Selma Nicholls is CEO and Founder of Looks Like Me, a talent agency that aims to redefine beauty by raising the profile of underrepresented groups in the fashion and advertising world.
With more than a decade of experience working as a producer in theatre and dance since graduating from London Contemporary Dance School, Selma has worked on productions with organisations such as East London Dance (eld), LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) and Creative Engagement, following her dream to work in the arts sector.
Increasingly, Selma realised there was a gap in the market to give underrepresented groups visibility in the arts and fashion world and to drive advertising communications to do the same. So in 2016, she set up her own talent agency to do just that.
The name of the agency, Looks Like Me, was inspired by her three year old daughter, Riley-Ann, who questioned her own identity when she saw limited imagery of children that looked like her in the media and asked why. With a background in creating content, casting and production, Selma designed and developed tailored workshops, editorials and castings that would open the door for black and ethnic minority groups to be more visible by challenging the status quo in the world of brand communications.
As a respected artist in creative and fashion circles, Selma has also taken on several board level responsibilities at both influential community organisations and thriving businesses in her industry to support the arts. As co-founder of The #SOWhiteProject, set up to normalise diverse imagery through real life photography and challenge the advertising world to represent society fairly, Selma was interviewed on BBC and ITV in December 2016 to counter the “cultural white-wash” and launch #christmasSOwhite campaign nationally. She is also on the boards of Styx, the Tottenham-based arts and performance venue, LIFT Festival Tottenham, the biennial pioneering arts event and Uchenna Dance company, where Selma is co-director. Alongside contributing regularly to leading kids fashion blog, Junior Style, Selma is a Diversity and Inclusion consultant at creative consultancy Utopia.
Selma lives and works in Tottenham, north London with her daughter. As a dedicated entrepreneur and change agent , she loves to spend time teaching her daughter about the importance of community, the arts and self-confidence. When she is not working and being a loving mother, Selma enjoys travelling, watching BET (Being Mary Jane & Black girls Rock) and spending time with loved ones.
Photograph: Helen Marsden Photography