There was no brief for Swedish photographer Anton Renborg’s latest shoot for Vogue Italia.
“Stylist Elin Bjursell — who I’ve worked with before — was watching the AW18 shows in Paris, and started sending me images over the phone from the catwalks, 90% of which were dressed in white,” Anton explains. “I instantly thought of Hamadi Kamara who originates from Mali. He’s a great guy that contacted me on Instagram about two years ago asking me if I would be interested shooting him one day. I brought him on a commercial shoot for Tid Watches and we’ve been friends since that day. Elin and I decided over the phone to put a mood-board together involving only people of African origin in white styling. We sent the mood the same night to Vogue Italia and we got their answer within 30 minutes: go!”
With Hamidi based in Le Mae Sur Seine, a suburb an hour’s train ride from Paris, Anton and Elin asked the model to send images of his friends. “They all had their personal persona and thing going, so we invited them all, who was available, to take part of the shoot,” Anton explains. “To bring some other energy and experience of performance into the group we called in ballet dancer Clevy Bamanissa and experienced model Emmanuelle Lacou. It turned out to be a great mix, everyone contributed from their own angle creating a great balance.”
The shoot took place at Paris’ 18th arrondissement around Rue Pajol up to Port de la Chapelle: “one of a few neighbourhoods actually inside Paris that still today has that original vibe and cultural mix”.
“On shooting day I brought people inside the frame from left and right, building image by image very much from what was actually happening on street at the moment,” Anton says. “The whole idea was to mix design, new talents, with everyday outfits and locals in an environment far from haute couture and fancy fashion shows.”
In a bid for authenticity, Anton mixed passersby in with his motley crew of models and friends. “When you invite the people from the area to take part, you kind of integrate,” he explains. “The trick is to not getting everyone too exited, dragging too much attention, bringing even more people on the set then necessary, it could easily happen. I wanted that everyday life and ‘true’ situations around our ‘models’ as much as possible. Keeping even passersby, that might pop up inside the frame, still being in their own world, not paying too much attention to what we were doing.”
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