…and document the evolution of fashion.
Julien Boudet is one of the most known fashion photographers of today. He started in New York 2013, and has been unstoppable ever since. Inspired by the landscapes and architecture of the city, he chooses style, the moment of style over anything else. The moment in history that is in the making. As a visual journalist of street styles and urban movements, the city and the people in the city, Julien has an exceptional eye for fashion fusions and infusions, and proper vocabulary to speak the language of clothing.
THE SPEECH ON THE STREETS
Julien started from shooting the streets of New York City, later on choosing people and their style of dressing as his main subject. Great talent won’t stay unrecognized for a long time, and so with Julien, his work was noticed pretty quickly and project by project he rooted into the field of fashion photography.
Boudet admits: “I liked taking photos, but I would never thought that I could make living out of it… I went to Parson’s to study photography, which was good to learn the basics and the technical stuff. It was pretty useful… But I dropped out because it became boring for me. My course mates wanted to do mostly some artsy stuff, like shooting nude self-portraits, and other abstract stuff. No one was into fashion, and at that point I already knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
Julien has always been interested in clothing and styles of the streets. “Designers still get inspired by the streets,” says Julien, “They use our* photos for their next collection references.”
“And also marketing people and trend researchers use our* photos to create mood boards… We* have so much content each season. If to put all our* photos in the line from one season, you can certainly spot common elements and trends coming up.”
When talking different cities and styles, they keep on blending, and trends today are rather global than city-specific. The language of clothing is more or less international. “You might see some differences within the the big cities. In NYC you see a little bit of everything, Paris might be a little bit more classy, but mostly trends are global. For example, Yeezy shoes can be seen pretty much everywhere, and Vetements is present during every fashion week, in every city,” comments Boudet.
Obviously, brands and certain items tell a lot about a person, and Julien is always interested in reading people through their clothing, for instance, in his opinion shoes do tell a lot about a person. But for him it all comes subconsciously, automatically. He admits that some people try too hard by wearing the latest trends and brands. Personally he keeps away from the that, and at the very moment he prefers in his wardrobe the creations of Haider Ackermann, Daniel Andresen and Boris Bidjan Saberi, appreciating the combination of design, comfort and functionality. Especially while working and moving around a lot.
EVERYDAY BUSINESS AND BATTLES
Before moving to the States Julien was studying Business in France. “It was very general,” as he admits. “I didn’t know what to do, and my mom wanted me to go to college, so I went to study business.” Which now turns out to be a part of his everyday life while freelancing and being basically a one man brand.
Social media helps and plays a big role in his everyday business. “All we* do, especially within social media is daily marketing business. That’s how it all started for me.” Julien is being very honest by admitting: “For example, my mom still doesn’t understand what I do. She’s like – how do you make money and why do you travel so much? For her it’s a little bit weird.”
And others too…
“People tend to think that I do only street style, mainly because of my social media account, but I do also editorials, consulting, lookbooks, and backstage.”
And Julien loves shooting backstage. He loves the feeling of compression and the moment of battle. It’s a definite challenge.
“I like the pressure and everyone being stressed out and rushing. No one can really be a diva at that time. I like to capture those last minute detail fixings, and I like the fact that you get to see the collections before they go public. I think it’s cool. And you can be creative… But it’s also very challenging. For example at Dior Homme, we* got in in slots, and a slot of 10 photographers got only 10 minutes to shoot the backstage.”
WHY SO BLUE
Although known and followed by many under the name Mr ‘Blue Fashion’, Julien says that blue isn’t his favorite color. He compares colors with trends, as they both tend to come and go. Last years he’s been into wearing black, now turning into muted shades: “I find bright colors and patterns being a bit too much… They’re distracting.”
Besides the fact that blue represents innovation, freshness and new ideas, it has much deeper meaning for Julien. Blue represents the environment where he grew up. Born and raised by the Mediterranean seaside in the South of France, sea-blue plays an important role in photographer’s life, reminding and representing his origin and vision, his past, his future, and his personal take on the fashion photography. And one can see within his images the appreciation of the movement, the waves and the flow of fabrics, the step forward of the garment and the person wearing it.
FOR THE FUTURE REFERENCE
Julien still loves the energy of NYC, but he also sees Asia as a growing market in the future. He says that South Korea has an interesting fashion week concept, which takes place right after Tokyo’s fashion week.
And he also admits that within this fast pace work and travelling it’s hard to find time for himself. Julien confesses that for him is important taking a step back and seeing what’s been done, and also what could be done as the next move. Even thought he enjoys his intense fashion week schedules and travels, during the summer he likes to take time-off to visit his family and friends in South of France, to rest and re-charge. “I see myself in photography, but I don’t know about street styles. I’m 30 now and it’s still fun, but when I’ll get 35 I don’t think I’ll enjoy it as much as I do now. It’s good for practice. You should do street styles for 5-6 years at least. It’s a good thing to do for sure… But I know that I’m not here randomly, I know what I’m doing, and I have plans… I have my next step on my mind.”
*The reference to “us/we” means the posse of street style photographers – a community, a sub-culture on its own. Julien says that all the photographers know each other: “Sometimes you have teams, some people stick together, some don’t… It’s like being back in high school again. Also, it can be sometimes very fake.”
Like everywhere else, in every other field.
Written by Julia Ahtijainen
Published in Aesthetist Magazine