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Archive for the ‘Campaigns’ Category
One of our favorite new projects we’ve been working on here in our studio and around Brooklyn is our new Tumblr: Live, Work, Create. Unlike most other Tumblrs that pull from other websites (something we don’t mind at all), LWC is comprised of content 100% produced by our design team. So pardon us if we’re a bit excited.
When we first starting talking about inspiration for this Fall’s campaign last year, a series of highly unusual events had occurred in New York City around the time – a mild earthquake that prompted an evacuation of our headquarters in DUMBO, a hurricane that shut down the entire subway system for the first time ever, and a twister that wound its way through the narrow streets of Brooklyn, tearing down our Park Slope store awning. At that point, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Cloverfield had washed ashore.
What those events did remind us of was how tenuous the order and balance between the culture we create and nature really is. We construct seemingly impregnable fortresses made of steel and concrete, yet add a little rain water and we become savages with shopping carts battling it out for the last gallon of water. During the day, we put on our dry cleaned button ups, yet at night, we dance primally to beats, push ourselves into subway crowds, dress ourselves in ostentatious peacock outfits, and fall prey to our sexual urges. We migrate from neighborhood to neighborhood, leaving stretches of avenues for nature to reclaim with weeds and rust, only to later be scouted, chopped down, and reclaimed by the cultural agents of gentrification.
Living in New York City, it’s sometimes easy to forget about nature, outside of the occasional sidewalk tree, subway rat, and herd of pomeranians on leashes. To remind us of our susceptibility to our savage tendencies and the forces of nature, the design team packed our cars and headed up north to the Catskills to camp and shoot our fall line. While urbanites packing for the country can be a little awkward – DSLR’s, chocolate, iPods, we instantly found our footing with bare feet, running and rolling down grassy hills, carving up kindling for the fire, and racing through dark woods at night. Our models – Kevin who we found in the middle of a crowded dance floor at a Rockaway Beach dance party, and Haley who we plucked from Bushwick, were equally intrepid, joining us in a tipsy stag leap dance, and even voluntarily wading through a pond inhabited by hordes of giant, croaking bullfrogs.
For the earlier fall release, color blocking and nautical stripes run through many of the designs, along with inspiration from op art. Later in the fall, the more autumnal colors begin to show up, along with houndstooth patterns and lace.
For more campaign photos, visit Live, Work, Create.
Last week, we loaded up our bikes on the A train and headed out to Ft. Tilden/Jacob Riis/Breezy Point on Rockaway to get inspiration for our clothing and bags line for summer of 2013. The day was unusually cold and wet for a summer’s day, but the cool aqua blues, grays, and brown were quite remarkable in their own right. The weather plus a completely uninhabited July beach gave us plenty of space and freedom to examine shells, driftwood, makeshift encampments, and even machine gun bunkers. And Rockaway Taco – definitely had to stop for fish tacos.
Photos 1 & 2 by Kevin Rogers. Photos 3-5 by Courtney Chavanell
We dug up a few print ads from the archives the other day from 2005 that still looked really great. The above pic was of BKI cofounder Lexy Funk shot by Ports Bishop in the style of a portrait from the medieval times. Shot in a studio on Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, this series was produced for the launch of our outerwear collection at the time.
The ad from this campaign taken the same year was inspired by the postwar German Fluxus artist, Joseph Beuys. On top of the sculptural elements, the graphic overlay also paid homage to the artist.
And this last one speaks for itself. Live, Work, Create – our motto we still live by. Compare that with Banana Republic’s old ads.
What’s our favorite accessory for the summer? Shades. While summertime in Brooklyn is legendary, the bright sun can be brutal – especially after the endless rooftop BBQs, Rockaway trips, and late night dance parties. When we’re feeling lethargic with our attire, sunglasses are always the easiest fixer upper for outfits. And with the protective case, they’re the perfect portable disguise – for whatever neighborhood you wake up in!
For our recent shoot in Greenpoint, we headed to the ferry landing with our cameras and shot a short movie inspired by the classic surrealist/post apocalyptic 60′s French film, La Jetée. On the vast expanse of the ferry landing, our models got to show off their thespian side, embracing and running down the pier in wedges and sunglasses, and dodging commuters with our photographer/CEO, Lexy Funk chasing after them with both hands on the camera – the perfect combination of hilarious, and dangerous.
For our 2012 summer campaign, BKI reached out to Austin, Texas for photographer Courtney Chavanell. Living in the “Live Music Capital of the World” has afforded Chavanell the opportunity to capture intimate portraits of some of our favorite musicians, including Sonic Youth, Spoon, the Flaming Lips, and the Black Angels. As there’s a tangible musical and lyrical quality to the streets of Brooklyn and the colorful people that inhabit them, Chavanell’s music background was a perfect fit.
How did you originally get involved with photography?
My dad was a photographer and I grew up assisting him without even realizing it at the time! I didn’t even know I was interested in becoming a photographer until I picked up a camera of my own around age 15 and began photographing myself, my friends and pretty much everything around me. When I moved to Austin for college, I became immersed in the music scene, bringing my camera to shows and finding inspiration in the musicians in the city and the ones passing through.
You seem to have shot a lot of great bands in the past. What’s your draw to music photography?
I am drawn to music photography simply because I love music. When I hear a song that resonates with me, I become curious about the songwriter or the performer, then I do my research and often times, become motivated to capture that personality visually. To me, it’s the same thing that anyone experiences when they hear a song they love. They want to tell their friends, their family or anyone that will listen. I do the same thing – I just prefer to do tell the world visually. My aim as a photographer is to document musicians in a creative and respectful perspective, as unique and profound as their music.
What do you love about shooting in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn is amazing because of its history and the eclectic mix of people. So many different cultures together creates some of the most interesting faces. I’d love to spend more time photographing those faces… beautiful, hardworking folks I encounter on the street, from the youth to the elderly.
To view more of Courtney’s work, visit her website.
To walk into Ibrahim Baaith’s spacious and colorful Crown Heights apartment is to walk into the mind of the artist himself. With every inch of the wall covered in murals and paintings, Baaith’s home is an outward expression of the artist’s personality, philosophy, and journey – capturing the artist’s vibrant story in a way that no gallery could. While Baaith, the model for our Summer 2012 campaign shot in neighboring Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, is comfortable in front of the camera, his real talent lies in turning the lens on the colorful world he inhabits.
While many artists take years to discover their artistic talent and voice, Baaith, as he described it himself was “born creative”. Though his family was poor and couldn’t afford art supplies, paper and pencils were always readily available, and he constantly took advantage of them, drawing comic book characters and portraits of family members and friends by the time he was six. He also scrounged raw materials from his multi-talented father who had built the home they lived in, to construct alternative worlds for his GI Joe action figures. Baaith received no formal art training until his senior year in high school, when an unfortunate skirmish with a fellow student led him to being dismissed from the track team, but fortunately lead him on a track to art schooling. Starting with a mentorship with an art teacher his senior year at the Corcoran School of Art next to the White House in D.C., his mother and mentor then encouraged him to apply to Pratt in Brooklyn. His past nearly derailed a promising future once again, as another fight landed him in jail right before the open house at Pratt. Luckily, he was accepted into the prestigious art school, but on a subsequent trip to D.C., he was mugged and shot in the face. For Baaith, the incident was the cessation of one timeline – one where he died, and the beginning of a new timeline that has led him to a life in the arts, positivity, and the magnificent home and neighborhood he resides in now.
Because of his turbulent past, Baaith’s paintings are charged with social, political, and emotive content, never relying on style and aesthetics to push feeling. His compositions ask viewers to look at the work and rely on their own interpretations to understand themselves and their feelings – in other words, to “get it” the way one personalizes the emotive content of a song. Unsurprisingly, music is a reoccurring thread within his paintings, from iconic reggae artists to a popular mural of Ol’ Dirty Bastard gracing a corner in Bed-Stuy.
These days, between painting and modeling, Baaith has found time to cofound Artist Republic, a nonprofit with the goal of finding inspiration within all artforms for children, whether it be painting, nutrition, filmmaking, or even martial arts – another passion for Baaith. Opening the art school is important for him so that other kids could have the opportunity that Baaith himself did not have, and to avoid the dangerous pitfalls that could have wiped out his own career.
To view more works, visit www.ibrahimbaaith.com
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