Itw : Pierre David
Photos : Ollie Wood
Stylist : Pierre-Yves Marquer
Be it haute couture or street, difficult to see a difference between the two nowadays.
Concert rooms and hip hop videos look like they’ve come straight from a catwalk where designer brands go hand in hand with bottles of Hennessy, 40′Oz and gold teeth. Jay Z and his homie Kayne have become the pioneers of Givenchy, and Mister A$AP Rockie has turned Rick Owens into his own personal wardrobe master, displaying unique creations, dark and off beat , issued from this amazing avant-gardist!
Imagine Allie Boulala and Jim Greco painting the town red; hitting parks and bars in Longbeach, both wearing Martin Margiela jackets and Lanvin trousers, tearing their « Comme des garçon » t-shirts to shreds and fucking up the latest pair of Louboutins by making “hammers” !
In his CONCRETE serie, Ollie Wood, a photographer from Paris, gives us a little foretaste of what our skateparks could become in a few years if the Core screws too hard with the hype !
-Can you tell us a bit more about your CONCRETE serie?
For almost a year now, I’ve taken my camera with me to different spots in Paris, cruising the capital’s skate scene, meeting up with local figures , but at the same time,I’ve always stayed interested in the fashion world ; my gimmick : random castings, an interesting face, real adventures, displacing codes. On the other hand, I also like shooting models au natural, or in everyday situations. Concrete is all that put together, mixed with a passion shared by a handful of skaters (Nassaire, Edwin, Florent, Melody) who just went with the flow, doing it to have fun.
And then there’s this place, organic and raw, highly inspiring.
-You bring a different vision with this Editorial, it’s rare to see people approach skateboarding in a new way!
To be truthful, it’s probably because I’m not a real skate photographer.
- Was it complicated to get the support and trust of such huge brands, la creme de la creme of haute couture,for a skate Editorial?
Nope, not at all, the brands tend to follow the waves, they were all really enthusiastic ; but it’s also thanks to the work of the stylist who was with me the whole time (Pierre-Yves Marquer) that the project was able to « Concretize »!!
Hat : JOHN SMEDLEY / Shades : RAY BAN / Short : HARTFORD / Shirt : AMI / Shoes : Vans
Hat : JOHN SMEDLEY : Gilet : COMME DES GARCONS SHIRT / Short : HARTFORD / Shoes : SUPRA
-What do you think about the whole phenomena that’s touching the hip hop scene at the moment, like for example the alliance between Alexander Wang, Rick Owens and the rapper A$AP rocky or Kayne West with Givenchy! Do you think that haute couture has a place in the skateboarding industry?
I don’t know if it really helps the skateboarding world…skaters are wild, free spirits, they have their own style, they don’t need to be influenced, they inspire others without meaning to, which is what makes them so desirable! Nowadays creative alliances are always interesting because of their mix, they build a bridge between two worlds which are normally completely different …There’s this guy for example in Paris – a skater of course – with this trashy look, he works leather, a true craftsman, Vuitton swears by him and only him,there’s an alliance that really works!
When are we gonna start seeing partnerships between guys like Rieder or Haslam and brands like Hermès, Balenciaga, Margiela…?!
-Tell us how you started out?
I learnt photography at the Beaux-Arts, we used to do a lot of performances , different set ups ; we were lulled by a spirit of surrealism,fluxus… I always managed to portray my childhood influences, I grew up in the Basque country ( surf spirit,are you there? ) which gave some pretty …euh…interesting mixtures! I then turned to painting and a few years ago I picked up my equipment again, wanting to be more mobile, do some updates on digital technology, editing work (I use very sparingly) but I never dropped silver photography. From there , I started to work in fashion, in a very liberal way and I nurtured some artistic projects.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
Probably my travels and everything they bring to me!
-Does art take up an important place in your everyday life?
Art and Life go hand in hand, they sublimate one another.
Robert Filliou, who’s close to Fluxus, used to say « art is what makes life more interesting than art »
-A ordinary day for you?
I try and make every day different, the only thing that never changes is that not a single day goes by without photography.
-How do you see the future?
A story full of adaptations, I guess…
-Explain your work in 5 words!
A – bit – of – extraordinary – in- the – ordinary…?! (I’m working on it, anyhow!!!!)
-What projects are you working on at the moment?
I want to gather all my work on skateboarding and put it in one book ( there’ll probably be an exhibition to )
Otherwise, I’ve started working on a project that concerns nature, called « Green sabotage ». It’s still got a hint of the extraordinary, it’s incongruous, softly surrealist in everyday life; anyhow, I’m just finishing the website OllieWoodStory.com which is more a personal project than an online E-book .
Vareuse : WOOYOUNGMI / Jacket : LANVIN Men .
Shirt & Pant LEVI’S / Tie : HARTFORD / Belt : EDC by Esprit / Shoes : RIVIERAS
Shades : OLIVER PEOPLES / Shirt : U-NI-TY / Bag & Short LANVIN / Shoes : POINTER BY COMME DES GARCONS SHIRT