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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

Work / Photography

Clean it, beach: Reto Schmid’s new fashion series shines light on the plastic waste problem

With a climate change denier in the White House, it’s important that we all do our bit to raise awareness around global warming and the detrimental effects pollution has on our planet.

In his latest series for Buffalo Zine’s SS18 issue, photographer Reto Schmid shines light on the plastic waste problem and the impacts it has on our beaches — more precisely, Cádiz’s beaches — in his distinct, fashion-conscious style. Reto splits his time between Zurich and Paris and over recent years has cemented his name as an accomplished photographer within the fashion industry. With past clients including AnOther, GQ and Man About Town, it’s hard to say we were surprised when we saw how humorous, aesthetically pleasing and painfully timely his new series is.

Buffalo Zine’s SS18 issue is dedicated to the scorching Spanish summer and so, in collaboration with Stella McCartney, the team decided to dedicate a feature to beach-cleaning and rubbish collection. Working closely with stylist Omaima Salem, Reto conceptualised and executed the shoot’s creative vision. In classic Reto spirit, the photographer transports his upscale fashion shoot to the unlikely location of an unattended beach without compromising on the luxe glamour of high fashion. “I’m often trying to introduce elements that you wouldn’t expect in a fashion shoot. To push the boundaries of fashion imagery and take inspiration from all sorts of contexts,” Reto tells It’s Nice That.

Snapshot-style photographs and off-centre frames, Reto’s striking series is characterised by its unconventional compositions and atypical arrangements. Determined to shatter the assumption that upscale fashion is suited only to opulent, luxury settings, Reto tries to inject a sense of normality into his work. “I like to juxtapose fashion with elements of the real world, so I wanted to have beach goers in the foreground of my images that would contrast with the beach cleaners,” he says. In this way, Reto re-contextualises fashion shoots, rendering them both relatable and applicable to everyday life — even if the characters are dressed head-to-toe in Stella McCartney.

When asked about the wider social and political messages his series might carry, Reto replies: “Clean it beach! That’s the title of the story. It’s maybe a bit optimistic to think the story would motivate anyone to clean beaches. But at least we know now that you can be stylish when cleaning beaches!”

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18

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Reto Schmid for Buffalo Zine SS18