connor hickey is making waves on both sides of the camera

Between modelling, producing music videos and taking photographs, this young Kiwi has a critical eye for style.

by Savannah van der Niet
06 September 2016, 12:10am

Connor Hickey is a 19-year-old artist and student from New Zealand doing impressive things both behind and in front of the camera. His foray into music video production has included clips for his talented girlfriend — musician and producer October — and hints at the depth of his ideas as a director. They're something of a dream team, with Connor's moody visuals perfectly complimenting October's music. Connor's also signed to Imogen Wilson's agency The Others, where he's gaining a following as a model with floppy hair and a gangly charisma. With a clip in the works for October's new song Cherry Cola, we spoke to Connor about his life, work and style. 

How would you describe the videos you create?
So far they've been very swallowable music videos, visceral but composed. I'm intent on creating some sharper stuff, something that will get stuck in your throat. The next music video for October's Cherry Cola will be fun.

What sort of films do you enjoy watching? Do you have favourite directors?
I like everything from David Lynch to John Hughes, but I really I love a lot of the stuff on the back end of the no wave era. People like Richard Kern, Nick Zedd and Derek Jarman. I think Kern does a great job at making you feel horny and also hate yourself for it while Zedd's stuff is a little more off the cuff. He really seems to hate everything, it's a shame he was never very successful. I think Jarman is a real artist, similar to Jodorowsky, he has a wonderful balance of violence, disgust and beauty. I recently developed a love for Gregg Araki movies: Nowhere, Doom Generation, Kaboom and Totally Fucked Up. It's like he puts teenagers into these fucking awful situations and conducts these cynical studies into how they'd react. All this mixed in with late 90s irony and neon lighting.

You seem to really love films, why did you begin modelling?
I never thought about it. I love photography and editorials and have a lot of old i-D and The Face mags, which I often carry around with me. It's pretty interesting being on the other side of the lens, seeing what the photographer thinks.

Describe Auckland as a place to live. What's the scene like there?
It's like a smaller rest of the world, really. There's a great house scene, and everyone is just as into trap and grime here as they are everywhere else. I have noticed that everything seems to operate on more of an aesthetic level — you don't need to be interesting anymore, you just have to look interesting. I think art is trending that way too, away from think pieces and more towards visceral, image based works like Sterling Ruby or Jesse Kanda.

We like your style. What do you wear day-to-day?
I alter my own clothing and try to wear things which are original and have meaning. I've been spending a lot of time making patches recently. It's enjoyable experimenting with what I look like but I think it's important to maintain a somewhat consistent aesthetic, it's like a brand.

Who do you look at for style inspiration?
My friends, whose style seems to move a lot faster than mine. Also Instagram, characters from movies, and musicians: The Garden twins, early Ian Brown, early Peter Murphy, early Robert Smith and Arca.



Text and photography Savannah van der Niet