Fashion: Adam Katz Sinding – Le 21ème – the street style photographer we’ve all regrammed
FASHION WEEK. As the haute couture and ready-to-wear looks heat up the runways of fashion capitals from Paris to NYC and beyond, the real world ensembles of the fashion elite and fashion enthusiasts are setting trends more than ever. Helping bridge the gap between the real and the surreal are street style photographers capturing and documenting every carefully constructed ensemble. In a sea of websites and Instagram accounts dedicated to documenting the pre-show “show” is Le 21ème. Ring a bell? Of course it does… because if you have ever reposted a street style photo so enticing it made you forget to look up the actual runway show, chances are this was your source.
Not be be confused for a street style blog, no. But rather a "photo-journalistic view into the daily world of fashion from cities and Fashion Weeks around the world", Le 21ème produces your daily dose of fashion news and inspiration. No Fashion Week, nor delicate detail from the jewel encrusted shoe to the Anna Dello Russo's entrance is missed.
The team, man behind the photos is San Francisco born, NYC based, Adam Katz Sinding. The self taught photo-journalist, who inherited his first camera equipment in the wake of his fathers death, has since become a permanent fixture at fashion weeks and events around the world. He has swiftly become a sought after photographer commissioned for and featured in coveted magazines from W magazine to Vogue. In between catching flights and capturing history, Sinding took time out to chat to TWAIN. #legend
Le 21ème states, “This is a portal into the lives of others making moments tangible”. I love this line. It exemplifies why you deflect from the ‘fashion blogger’ tag… the moments are very real and not contrived.
How do you perceive the role of photojournalism in the fashion industry?
I feel that it is misunderstood. People likely only look at my images for their superficial and commercial benefits. It’s difficult to show the viewer “more” when they are only looking at the objects in the photos. But I enjoy the challenge.
Do you see yourself as an observer, an influencer or both?
I like to see myself solely as an observer. People tell me I’m naïve to not consider myself an influencer, but really I don't care. I just want to watch and document.
How will street style photography be reflected on in decades to come?
Well we are capturing the zeitgeist, so looking back it will likely be very informative of what these years were like. Who knows, maybe we will all laugh at how people were dressed, like how we do when we see photos from the 90’s.
Many are surprised to find that you are self-taught. However one doesn’t become one of the most influential photographers of our time over night …
I make a ton of mistakes. Everyday. I just make sure I learn from them. School can’t teach you that. You need to be a perfectionist…which I think I am. Perhaps to a fault. I’ll never be satisfied.
I get bored easily. Too easily. Fashion is always new.
Was there a time you thought about giving it all up?
Every day. Around 3am when I’m sitting in front of my computer editing eating take away food on my lap in my underwear. It’s 20+ hours a day of work…for 30 days straight. It’s hard. Your body hurts. Your eyes hurt. You’re sunburned or frostbit. It’s not glamourous.
With a portfolio of work many can only dream up, what has been your most memorable collaboration?
I think actually the best work I’ve done was shot for Sneakerboy recently in Melbourne. It’s definitely the most rewarding. I did it for trade, not payment. And I feel much more fulfilled from this shoot than from any big money commercial job I’ve done.
Your favourite fashion week to photograph and why?
Paris ready to wear, Copenhagen, and Sydney. Paris is just Paris. Always the best. CPH…it’s so unique. And Sydney has amazing light, friendly people, and just generally yields amazing photos.
Photo that holds most meaning to you:
This was a moment after Fendi in Milan where we had all been photographing Lindsay and after the others disappeared I stayed and at this point the snow began to fall. She looked up only for one moment to let it fall on her face. I clicked. She looked at me and the moment was over.
For all the success you come off as very down to earth kind of guy. What keeps you grounded?
Well that’s a first. I am told that most people view me from afar as arrogant. But when they meet me they tell me they are surprised by how kind I am. I have no clue. I mean, I worked in hotels as a concierge for 10 years…so maybe it’s my customer service background? Who knows. I just don't think it’s nice to be a jerk…at least until someone is a jerk to you. Tons of people are jerks to me, so I get to vent my jerkiness to them, and spare the good people.
A word of wisdom for all the aspiring bloggers walking to and from fashion shows hoping to be captured…
Be you. Ignore me.
What is next for Adam Katz Sinding?
More of the same. Looking at the back of the airplane headrest in front of me.