If you’ve ever scrolled through a street style gallery of the best-dressed men, then you’d be familiar with Dapper Lou. Whether pictured wearing a trademark hat – depending on the season, it varies between a straw Panama hat and a newsboy cap – or behind the lens as a photographer, the Brooklyn-based photographer has built a significant profile since establishing his blog. During the fall/winter 2016 menswear shows in London, Milan, Florence and Paris this month, Dapper Lou will share a different view of the season – one seen from behind-the-scenes and through his creative eyes. Ahead of the visual journey, he speaks to Merino about the creative process.
What initially inspired you to create your blog, Dapper Lou, after working as a stylist?
At the time, when it came to sites dedicated to menswear, there was a huge void, and I needed to take on the challenge. Featuring the things that inspired me was a huge goal of mine, therefore the mission from day one has been – and continues to be – to create original content. Finding style in unusual places and interviewing people who have lived great stories has always compelled me as a creative person.
The way we consume media has changed so much since you started. Has the site evolved too?
Originally, my site was more focused on the people and clothes that you'd see on the streets in nearby neighbourhoods. But the more I've travelled, and the more I've experienced other cultures, its peoples and the vibrancy of their lives, the more I was inspired to expand my work to include everything that adds a certain spice to life, like food, art and travel.
How much has the digital landscape changed in that time?
The industry has embraced the works of so many self-taught talents. With the aid of accessible equipment and social media, there is so much content out there, each capturing very different, very versatile, points of views.
How might you describe your aesthetic or your approach to photography?
Textures, prints and patterns of vibrant colours are a big feature in my work. I try for the visuals to generate a story and an immediate emotional response from those who view them.
How do you manage the constant travel and stream of events? Is it hard to keep up all of the time?
I plan ahead. I think of fashion months like September and February as the beginning of a school year. The key is to have an idea of what's going on in the upcoming months, and not to overbook gigs and projects. When it comes to attending events, I try to be very selective, always making time for spirituality, health and sleep.
Tell me a little about your personal style. What are your wardrobe hallmarks?
My personal style has become more refined over the years, very much the opposite of what I try to shoot. Solids, crisp white trainers, loafers, the signature hat and a great camera strap.
You're regularly on the road for the menswear collections. What are some of your favourite shows and designers to see?
I look for an effortlessness in the tailoring for my personal style, but the super editorial brands catch my eye for photographic purposes. I appreciate a wide range of designers which makes it hard to have a favourite.
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