Photographer Patrik Andersson took the portraits of our Fashion Week Insiders - but he is also one himself, working at various fashion weeks over a long and distinguished career. He has worked with world leaders and celebrities, models and megastars. His rolodex of clients has included Bill Clinton, Kate Moss, Jennifer Lopez, Muhammad Ali, Whitney Houston and Mick Jagger. Swedish-born Andersson has been in New York City since his 20s, and lives in Bushwick.
Victoria: What makes you want to stop someone on the street and photograph him or her?
Patrik: I think people echo things from other experiences. Other than striking beauty or great style, I tend to be drawn toward people that give a feeling of a memory that I can’t really place.
Q: Where do you live in New York?
A: Bushwick — they call it Bush-hip these days.
Q: What’s your favorite store in Bushwick?
A: Skytown has a great organic Skybowl — five different always-changing ingredients — they need to serve it on the weekends again.
Q: What do you find most compelling about the neighborhood?
A: That I can live spaciously without having to run the rat race.
Q: Your Fashion Week DO and DON’T?
A: Do keep looking for new and inventive ways of visually interpreting the fashion show — it can be done. And don’t eat too many of those snickers bars lying around backstage.
Q: What do you like best about the style you see on the street in NYC?
A: That most everybody here knows that clothing is a form of communication, they're not afraid of expressing themselves and don’t fall into dressing like a stereotype — there is often a personal twist to even a classic look.
Q: Who was the most glamorous person in the world when you were a teenager?
A: The fictional character Stalker from the Russian movie with the same name, for his emotional intensity.
Q: Who is the most glamorous person in the world now?
A: The Dalai Lama — because he has made it clear to everybody that it is the inner evolution that is really the thing that shines.
Q: What was your favorite shoot of all time?
A: I took two months off and shot one frame a day with a 20x24-inch camera just for myself — I traveled in a big circle all across America.
Q: Describe a good day at work.
A: It is when people bring you their creativity in such a way that you get to say: “Thank you, that is more amazing than I expected.”
Q: Describe your look in two words.
A: Selective utilitarian.
Q: What was it like shooting Kate Moss?
A: Kate had it all right at the beginning — the whole register from innocence to high glamour.
Q: What is your definition of cool? Or how do you define chic?
A: I think the original cool is somebody who sees that conventional society is a kind of fraud, so they become rebellious and step outside the norm. And from that we get most of our icons. Then I think there is a deeper level of cool when somebody keeps looking at their life and finds more meaning and comes back from this rebellion and gets to work.
Q: How do you break the barriers and get a truthful photograph?
A: By being as open and truthful yourself. Depending on the person I meet, my response will differ.
Q: What do you notice first about someone?
A: How settled they are in themselves.
Meet the New Yorkers Who Make Fashion Week Happen
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