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Playback: Art of Storytelling by Fashion Week Photographers

In HYPEBEAST’s most recent HYPETALKS episode, style enthusiasts were invited to take a deep dive into the world of fashion week in a panel discussion with those that have captured these key moments. HYPEBEAST was joined by a diverse group of four fashion week photographers from New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo, in a discussion surrounding the key roles they play as creatives and those who document the ever-changing trends.

The panelists, which included Jeremy French, Marc-Henri Ngandu, Momo Angela and Simbarashe Cha, shared their personal stories on what first drew them to photography, how they found their perspective and what it truly means to be a photographer. While fashion photography was the encompassing theme, each creative spoke about the limitations of being classified as just a fashion photographer. Ngandu shared his thoughts, “I don’t know if it’s ego or anything but, it kind of feels insulting when you’re a photographer and you feel like you are just being seen as a fashion photographer.” He continues to explain that when photographers first start out, they want to be known for their work as opposed to being restricted to just a niche category. Cha chimes in and expands on this perspective sharing, “When it comes to any sort of profession, no matter what industry a person is in or what their trade is, you have people who have a broad sense of skill set in terms of what it is that they do and then you have people who are specialists.”

Each photographer spoke keenly about the scenarios they look to capture during fashion week and the importance of shooting the event from all angles. With the help of social media, the panelists agreed that it broadens the definition of photographers as creatives but in a way, likens them to documentarians as everyone sees and photographs from a different perspective from the week. French adds, “Instagram stories, I feel like is breaking those barriers because you can see how it actually is outside of the shows and it gives a certain insight of the fashion week itself.” Having traveled globally, the panelists also spoke about the differences and similarities between the major European fashion weeks versus the Asian fashion weeks. Angela noted that there was an evident difference in style and how the fundamental collectivist and individualist mindsets play a large part in how attendees express themselves with fashion.

The guests rounded off the panel by sharing their thoughts on the evolution of fashion week. Cha sums up the conversation eloquently, highlighting that the most important evolution is the diversity of storytellers from season to season and that over time, onlookers are witnessing stories that are told from a less singular perspective.

For those who missed the live HYPETALKS, catch up on the conversation below and stay tuned for more.