + Clean Water Champion.

Vocal frontman for the campaign to highlight the scandal of sewage in Britain’s inland and coastal waters.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema.
Biodiversity Leader + Lawyer.

Led the world’s countries to one of the decade’s biggest environmental wins; to conserve or restore nature on 30% of the world by 2030.

Paul Rosolie.
Global Conservationist.

Through his organisation, JungleKeepers, over 55,000 acres of the Amazon are protected.

Nemonte Nenquimo.
Co-founder of Amazon Frontlines.

Building power with Indigenous peoples to defend their way of life, the Amazon rainforest, and our climate future.

Dr Mya-Rose Craig.
Writer, Environmentalist + Activist.

Better known as Birdgirl. An inspiration to millions for her climate activism and campaigns for equal access to nature.


Rhod Gilbert.
Comedian + Television Presenter.

A Pain in the Neck documents his journey from the agonising despair of cancer diagnosis to the extreme giddiness of his recovery.

Holly Shelton.
Entrepreneur + Investor.

CPO of Oura. The most aesthetically pleasing sleep tracker on the market. On a mission to improve the way we live our lives.

Claire Goodwin-Fee.
Award winning Psychotherapist.

Co-founder of Frontline19, a mental health organisation supporting the NHS & frontline workers.

Dr Roland Griffiths.

Pioneer in the investigation of psychedelics and their therapeutic uses to treat depression, addiction, end-of-life anxiety and PTSD.

Cara Delevingne.
Model + Actress.

Following an emotionally turbulent year, Cara opened up about mental health, self-harm and her decision to commit to sobriety.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee.
Medical Doctor.

Keeping health simple. Author and Host of Europe’s most listened to health podcast. 150 Million listens!

Madeleine Shaw.
Nutritionist + Yoga Teacher.

Bestselling Author. Founder of The Glow Space; a digital platform for yoga, nutrition and meditation.

Dr Alex George.
UK Ambassador for Mental Health.

Presenter, podcast host and award-winning author of The Mind Manual. Co-founder of mens mental fitness app Mettle.

Steph Elswood.
Wellness Entrepreneur.

Sober, plant-based living. Founder of Carouse and Co-founder of the Dry Disco Club.

Dr Hazel Wallace.
Medical Doctor + Nutritionist.

Women’s health advocate and best-selling author. Founder of The Food Medic. Taking care of the research, so you can take care of yourself.


Joe Lycett.

Artist, comedian and political mischief maker. His latest target, the UK’s sewage crisis.

Paloma Elsesser.

Brooklyn-born bonafide new-gen supermodel. British Fashion Awards Model of the Year winner. The first plus-size woman ever to do so.

Olena Zelenska.
First Lady of Ukraine.

Mother. Protector. The pride of her nation. A beacon of hope for the people she loves.

Holly Tucker MBE.

Entrepreneur who champions small businesses and is dedicated to supporting creative, independent ventures and local artisans.

Bella Ramsey.

Star of hit TV show The Last of Us. Creative Director of Both&, a brand that wants to promote queer positivity.

Shinobu Namae.

Award-winning Japanese chef finding new ways to inject his culinary vision with sustainability, ethics and refreshing authenticity.

Coffeezilla AKA Stephen Findeisen.
Internet Detective.

Uncovering scams, fraudsters and the fake gurus that are preying on desperate people with deceptive advertising.

Miranda West.
Founder + Publisher.

Celebrating 10 years of DO Book Co. Nearly 40 books published. Sold all over the world.

Makiko Ono.
CEO of Suntory.

One of the few women heading a large Japanese company. Driving the company’s goal to have women make up 30% of its managers by 2030.

King Charles III.
The King.

His first year as monarch did not change his commitment to the climate. Gave a resounding call to arms in his Cop28 Summit opening statement.


Taika Waititi.
Filmmaker + Actor.

Amongst a sea of epic projects, Taika ended the year with the incredibly moving Apple ad The Lost Voice.

Simon Porte Jacquemus.
Fashion Designer + Founder.

Another huge year for Jacquemus. With creativity so consistently superb, he’s belonged on this list year after year.

Sofia Coppola.
Film Director + Screenwriter.

Rebellious Teens, Reckless Grifters and an Extravagant French Queen; to name a few. Archive documents Coppola’s unmistakable cinematic oeuvre.

Nils Leonard.
Founder of Uncommon London.

Smashing it! Uncommon Creative Studio were named A-List International Agency of the Year. And even that doesn’t do their year justice.

Tiffani Manabat.
Creative Powerhouse.

General Manager and Executive Producer at Imaginary Forces, an LA based award-winning design studio and creative agency.

Kelly Anna.
Artist + Designer.

London-based illustration superstar. Known for her powerful, silhouetted figures with a strong focus on movement, sport and wellness.

Es Devlin.
Artist + Stage Designer.

Known for creating large-scale performative sculptures and environments that fuse music, language and light. With a major new monographic book.

Rick Rubin.
Music + Creative Icon.

Author of The Creative Act. A beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow.

Greta Gerwig.
Screenwriter + Director.

With no plans to rest after the box office dominance of Barbie, work has already begun on her Narnia reboot.

Bobby Fingers.

I make beautiful things, then see them buried. A bit like God. Perspectives don’t come much more unique.

Myles Hendrik.
DJ + Photographer.

He might be one of the most sought after DJ’s in the entire world, but his nightlife photography is next level.


Codie Sanchez.
Investor for Industry Outsiders.

Contrarian Thinker. Investing millions in Main Street businesses, and teaching you how to own the rest.

Natasha Hoskins + Deana Burke.
Founders of BoysClub.

A social collective bringing new voices to the new internet. Making Crypto and web3 cool.

Humphrey Yang.
Personal Finance.

Works with non-profit organisations to help businesses and consumers; often handing out thousands in cash to members of the general public.

Peter Komolafe.
Financial Expert + TV Personality.

Dedicated to empowering ordinary people to achieve financial security through positive habits.

Anthony O’Neal.
CEO of The Neatness Network.

Bestselling Author. Helping individuals build wealth and maintain a debt free lifestyle.

Patrice Washington.
Speaker + Podcaster.

Say goodbye to scarcity, coupon cutting, and compulsive budgeting and hello to living your most abundant, fulfilled, and purpose-driven life.

Steve Chen.

On a mission to empower people and show that anyone can learn to invest and become financially free much sooner than they ever thought possible.

Poku Banks.
Personal Finance Content Creator.

On a mission to help younger people make the most out of their money. Poku is happiest when going offline to meet in person.

Parii Bafna.

Creating engaging content around personal finance. Co-founder of Jumpstart, an organisation which helps students develop their businesses.

Taylor Price.
Financial Activist + Money Mentor.

The Gen Z Financial Activist. With a heartfelt mission: to combat the silent pandemic of financial illiteracy.


Sam Altman.
CEO of OpenAI.

If 2023 was the year AI became a household topic of conversation, it’s most probably all thanks to Sam Altman. A truly tenacious and maverick CEO.

Marques Brownlee.
YouTuber + Geek.

He posted for 100 days straight on YouTube. And got 75 followers. Total. He now has over 15 million.

Elon Musk.
Entrepreneur Extraordinaire.

Love him or loathe him. Rebranding Twitter to X this past year was a maverick move. They’ve just launched the Cybertruck too. Make or break.

Lila Ibrahim.
COO of DeepMind.

I feel like I was built for this moment. The person charged with mitigating the risks of Google’s AI development.

Jensen Huang.
Businessman + Electrical Engineer.

CEO, President and Co-Founder of Nvidia. Arguably the year’s most successful company.

Amy Webb.
Quantitative Futurist.

Pioneered a data-driven, technology-led foresight methodology that reveals the future through trends and scenarios.

Melanie Perkins.
Co-founder + CEO of Canva.

Designing a brighter future. Working with an incredible team to empower the world to design.

Anatoly Yakovenko.
Co-founder of Solana Labs.

A potential Ethereum killer. Toly credits moments of distracted enjoyment (like cycling and surfing) with giving birth to his best and brightest ideas.

Yejin Choi.
Computer Scientist.

Adventurer at heart. Teaching common sense to computers. Demystifying the current state of massive artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT.

Dr Joy Buolamwini.
Poet of Code.

Founder of the Algorithmic Justice League. On a mission to protect what’s still human.


At Your Service.
Dua Lipa.

Interview series brimming with inspiring stories shared by some of the world’s most exciting minds. Don’t miss Tim Cook’s episode.

Rick Rubin.

In-depth interviews that may blow your mind. Complete with Rick Rubin’s characteristic chill.

Sam Warburton.

Captains gives listeners the inside story of how the most successful teams come together, grow and ultimately, win.

Russell Howard.

Pure positivity from one of our favourite comedians. All the best things go in. It’s the opposite of Room 101.

Is Angry.
Tony Bellew.

Honest and reflective conversation. We all get angry sometimes. It’s what we do with it that counts.

Joe Wilkinson + David Earl.

Utter drivel. Occasionally they plan a surprise. Paul’s favourite podcast listen whilst doing repairs. Enough said.

The Common Creative.
Chris Meredith + Paul Fairweather.

All about bringing creativity back into everyday life. Understanding the essence of creativity and making creativity a common as a loaf of bread.

Talk Art.
Russell Tovey + Robert Diament.

Dedicated to the world of art. Featuring exclusive interviews with leading artists, curators and gallerists.

i-D Magazine.

Exploring the evolution and enduring legacy of some of the last four decade’s most influential subcultures.

The NDA Podcast.
Katie Cadwell.

Unfiltered conversation. Challenging topics the creative industries have been keeping under waiver for years.


Coco Gauff.

Ended the year with another big win. The highest paid female athlete of 2023. The not next, but now, big thing.

Yomi Adegoke.
Journalist + Author.

In The List, the young British author offers a deft exploration of sexual misconduct and cancel culture.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Determination personified. Hurdled years of setbacks to land her second World Championship title.

Ncuti Gatwa.

Battled racism. Endured homelessness. Never gave up. Now, he’s… The Doctor. That’s Who.

Liv Little.

Founder of gal-dem. Telling stories with heart about the people and places that matter to her. Debut novel coming soon.

Paapa Essiedu.

The actor’s breakout year. Committed to taking on work that challenges the status quo.

Joke Amusan.

The voice behind She Stands Firm, an empowerment platform on a mission to champion the voices of underrepresented women.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
Space Scientist.

Ground-breaking. 2023 saw the release of a Barbie doll to recognise and celebrate her efforts to champion science for girls.

Black Coffee.
DJ + Producer.

Built his career over nearly two decades. Eventually becoming arguably one of the world’s biggest DJs. South African dance music is on the map.

Edward Enninful.
Editor + Stylist.

Stepped down as Editor of British Vogue, having reinvented the platform and become one of the most influential media figures in the UK.



Reducing levels of production in order to conserve natural resources and minimise environmental damage.


A shortened form of the word charisma.


An enthusiastic fan of Taylor Swift.

Beige Flag.

A character trait that indicates a distinct lack of originality.


An instruction given to an AI program.


You’d rather your work be bad than be mid. Something that has little impact or is just okay.


The practice of discouraging people from buying particular products.

Monk Mode.

Focusing on the most important task while ignoring all other distractions.


An overzealous or obsessive fan. We’re complete Denim Stans.


If you know, you know.


Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann + Caspar Coppetti.
Co-founders of On Running.

Three friends, with one shared goal. To revolutionise the sensation of running. On it!

Jesper Kouthoofd.
Design Icon.

Head of Design, Founder and CEO of Teenage Engineering. Superior Swedish electronics.

Sally Wynter.
Entrepreneur + Founder of MUHU Gin.

Queen of bootstrapping. Launched from her bedroom with just £1000. Exited, within 5 months, at the age of 25, for a seven figure sum.

Lev Tanju + Gareth Skewis.
Hypemasters + Founders.

Have taken Palace Skateboards from a cult UK streetwear brand to a global fashion phenomenon.

Imran Chaudhri + Bethany Bongiorno.
Founders of Humane AI.

The husband-and-wife founders envision a future with less dependency on screens that their former employer, Apple.

Matthew Hassett.
Founder of Loftie.

The founder on a quest to help people create a better tech-life balance in their everyday lives.

David Lee.
Co-founder and CEO of Nex.

Working to reconnect humanity with the joy of movement. Turning screen time into active playtime, and transforming living rooms into playgrounds.

Tim Brown.
CEO of Allbirds.

This year, the Allbirds’ Co-founder took to the stage to announce the World’s First Zero Carbon Shoe.

Jony Ive + Marc Newson.

Creative Collective. Insatiably curious. Fanatically devoted to excellence. The maestros of all things product.


Ramla Ali.

Pro boxer and Somalian refugee whose nonprofit Sisters Club provides training and support to Muslim women.

Gary Lineker.
Broadcaster + Former Footballer.

The England footballing legend has fought for his right to be opinionated on politics. In doing so, he’s making the case for others to speak up.

Frank Paine.

A 73-year-old South Bay icon and humble local legend whose life orbits around a two-block stretch of beach.

Mary Earps.

Her on-field heroics helped lead England to a World Cup Final. And F##k off!, that’s how you celebrate a penalty save.

Kevin Sinfield.
Rugby League Player.

Completed the 7 in 7 in 7 Challenge. 7 ultra marathons in 7 cities in 7 days, with an extra mile each day to show support for the MND community.

Brittney Griner.
Basketball Player.

Returned to the Basketball court after spending nearly 10 months wrongfully detained in a Russian prison.

Squidge Rugby.
Analyst + YouTuber.

Leading the charge with a desperate attempt to understand a sport where not even the ball makes sense.

Marie-Louise Eta.

The first senior female coach to be actively involved in a men’s Champions League match. A huge step forward for the men’s game.

Gareth Bale.
Welsh Legend.

This year announced his retirement for club and country. His accolades speak for themselves. Diolch! The dragon on my shirt is all I need.

Ronnie O’Sullivan.
World Snooker Champion.

Became both the youngest and the oldest winner of the UK Championship; 30-years apart. The Edge of Everything delves deeper into his process.


Taylor Swift.

A year of unforgettable and incomparable achievements. 2023 cemented Taylor’s place as a business guru, music legend and pop culture queen.

Singer + Businesswoman.

Became the youngest female billionaire in the US. Her SuperBowl 2023 show became the most-watched halftime performance of all time.


Three of today’s best, and most obsessed-over, songwriters (Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker) released their debut group album.

Singer + Songwriter.

Described 2023 as a year of dreams. Having quit her record label, Raye is finally making music on her own terms.

Rock Icon.

We loved reading his book. From meeting his wife in the same week as the band’s first rehearsal, to using his fame to shine a light on Aids Relief.

Elton John.
The Rocket Man.

210k people at Glastonbury main stage sung and actually knew the words. Take a bow sir. Let the plans for the comeback tour begin.

New Jeans.

We can’t help but feel their band name is crying out for a Cardigan x K-pop creative collaboration.

Barbie OST.
Cultural Phenomenon.

From Billie Eilish to Charli XCX to Lizzo to Dua Lipa to PinkPantheress, it was definitely the soundtrack of the year.

Janelle Monáe.
Singer, Actor + Activist.

A force to be reckoned with in the worlds of music, film and fashion; the multi-talented artist has embarked on a new era of self-discovery.

Little Simz.
Rapper, Singer + Actor.

Firmly established herself as one of the most ambitious and multifaceted musicians in the UK today.


Margot Robbie.
Actor + Film Producer.

Not only starred in, but also produced, the cultural phenomenon of 2023; Barbie. The year the world went pink.

Zing Tsjeng.

A one-woman multimedia practitioner who epitomises all the strengths of modern journalism.

Charlie Brooker.
Writer + TV Presenter.

The mastermind behind Black Mirror; perhaps the defining piece of pop culture about 21st century technology.

Emily Maitlis.

The celebrated broadcaster is enjoying a new life leading The News Agents, a podcast shaking up political reporting in the UK.

Writers Guild of America Strike.
Hollywood Strikers.

From May 2 to September 27, 2023, the WGA, representing 11,500 screenwriters, went on strike. And it looks like it worked.

Alex Stephany.
CEO of Beam.

The world’s first online platform that crowdfunds employment training for homeless people.

LeBron James.
Basketball Icon.

38-year-old makes history by breaking NBA’s all-time scoring record. He finished the match with a career total of 38,390 points.

Independent Entertainment Company.

Creators of unmissable content. They really do have a Midas touch. Synonymous with aspirational indie cool.

Mr. Beast.

The face of stunt philanthropy. The world’s highest-paid YouTuber who promises I’m dying with 0 dollars in my bank account.

Las Vegas.

A world-first immersive destination. A revolutionary experience. Enjoy immersive shows, concerts and events like never before.


Lydia Pang.
Storyteller + Creative Director.

CEO and Co-founder of creative strategy studio MØRNING. Founded in 2021 with the aim of making the world a little less shit than yesterday.

Gareth Ward.
Head Chef + Co-owner of Ynyshir.

The most highly-awarded restaurant in Wales. Named UK’s Best Restaurant for two years running (22 and 23). Their Uber Eats collab was *chef’s kiss*.

Abdullah Yahia.
Founder of Valé.

Creative, photographer and designer. Building worlds with no format and no rulebook; to make and create, for fun, love and passion.

Green Man.

The largest contemporary music and arts festival in Wales. Tickets for 2024 are already sold out. Speaks volumes.

Sian Eleri.
DJ + Presenter.

The Chillest. Super cool and one of the UK’s biggest and best music tastemakers. Her playlists power the creative side of the Hiut Factory.

Jez + Ieuz.
Pizza Boys.

Fresh from their World Cup Adventure on the BBC, and after rubbing shoulders with Gordon Ramsay, the boys are back with Wales’ best pizza.

Lena Aires.

Intimate portraiture and documentary style film photography. Images that blend memory, place and craft.

Rogue Jones.
Musical Duo.

Charmingly quirky band from Cardiff with a cult following. Winners of the Welsh Music Prize 2023.

Carol Vorderman.
Media Personality.

Being one of social media’s most outspoken critics of the current Conservative government has won her legions of new fans.

AFC Rumney + 50 Cent.
In da club.

Watch out Wrexham! The US rapper has sponsored the Under-14s girls’ football team; joining the growing list of stars supporting Welsh teams.

That’s it.
You made it to the bottom. Phew!
Same time, next year?

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Hiut Denim Co

Our town is making jeans again. Founders: @DavidHieatt & @ClareHieatt Do one thing well.