Photographer, and It’s Nice That favourite, Nina Manandhar has presented her latest series. The New Mods is a celebration of contemporary modesty and identity, and has been put together as a series of stock images available for Getty’s Creative Images library.
Like the bulk of Nina’s work to date, The New Mods explores youth identity and the meaning of style, in this instance the “modest” dress worn by young, religious-leaning people up and down the UK.
This is Nina’s first stock project, and she tells us that there was very little in the way of creative differentiation between the Getty brief and how she usually approaches editorial commissions. “Josie [Gealer-ng, of Getty Creative] and I discussed ideas about what kind of imagery might be missing from the collections and how we could create a story. I had already made contacts with the girls, whom I met on a street-style commission at London Modest Fashion Week earlier in the year.”
Josie describes herself as being “really excited” about the collaboration, as Nina’s work “stems from deep explorations in youth culture & identity. She really understood the importance of our goals in exploring a broad vision of diversity in advertising and brought a lot of insight and narrative to the project.”
There was an inherent leeway to the project, which appealed to both. “Unlike conventional advertising, we aren’t selling a product or one absolute idea through our images,” Josie says. “Which allows us the luxury of more freedom in our approach to concepts and collaborations.”
Nina’s visual focus is on a quartet of young women who portray her understanding of what modesty looks like and means today. “As Johar [one of the girls in the shoot] says, ‘Modest style doesn’t only stop at Muslim clothing, or hijabs. Modesty is required in other religions as well. It’s just a form of respect towards the religion and other people.’ Everyone has different definitions of what modest means, and this was a big topic for discussion amongst the girls themselves on the shoot day.”
The photographer adds, “I don’t really have a definition, but I’m interested in how the ’modest’ style community has become a space for youth cultures to negotiate and express their sense of religious and cosmopolitan identity today.”