“With fashion, people often associate it with marketing, and they forget the other side of it, which is the creators,” says Todd Selby, a photographer and writer who’s spent the past three years interviewing fashion designers. “Fashion is filled with so many passionate people that have a really unique vision and their own take on creativity.”
That flood of creativity is the subject of Selby’s third and newest book The Fashionable Selby. As in his previous books The Selby is in Your Place and Edible Selby, Selby scouts out wildly creative minds and photographs them in their work environments. He also has them fill out by hand his own (also hand-written) Q&As, making the books feel like scrapbooks about the creative process.
After covering culinary creators in Edible Selby, he decided to pay homage to his connections in the fashion industry. (Selby has been doing what he does for six years—and has been posting his images online—so he already had a vast network of subjects to feature, starting with a couple designers who do window work for LMVH, the massive luxury company behind Louis Vuitton and Dior).
In the book, Selby interviews big names like Isabel Marant and Dries van Noten, avant-garde thinkers like Iris van Herpen, and designers who aren't household names, but rather work behind the scenes for larger companies, like Audrey Louise Reynolds. Reynolds is a Brooklyn artisan who has dyed clothing for Nike (and is featured in the video above). They hail from all over; Selby took photos in the U.S., Japan, England, France, Amsterdam, and Italy.
For the most part, the work spaces have tabletops brimming with swatches and notebooks, and mood boards full of textures and fabrics that will soon become finished garments. Many of the studios offer tantalizing peeks at the designers' sources of inspiration. Van Herpen, for example, has a mood board in her Amsterdam office filled with feathers and bits of skeletons, which likely help her imagine her 3-D printed dresses. Isabel Marant, whose designs often have unusual, sculptural silhouettes, has a studio devoid of sketchbooks, because she crafts by draping and playing with fabrics. And several others simply work in a nest of chaos—evidence, perhaps, that a messy office can make you more creative?
Get a copy of The Fashionable Selby, here.