Like many photographers who find themselves working with clothes as a subject, Mikael Kennedy didn’t start out to be a fashion photographer. “I entered the photo world on the art side of things,” says the Brooklyn-based artist, whose premiere exhibit was a show of 500 Polaroids – his signature medium – in a room in New York’s famed Chelsea Hotel. “But fashion photography has always interested me.”
Mikael’s first fashion industry job actually came from his fine art work. A few years ago, a principal from the now-shuttered Maine clothing company Rogues Gallery came across one of Mikael’s 15 self-published photography collections for sale at Opening Ceremony, the New York City flagship store of the progressive fashion company run by Humberto Leon and Carole Lim. Says Mikael: “From that, he hired me to shoot for his brand. It’s just continued from there.”
Since the Rogues gig, Mikael has worked on magazine projects for Dazed & Confused and Garden & Gun, and has collaborated with fashion brands including Filson, Schott, New Balance and Wolverine, which hired him to document a cross-country road trip for a project called Rambler’s Bone that debuted last year. An ardent lover of the road, Mikael’s blog, Passport to Trespass, documents his personal ramblings, which routinely see him traveling transcontinental and abroad.
Earlier this month, Mikael added Billy Reid to his designer roster. Using a single model and shooting in the boroughs of New York City, he photographed looks from our signature Heirloom collection of American-made menswear for the Journal using part of his precious shrinking cache of Polaroid film; the results can be seen in this post. To get a little insight into his process – and to get the 411 about that fine-looking car in the background of some shots - we asked Mikael to answer a few questions for us.
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