What’s important to you for a casting?
I really need to like them. When I say that I don't mean that I have to be attached to their personality before, but I do need to see something in it that's really interesting and intriguing. I often do casting online which I hate because you can’t really get their personality from that.
I think models can bring a lot to the shoot with their personality. The way they act is something that's inspiring to me while I work because I always leave my shootings a little bit open. I don't come with a 100% finished idea of what I want to have. I have a main base, a main idea and then when I come to set, and I meet the models, I try to understand how they are, how they move, and how they talk. I like to have as much reality in my pictures as possible, and so I try to bring out the personality of the models in every shoot.
Being a female photographer do you think that makes you have a different perception of the guys that you shoot versus a male photographer?
I’m not sure. I have a special kind of view with the guys. Let's say this; I shoot more guys because I observe them more and I'm more intrigued by them. I also like to shoot girls, but I have to say that guy models are more inspiring to me.
Do you think that it's important to diversify castings?
Yeah. I'm obsessed with the whole trend for street casting right now.
I love how with the Vetements show, for example, they cast their friends and the interesting kids that they found on the street.
That's one of the aesthetic things that I'm drawn to. Even if it's just a totally normal looking person or a weird looking person, I love that so much. I think it's a good thing that's happening right now.
It’s just more real, I hate the illusion that the fashion world often creates – people whose skin looks like plastic, their teeth are perfectly straight, blah blah blah.
Do you like Eckhaus Latta?
Yes. I love the age range that they promote. That's another way that fashion's being democratized in a great way. You can cast an old woman or a young person or not a stereotypically beautiful person.
Do you like it because it has a social impact or because it makes the photos more interesting?
Both. I think it makes the photos more interesting. When you see typically beautiful people, it’s like, "Yeah I've seen that before." When you see a really interesting face, you stop and appreciate it. And also, for example, seeing an older lady is great as a social impact, because youth and old-age are both beautiful.
Cool. What are some of the challenges of making castings more diverse?
There are a lot of challenges. I've done casting a few times and it’s really hard because there's always going to be a huge, huge, huge influx of white models because you can find thirty Russian models on the street sooner than somebody will find an African American or middle eastern model that they'll want to sign. It’s just because of stereotypes or image or whatever. It’s disappointing.
On the other hand, I think the industry is trying to be better at diversity and their casting choices and also what it means to be a global brand that represents more than one race. But I do think it's really hard and I do think the agencies don't make it any easier. The brands don't make it any easier. All in all, it's a difficult situation but I think it's getting better.
Why is it important to diversify castings?
Not everyone is a five foot ten, blue eyed, blonde haired woman. Also, no one wants to see a five foot ten, blue eyed, blonde haired woman all the time. People want to see themselves in clothes. People want to see a Latina who's short in a Louis Vuitton dress. People want to see a trans black woman in a Roberto Cavalli dress. People want to see Beyonce in a dress. There're all these different types of people that come from different places in the world that are so beautiful and it's just such a shame that we can't celebrate their lives as much as we celebrate this idea of this Caucasian mold that we are so used to. Not to say that these white models aren't beautiful or aren't gorgeous in their own right, but I think it's totally, totally, totally important to make room for everybody. Not just one mold of model.