Photos by Adam Katz Sinding
Fall has officially arrived and NYFW is here again without warning. The line for your daily iced latte just got longer and far more fashionable. The vintage Levi’s you lived in all summer long suddenly aren’t as chic as the woman next to you striking a pose in sharp black tailoring and a double espresso. Your sunglasses probably don’t feel big enough either (how else are you going to put up with all the attitude in the air?) While you’re busy having a mini-crisis because you stayed in summer one day too long, photographer Adam Katz Sinding is quite keen to this shift, for a new season of style stars awaits his guise.
We jumped on the phone with the man behind Le 21ème while in Amsterdam on his eve of fashion month and his flight to New York. That’s a thirty-day circuit and an average of three hours of sleep per night not even Morgan Spurlock could prepare for. He stays up to tell us what he’s thinking.
Who do you look forward to shooting every season?
I look forward to finding new people, new venues, new cities, and new looks. It’s always exciting to see new things and try to capture them in a way that creates a memory of that moment.
When you think of the familiar faces you’ve shot, who’s the first person that comes to mind?
I would say, if I have to pick ONE person: Natasha Goldenberg.
In your opinion, what makes for a great street style image?
The light is paramount. Bad light can ruin an amazing moment. There are so many lighting situations where I see other photographers shooting, and my camera is just at my hip, untouched. I just don’t want to take a photo in certain light. It doesn’t look nice, and there’s no point in taking a bad photo of a good person.
Give us a high and low moment from past fashion week experiences?
Gucci one year ago in the most torrential rain I’ve even been in. Four or five of us had our camera’s broken by it. It was horrible. Also shooting outside Victoria Beckham in February in -17 celsius was pretty painful. A great high moment was shooting outside Vetements in July and having not so many nice photos due to a horrible venue, then walking to the next venue in a pretty bad mood, only to have Rick Owens walk out of a random cafe all alone and cross the street in front of Opéra Garnier. It was only myself and one friend there and it really made my whole day.
From your experience behind the lense, how would you differentiate NYFW street style from other fashion weeks?
NYFW is hard work. Jam packed with shows. The weather sucks. Freezing winters and boiling summers. It’s dynamic, and I like that. NYFW is not my favorite as far as street style goes, but the difficulties make it very exciting, so it ranks high on my list.
How has your job changed over the years? How has fashion week changed?
Each season there are new and more photographers. When I started there were maybe 20 people. Now there are 500 shooting. It’s hard. Cops, barriers, paparazzi, everyone is in our way. The challenge makes it exciting. If there were just 20 people shooting, I’d probably be bored by how easy it is.
It’s 30 days and 3 hours of sleep. That must take a toll. What drives you to take on that sort of schedule? What do you gain at the end of it, aside from, well, a paycheck?
I did this for free for years. I’m not here for the money. I love this job, and I refuse to let the financial gains be my primary fuel-source. I do this because I love the challenge. We all work SO hard. We sweat, we freeze, we run through traffic, risk our lives, or safety, our health. Just to take a photo of what…some girl in some nice shoes? It sounds to stupid on paper, but it’s so much fun. I’m so lucky. I just want to take the best photo out there. Every day is like the Olympics, and I want that fucking Gold Medal.