When we first started shooting photo campaigns in 1999, we didn’t really have any money to travel to places like Paris, or Milan… or even upstate New York for that matter, so Lexy Funk, our CEO and photographer, just grabbed our camera and walked out the door in Brooklyn – in a grittier Williamsburg at the time and took snapshots in front of old warehouses and weathered textures that had a pretty good chance of giving you tetanus. Thirteen years later, we still prefer shooting this way.
For our Spring shoot, we packed up the van and rode one neighborhood over to Clinton Hill to shoot at the Brooklyn Industries’ warehouse; the former location of our HQ now in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Back in the day, we used the warehouse space all the time to shoot our garments in the same space that they were designed in – not just because we were financially strapped, but because there was a certain realness to the setting. We didn’t live in Paris – we lived in Brooklyn. These days, especially around Dumbo, everybody wants to shoot in Brooklyn, and we often find ourselves having to elbow out all the haute couture brands with their huge lighting setups for camera space. Soon, those companies will tire of this Brooklyn ‘trend’ and will move on – better watch out Jersey! But us… we’re here to stay.
It’s always been a challenge to shoot the Spring line at the beginning of winter – it’s freakin’ cold out, and it brings us back to the days of working in the under-heated warehouse (that’s now populated by cozy artist studios). While the weather was predictably nipply and drizzling this time around, the light was amazing and extremely cooperative. At most, we usually only bring along one strobe light and one extension cord, While most would view that as insufficient, we embrace it as an opportunity to shoot different angles and moods. The resulting photos we got were meditative and introspective – and it probably helped that our guy model worked at a bar until 4 a.m. the night before. Ultimately, budget constraints force us to stay creative, to constantly Re-create, which was how we approached the spring line. After waking up every New Year’s Day, we always get pretty excited about the fresh possibilities for the upcoming year, and a chance to create something new.
View the lookbook here. Shot in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Photography by Lexy Funk.