Fashion Prospective and Natural Selection

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Fashion Prospective and Natural Selection
Above picture © Richard Burbridge – Model Anne Vyalitsyna @Elite Paris, Makeup Kabuki, Hair Shay Ashual, Styling Brian Molloy
By Frédérique Renaut

You might have read the recent interview of Hedi Slimane by Dirk Standen titled “The Future of Fashion” posted on, where he shares his vision on the Future of Fashion. I found his article interesting enough to write about it. Hedi Slimane has a very interesting perspective on the fashion industry. A thought came to me and that was did he become conscious of this radical change and paradigm shift since leaving Dior Homme or was he aware of this change but felt incapable of sharing is view point while in the centre of the storm? Now that he is no longer associated with Luxury Holding Group, his shackles have been removed.

This is the first time I have seen a world renowned fashion designer and fashion photographer with such a high profile sharing his views on how the Internet and social networking have revolutionized irreversibly the industry of fashion, as well as the fashion media business. It is also interesting to note that he believed that this change is not only a good thing but is necessary.

How do you think technology—tweeting, blogging, social media, etc…—has affected fashion? For better or worse? It has affected different aspects of fashion tremendously. From commentary to fashion design, communication, and distribution. The fashion Internet community is like a global digital agora tweeting passions and opinions. Anyone knows better, and each one is a self-made critic. This is a fascinating idea, as I always favoured amateurism (”the one that loves”) over professionalism, attraction over experience. It obliges anyone in the industry to think in a fresher way. Of course, it is hard to say if any “authority,” someone like Suzy Menkes, might one day come out and use digital means to lead with integrity, enough background, outside of any conflict of interest. On a design perspective, it has allowed any young designer or indie brand to get an instant audience, if used with wit and invention. I am not quite sure of the future of retail as we know it. This is a truly important thing, maybe the most important one, as it might already mean there is nothing standing between the design and an audience/consumer. Finally, the better and the worse have always been part of fashion, with the Internet only magnifying it and creating a joyful and noisy digital chaos. The bottom line is that any note can create music. It is only a matter of taste.

The worst, the best and the non-significant have always co-existed prior to the existence of social media. This new tool has allowed and has led to its own self perpetuating media: reviewing, critiquing, proposing, promoting within its own community confines. As a result of this new paradigm, the notoriety and the success will come to those who are not only creative, but those who can understand this new model and interact with the public. It is the democratization model that has become accessible to all that the industry will have to come grips with. The natural selection is again what will determine the success or failure of any product…

Fashion Prospective and Natural Selection

You photograph for magazines, but you also have a strong presence on the Internet with your Web site. Do you see a difference between the two mediums in terms of the presentation of your work? They complete each other. The Internet is about immediacy. Besides, I also operate my Web site directly, as I can decide if I want to post a story or reportage every day or every month. I also generally have a more complete edit on my Web site, after publication. That said, I do love the strict frame of magazines, and to tell a story in an edit of ten or 12 pages, or to sum it up in a cover. It is a discipline…

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Article by Benjamin Kanarek, Photographer

I was born and grew up in Toronto, Canada. Never quite sure what I wanted in life, I fell into many things by accident. Photography, Web Concept development and Creative Direction are just a few examples. I played drums in a few punk rock groups, one of which, the “Existers”, was produced by John Cale. Another, the “Poles”, had a semi-successful hit called “Telex Love”. Afterward, I entered Carleton University where I studied Architecture. I then worked in several companies, including Webb Zerafa Menkes & Housden, best known for designing the CN Tower in Toronto. After a serious accident where I fell from a five meter mezzanine, I literally fell into photography. There was a photographer taking photos at the party and I landed on his toe!!! My second shoot was an advertising campaign in Toronto. While in Toronto, I was the first Canadian photographer to shoot Kim Alexis, which I did for the cover of Chatelaine. I moved to Los Angeles and stayed there for just over a year before moving to New York. In NY, I shot quite a few campaigns as well as the Dayton Hudsons Christmas book with Andi McDowell, Elle MacPherson and Brook Shields. I also shot several covers for Vogue South America. I then moved to Milan where I shot for Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan. I came back to Toronto for a short stint before a friend suggested that I try Paris. After six weeks in Paris, I was given an opportunity to shoot the Haute Couture for L’Officiel. Since then, Paris has become my base. I also compose and write Pop-Rock music for several artists. I also consult as a creative director for worldwide agencies and clients. Some of the magazines I have been published in include : L'Officiel Paris, Vogue Italy, Vogue Paris, Vogue (South America Edition), Vogue Brasil, Elle (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), New York Daily News Fashion, W Magazine UK, Cosmopolitan (France and Italy), Harper’s Bazaar Italy, Votre Beauté, Biba, Flare, Glamour (French), Chatelaine, Madame Figaro, Dealer Deluxe, Oyster Magazine, Deutsch Magazine, All Access, Icon, Issue One, Tank, No Name Magazine, West East Magazine…etc. Benjamin Kanarek, Photographer tagged this post with: , , , , Read 21 articles by Benjamin Kanarek, Photographer
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