The shoot for System with A Cold Wall & Nike was a streamlined process. Having worked repeatedly with the ACW team - we always have a concrete idea of what we’re looking to achieve visually. The aim of the shoot was to highlight the clothes against a neutral, subtle backdrop. The team scouted an amazing scrap yard in the Newham area which gave us exactly what we’re looking for.
Interview with System Magazine
Could you tell me a bit about your relationship with Samuel Ross?
I connected with Samuel around 3 years ago. I vividly remember one of the first conversations we had on Instagram. We were talking about working on a shoot and he mentioned that he wanted to “create theatre - pushing the concept of how form can be composed.” As a photographer & director, my interest has always been perfecting how to balance colour and pushing the portrayal of movement through use of shape & structure. I’m always trying to use playful but appreciative techniques and adopting / distorting new technologies to push the boundaries of media. This approach is very synonymous with Samuel’s ideas and so naturally every time we work on something we are building on these principles. Slowly but steadily we are finding the way to perfect that idea of theatre.
And your relationship with A Cold Wall?
One of the most powerful things about A-Cold-Wall* is that it is built on a thorough understanding of art & design from the past century. The brands subtle referencing of designers such as Corbusier, Anthony Caro or Richard Serra embodies this.
I grew up with a father in the art world so we spent a lot of time travelling around Europe & the United States visiting artists and designers. I was fortunate enough to gather insight from some of the great product designers of the last century such as Jens Risom & Herbert Krenchel, photographers such as Martin Parr & Keld Helmer Peterson and artists such as Anthony Donaldson. This largely contributed to my understanding of the visual world but furthermore the importance of drawing inspiration from leaders in other mediums beyond ones own.
A-Cold-Wall* as a brand represents this idea and there experimentation with materials, branding and form is a clear embodiment of the value of understanding historical context. Naturally, the relationship between myself and the brand is built off a constant curiosity to repurpose and re-contextualise the world we are in through photography and film.
What does collaboration mean to you?
Collaboration is integral to progress in our world. I’ve built my career off working with the right people who can elevate and push the standards of my work higher. Meaningless / bad collaboration however has the reverse effect. My mantra is always be wary of who you are working and surrounding yourself with but with that in mind don’t isolate oneself in a bubble of comfort. Pushing beyond ones comfort zone creates exciting new potential.
My favourite collaborations are those that are unexpected and have cross generational / cultural impact.
In what ways is it important for you to work with your peers? Is it more exciting for you than working with a ‘big name’ and if so, why?
Working with ones peers is always more engaging and liberating than working with big names. Especially when working with ACW as we are all from the same generation and understand each other. We come from a fearless era where no idea is a bad one and this always translates onto set. Everyone feels the capacity to contribute something to the project we’re working on - whether it be a look book, campaign or film.
How do you personally perceive the clothing that ACW creates?
The clothing to me is iconic and revolutionary for all of the right reasons. There is a clear brand message and a big picture conversation that it creates. It is the perfect example of a brand that creates clothes with purpose. There are too many designers in our world today who make things and take them to the extreme just for the sake of being “new”. They need to take a leaf out of the ACW / Samuel Ross hand book.
Tell me about an intimate memory you have of a Nike item - a moment you wore a piece that’s still stuck in your mind.
I grew up playing a lot of football and in love with the culture of if - I wore a football shirt every day I could from the age of 4 to 7. Thus, my strongest intimate memory of a Nike product would have to be the silver and green Mercurial boots worn by R9 - the original Ronaldo at the World Cup in 2002. I was only six at the time but I remember buying them as astro turf boots and flying around the school playground thinking I was the Brazilian himself in a World Cup final. I almost took it as far as getting his dodgy haircut but thankfully my mum convinced me otherwise.