lose yourself on a road trip to tel aviv with studio white label
With multi-disciplinary collaboration at the heart of Studio White Label, spring/summer 15 sees their fashion output showcased through a photographic series shot by Ellis Scott and celebrated by an exhibition and music-fuelled party.
Studio White Label and fashion photographer Ellis Scott decided to approach the spring/summer 15 campaign as a project rather than a regular lookbook, exploring the raw landscape of Tel Aviv, Israel, and street casting characters who would evoke the underlying theme of identity that runs through the narrative of the brand. Hours before the exhibition and store residency opens on Marshall Street, we caught up with Studio White Label's William Richard Green to talk personality.
What does Studio White Label mean to you?
It's an opportunity for me continue to work on projects at my own pace as well as putting a large emphasis on collaboration and having no restrictions on what the output can be. I'm looking at it more as a starting point for other ventures that can run in parallel and feed off each other. By taking the decision to have a deliberately anonymous name for the label it means I can decide, project by project, how much focus there is on the individuals involved. It also removes the element of expectation of what will produced by the label, ultimately giving more creative freedom.
You had your own eponymous line before, what was the catalyst for your rejection of the idea of named/celebrity designers.
There were a few things that didn't really sit well with how the media and industry interact with you as an ambassador for your brand and what was expected from the brand as an extension of your personality. I think some people are great brand ambassadors but that's not what I want to be, I want my work to be my work and I want to be a separate entity. Also, I personally feel it helps breed cross-disciplinary collaborations and by taking the name and personality away from the various outputs allows the work to be judged with more clarity.
What drew you to Tel Aviv for the campaign shoot?
It's really sunny and there's a beach in the middle of town! I'd been the previous year and was blown away by what an amazing city it is. I guess very naively, I didn't expect it to be such a liberal city, packed with so many energetic youth subcultures in a country which is depicted to us as completely the opposite through the mainstream media.
What was it that surprised you about the identity of Tel Aviv's people?
I got the impression that people's identity or decision to step away from their stereotyped identity was a very important issue to them. As this is something I've been putting a lot of thought to personally with Studio White Label, I relished the idea of exploring this subject in a way that would tie in with the label.
Tell us about the street casting element of the campaign, how did you find Jacob and Egal?
For Jacob, a refugee from Somalia, I just bumped into him on the street. I thought he looked great so asked him if he would be up for modeling for us and for Egal, he lived in the flat below to the one we were staying in. Done. It was so easy, both of them had such great stories to tell, it seems that you could have asked anyone in Tel Aviv and they would have had an interesting angle on identity.
In addition to the exhibition, what are your plans for the store residency?
Alongside the exhibition, we are selling the spring/summer 15 collection and a curation of objects from The Rudai. Also, as myself and many of Studio White Label's collaborators have been involved in the underground electronic music scene over the years, we are starting a mix series to celebrate and showcase our friends work. The first few mixes for this series will be recorded live in the store starting off with Kiwi and Ashworth both playing sets for us on the launch evening of the exhibition on the 29th.
Will you be working the shop floor?
Yeah, for sure. I used to work in boutiques the whole time I was studying CSM so am quite looking forward to giving it another go. But more importantly as I'm really striving for Studio White Label to be a consumer based label in terms of the wearability of the clothing, I think it's really important to see how customers react directly to the product to inform future design decisions.
Finally, what's next for Studio White Label?
We're just wrapping up sales for autumn/winter 15 and then getting on with the next collection and I'm really looking forward to it. We are revisiting a project I did with photographer Morgan O'Donovan last year as a starting point, using imagery and audio collected on that trip we will produce a ready-to-wear collection as well as a VA release on 12" vinyl of different producers interpretations of the art. The whole thing with be presented next summer as our first truly multi-output project and will set the precedent for the brand moving forward. We have a pretty ambitious campaign shoot lined up for that too, which I can't wait to attempt.
Text Steve Salter
Photography Ellis Scott