eytys' max schiller on print's persuasive power
With an e-store that selects early editions of 'Twen' alongside snapshots of street culture, girl power's new wave and the fruits of various creative coming togethers, print media is far from dead in the minds of Eytys. Whilst sharing a sneak preview...
I fell for print in my early 20s while doing an internship at the design agency Baron and Baron in New York. For three months all I did was image research in Fabien Baron's vast and awe-inspiring library. The massive bookshelves had everything, from glossies dating back several decades to rare editions with big masters of photography, art, and architecture.
I was turning the pages so intensely I developed an arm injury, sort of a book geek's tennis elbow. At the same time I started spending my weekends at Strand Bookstore on Broadway, browsing the second-hand shelves in search of beautiful publications I could afford. I was looking for books on the big photography masters from different periods, starting with the likes of Man Ray and André Kertész moving to Irving Penn and Richard Avedon and then Wolfgang Tillmans and Juergen Teller. But I soon gave up the big names and went onto discovering books by photographers and artists I wasn't previously familiar with.
In contrast to the digital world, collecting books is a slow and long-term process and a bookshelf is an intriguing representation of someone and the different periods in that person's life. For me, print and digital are two completely different things; in my world, they have little to do with each other but I wouldn't be able to live without either of them. I'm a constant user of the web for research -- spending hours getting lost in the digital world. I turn to print for a more evocative experience. It's a ritual to be alone at home browsing through a beautiful book.
That said, the internet has made the creative world one huge sharing community and we want to welcome that in every way we can. Everyone wins from that and it's what's driving everything forward. At Eytys, we see it as our duty be completely transparent with where our ideas come from, anyone who has inspired us in some way deserves the credit for it and digital plays an essential part in that. From the very start, even before the brand was launched, we made the Eytys moodboard public on a Tumblr page. Internet invites the individual to grow -- not only the Big Brother is given space. It's democratic and border-crossing. Most of our collaborations have started with a Google search gone wild -- spending hours researching and finding someone who is truly talented but happens to be based far away from the usual fashion or art system. I love how the internet can bring people with common interests and aesthetics together regardless social affiliation or distance on a map. That's what happened here.
I first discovered the work of stylist Gabrielle Kannemeyer online via an amazing story she did with photographer Travys Owen for South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi. After a bit of Googling it lead me to Kristin-Lee Moolman's work and I was completely hooked. She's based in Johannesburg and has a unique network in the city's music, fashion, and LGBT scenes, which she portrays in a unique way together with Kannemeyer. They have a great ability to create beautiful images with substance, confidence and attitude.
We wanted something in that spirit for Eytys. After a couple of days in the city I was mesmerized by it and the creative scene that is boiling in the shadow of the violence and political and economical challenges. Delicious is photographed by a young South African, featuring young South African musicians, designers, and models who are wearing emerging South African designers. Media report on the sadness but there's impressive strength in creativity that also deserves to be communicated. I hope that Delicious shines a light on this.
Text Max Schiller