My heroes are normal people. People that are at ease with themselves. People that are humbly beautiful. People who are inspiring for who they are.
After a number of years without harboring much interest in photo shoots, the idea of celebrating these people got me excited.
Dietmar Busse, a German photographer whom I recently met (but feels like an old friend) tells jokes and tales, while his eyes and lenses work swiftly capturing that smile. His black and white portraiture has a timeless quality that is rooted in classic photography and exemplifies the craft and meticulousness to which our shirts are made.
A white shirt represents the simplest form of elegance but it is also a great social equalizer. It is inspiring and dignifying to all people: railroad workers and bankers alike.
Richard has earned the spot for being this project’s poster boy because truly, all he wears are white shirts. Everyday. When I asked him why, he answered, “When I wake up in the morning, I don't want to have to make a decision about what to wear because I have to make decisions the whole day.”
I met her when we were both panelists at the Bronx Museum's exhibition on Tropicalia, a Brazilian cultural movement. She was so knowledgeable and eloquent about the architecture and design history of my country, but what I really loved about her was her simple demeanor. Then her bigger than life husband, Larry, commissioned me to make her two custom pants. Such an honor!
Anyone who crosses paths with Sara is a lucky man, or woman. She is someone who goes around spreading love, good taste, appreciation and friendship. We were celebrating her birthday at the rooftop of the Gramercy Hotel and she sat me next to the publisher of Harper's magazine, John MacArthur. It meant a lot to me that she knew I could discern it from Harper's Bazaar.
We arrived at Aggie's place with make shift backdrop and stands in hand. She laughed mischievously as we assembled them. Aggie is the funkiest art lady around. She gracefully took the crew around her home private gallery and made us feel all right about being clearly overwhelmed.
He and his wife Joanna Rha created my logo. He works at Frog Design and she is now freelancing, after +10 years working with Fabien Baron. Before I met them, I didn't really understand the world of typefaces and when they presented me with 20 options, they all look the same to me! They have taught me, instructed and guided me through the nuances of graphics. I am their daughter's godmother, which has been the real treat.
Everyone thinks he is so good looking and handsome. That is really not the reason he's one of my heroes. Drew is a farmer boy from Indiana. He practices psychiatry in New York and he wrote books about the relationship of what you eat and your mood. Just like drugs.
She used to be an environmental lawyer. She produced one of my favorite documentaries called Garbage Dreams. Her documentary-unlike Victor Muniz's documentary Waste Land (also about garbage)– was not staged.
My Tennessee girl is a sexy mama. She's got two beautiful kids and a very energetic hubby. She is the girlfriend I have who I can mock about people who wear brand names. She understands style.
I wanted to photograph his boss Oliver Harkness from the Quality Mending Co., whom I had started the shirt company with. Oliver was too busy and maybe a bit shy so he introduced me to David, a professional cyclist who was temping at his shop. David is curious about many things. To me, he represents youth.
He is a fashion historian, or one might say, a walking encyclopedia. He knows so much about fashion history. He has such a big mouth that often times he gets in trouble. Stéphane needs to have his own TV show because he's witty, funny and sarcastic, but mostly because he doesn't mind saying the hard truth. Stéphane just can't do any wrong by me. Je l'adore.
He is my handsome neighbor who was working for Armani before he started his own advertising agency. Oh yes, he did.