Anyone who’s been to Fashion Week or appeared in person will know the spectacle and the hype of street style and everything that evokes. When we feel ourselves in the 21st century truly, with the period that we are in, people wear on the street draws more attention than the collections of designers, and they have a great impact on what to wear in the future. Considering the individuality of street style, the reality of that it is a style worn by real people rather than models makes us ‘the mortals’ feel like it is something unreachable and it is not surprising that this style becomes a phenomenon. The thing with the street style is that people in the shots always look so glamorous, cool and effortless – but what about the people on the other side of the lens, the photographers who capture the best looks, the most intriguing looks and the most inspirational? We met with street style photographer Yu Fujiware and had the pleasure to get to know his world through the lens…
How long have you been a photographer for?
Yu Fujiware: I started shooting street style about 10 years ago.
What intrigues you most about photographing people in their most candid moments?
Yu Fujiware: Their unique character and the moment of me taking the photo of them… It’s almost like a wordless communication.
What made you start shooting street style?
Yu Fujiware: I was asked to shoot street style for a Japanese clothing company. I had to do simple full-length shots, so I got bored pretty quickly. I wanted to capture the people and moments in my own style. So, I decided to start my own blog called 8and2.
Do you find that it is a competitive atmosphere when attempting to find the best shot?
Yu Fujiware: During the fashion week, there are many street style photographers shooting in different and individual ways so it is competitive, however, what I find interesting might not be interesting to other people, I’m just trying to capture things in my own way.
Are there any people or models that you love capturing?
Yu Fujiware: Usually, I don’t have anyone specific, but I like Sereda brothers (Taras Sereda and Nikita Sereda), they are just funny and lovely guys. I also like certain brand that has a unique following and type of people. The type of people who only come to one designer show and disappear so it’s more exciting, such as Lemaire, Marquis Almeida, Koche, etc.
What do you define as street style today?
Yu Fujiware: Rawness, no-setup but real atmosphere of the scenery and moments.
You have your own authenticity in your photography as if the shots can speak for themselves. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Yu Fujiware: I get inspirations from many things like film, art, culture, documentary photos etc.
Rick Owens once said ‘“If somebody really wanted to, they could look precisely at everything I do and break down the references.” Are there any hidden messages in your photography?
Yu Fujiware: Of course, there are many hidden messages but I’m more interested in how the viewer find those elements; think about it and explore it… I would be happy if people can get inspirations from my photographs too.
As a person from the age of the internet. Do you feel that today we’re going through more conservative times? With social media censoring nudity in an arbitrary manner, for example?
Yu Fujiware: I wouldn’t necessarily think that now is a conservative time, it just became more easy, fast and direct to express yourself online, almost like fast-food. But you can still also express yourself in an analog way, like prints, paintings, exhibitions etc., it just takes a bit more time, skill and patience.
Do you think that regular people can relate better to Street style images than other types of imagery?
Yu Fujiware: It depends on what kind of street style you look at. For me, if it’s full of people wearing head to toe borrowed designer clothes, then maybe not. But if its people showing their own style, individuality and character, then yes, I think people can relate and be inspired.
What is your funniest memory out on the streets?
Yu Fujiware: This is a tough question, during fashion week I always have a good old laugh with other photographers all the time.
Out of everything in the world what do you wish for?
Yu Fujiware: More diversity mixes of culture, gender and sexuality. Just respecting each other and getting on.
Do you believe in the power of self-love?
Yu Fujiware: I guess self-love gives you confidence and confidence create kindness and individuality.
What is your thought on the word ‘new gen’ and what’s behind it?
Yu Fujiware: If there’s no new generation, the world would be a very boring place.