I headed down to South Africa to shoot this campaign, a collaboration between Banana Republic and Piece & Co., and to capture the artisans behind the sun dyed fabrics that make up the summer collection. We started early in the morning when the dew was still resting on the flowers. The women arrived and lead us to their farm (I guess you’d call it a farm?) which I discovered was just a wild space down a dirt road tucked between vineyards where they keep supplies in an old barn. The artisans ascended, plucking flowers and leaves, picking up things I’d never even seen before, finding lilies in the pond and savoring their scent. These are the native objects they use to create the patterns on the fabrics which are sun dyed right here on this piece of earth.
They were proud and happy. The land was beautiful and loved. I like to think all this energy and joy is transferred into fabrics that now are cut into beautiful dresses and men’s shirts and one can feel this when they put it on. At least I hope these photographs can help share their story and shed light on conscience fashion.
Final portraits of the artisans are shot on back and white film in the barn they work at using a spool of burlap we found lying around as a backdrop. Color portrait of the American woman is Piece & Co.’s founder Kathleen Wright.
You guys know that I am a photographer, professionally. Sometimes I think I am put in a blogger or influencer category which is fine because I love to share my passions on social media and have now for years. It has helped me grow as an artist and thinker, pushed myself creatively and brought many wonderful friends and opportunities into my life. However, at the end of the day I make my living making photographs for companies and brands. Sometimes I share my work and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I not even legally allowed to because the company owns the images and rights straight from my camera. Sometimes the shoots are really creative and fun and inspiring and sometimes I feel as if I’m just a body there to push the trigger of a camera.
This is one of those photography jobs I took that I feel so honored to be a part of. Banana Republic did a really cool thing. They partnered with a globally conscience textile manufacturer called Piece & Co whose main objective was to give opportunities to women in developing worlds while celebrating and even saving artisanal practices. The fabrics created by Piece & Co in partnership with these co-ops around the world are environmentally sustainable and empowering woman as small business owners and even in some cases, the bread winner for their families. When Banana Republic learned about the socially conscience initiative of Piece & Co. they wanted to partner to create a unique limited collection of artisan fabrics. So, off to South Africa we went to photograph the stunning artisans doing their handmade sun dying process that make up the fabrics in the collection, I’ll share those photographs on another post later this week, and to shoot the Banana Republic campaign for the collection on two local South African models.
I loved this shoot. The spirit of the South African people is as beautiful as the landscape. The pride of the artisans showing their process and joy they had seeing the fabric come to life in fashion on our models. I love these photographs because for me they represent a circle, a connection we all have. The hands that create on to the souls that carry them on.
Very special thank you to my dear friend and collaborator Kelly for bringing on board with this project and to Piece & Co., truly Kathleen (founder of Piece & Co.) and Liza (director of Piece & Co.) you two are the most intelligent, talented, impressive women I’ve ever worked with. Thank you Banana Republic for trusting me as your photographer.
Modeled by Carla Peters + Samuel Mukhuwana // Creative Direction by Kizmet. World // Styling by Kelly Framel // Hair & Makeup by Tina Hoffmann // Production by Liza Voloshin
This entire collection is available on Banana Republic where you can see and learn more behind the collection.
When I was growing up in Texas I loved to go to the Banana Republic store. All my dreams were ahead of me: being a New York woman, going on a safari, and working as a photographer; all things I felt closer to when I walked around their store. Fast forward some years and not only do I have the wonderful joy of working with Banana Republic from time to time but I can also swing by their flagship store at Rockefeller Center because I did become that woman I dreamed of. It’s so fitting that Banana Republic, a brand built on classic style (and you know I love classic), would find its way into such a historical part of New York City. It is to no surprise that they took great care and artistry into the recent renovation of the space.
Most beautifully, I was beyond thrilled to see the tribute to the city that Banana Republic has crafted: a 360-degree black-and-white photo shot from the top of the Rockefeller Center, 70 stories high, capturing an iconic view of New York City at twilight. Shot by Susan Wides, the city sparkles with life and light and is truly at her most beautiful. The photograph spans one horizon line, displayed on customized light boxes in the rotunda of the store, giving everyone the experience of seeing the “top of the Rock” at ground level. Susan says about her work, “I wish to convey the experience not merely of being in a place, but of connecting to that place on many levels of consciousness.“
And of course, there is no place more appropriate for such an installation than Rockefeller Center, one of the last major buildings in the United States to incorporate public art, with the stunning Atlas Statue on the center’s Palazzo D’Italia. The Banana Republic store is mere steps away from the statue, welcoming us in the way only New York City can.
Won’t you join me inside?
On Friday November 15th at 5pm, Banana Republic will be celebrating the grand re-opening at this Fifth Ave Flagship store (626 5th Ave) with wine provided by Cameron Hughes and a performance by St. Lucia at 7pm. I’ll be there hanging out and taking over the @bananarepublic instagram and I’d love for you to join the party with me!
Continue reading “Banana Republic”
Spring is here! Time to dance to the music… have a carefree weekend!
At a presentation on Manhattan’s West Side, Banana Republic showcased their range of looks for spring and summer. From dapper suits and sweet summer dresses to safari looking day wear, they have us covered from date night to globe trotting…
Continue reading “Banana Republic for the Season”
Southern holiday parties mean bow ties, broads and booze…
Rita Hayworth inspired dress, jacket & reconstructed vintage earrings
Cary Grant inspired suit from Banana Republic, sweater, shirt, winter themed bow tie
One sweater, three ways.
Recently I went on a little road trip up north for the fall and made use out of my favorite Banana Republic autumn sweater… which look suits me best?
1. Classic New York– Navy pencil skirt, nude Ferragamo shoes, Burberry scarf and double breasted navy coat
2. On the farm, NH: Boyfriend shirt, snuggly scarf, Levi’s and Bensimons
3. Americana Boston: Juma scarf, wool circle skirt, ferragamos
Sketching his vision for spring~
Creative Director Simon Kneen of Banana Republic
A team of talented people, an army of beautiful models, the most charming designer whose illustrations I’m obsessed with…
Banana Republic opened their studio doors to capture the process from model fittings, styling, hair and makeup tests and all the vision it takes to bring together what will be our Banana Republic in Spring 2012…
Continue reading “Behind the Doors of Banana Republic~”
Wondering the streets of London town in my retro inspired suit from the Banana Republic Mad Men collection