Dear readers, following a Fashion Week article that I posted on Thursday, March 1, and after reading some of the comments written off topic in response thereof, it has become clear to me that I should explain some of my work.
Because I do not have time, let alone the desire, to respond to off-topic comments that do not advance me professionally or spiritually. Before creating Style and the City in 2007, I had never made pictures. I was a columnist and television director, and I specialized in creating a tone that was both informative and humorous.
In only three years, I created over 120 reports and as many sketches, and I learned to love real life just as it presented itself to me. Later, after leaving a lucrative job at a magazine, and while wondering what I should do with my life, I happened upon a free copy of Paris Match. On the cover were Jamel Debbouze and Melissa Theuriau, photographed at night while taking a walk around Paris. And then it hit me. The photo was wonderful to me because their happiness was evident and it made them beautiful. And I realized that a little guy who was neither tall nor particularly well-built had made me feel good about my being. Suddenly, I felt confident. I also noticed his simple style of dress, which made me say hey, if there was a button on the page of this magazine, I'd buy his entire outfit on the spot. I was this combination of feelings, emotions, and desire that made me buy my first camera the very next day. Because at that time, steeped in complex, I had never even taken a picture before.
I had no job and very little money in the bank, but suddenly my life took a new direction and gave me a new mission: to humanize fashion and to understand what makes a woman beautiful, beyond the materialism that superficiality that many magazines advocate. At the time, I was the only person in France to document what is now called street style. My first photos were... how should I say this... not terrible. Neither in my framing, nor in my editorial decisions.
Then I made a marvelous encounter in the streets of Paris: Annie Lennox. Or at least her double. You can find the article in full on the blog here. The photographs tell a primarily a human story that show how pictures can be used to help women feel more beautiful, more confident, as long as they capture personality more than just clothes. The Annie Lennox that I saw had a nice style, and if I had been a magazine or fashion website photographer, I would have been satisfied with single photo documenting the brand of her clothes. But in front of me, I saw a woman, 60 years old, shy, embarrassed. I was greatly moved, and my only desire was to reassure her and show her that she was beautiful.
I do not remember the words that words that came out of my mouth and that made her smile, but on that day, I did not feel like fashion photographer but simply like a man who loves women and respects them. My experiences as a film director combined with my desire to convey this beautiful meeting to my readers led me to become involved in the creation of photo novels. I quickly realized that style is the garment of our personalities, that the secret of natural beauty is happiness and the secret of the photogenic, generosity. These are the two filters through which I explore street style photography. Happiness is family, children, friends, passions, projects... the many universes that give us the opportunity to grow humanly. So this is why friendship, complicity, and generosity are recurring themes of Style and the City. In an era when women are seen first as a coat rack and a vehicle for brands, I decided to go in the opposite direction, which brought human benefits alongside its financial disadvantages.
Women will never be mere hangers and brands for me. Life will never be beautiful in my eyes if it doesn't showcases personalities and human qualities. For a generous smile truly has the power to brighten your day.
So, that is my job. And it is to those people who understand and share my values that I will devote my time.
Until tomorrow, for new adventures.