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Vaquera 03 campaign
Vaquera 03 campaignPhotography Matt Holmes

The label rebelling against fashion’s narrow ideals

Vaquera’s Patric DiCaprio on why ‘it’s boring to make clothes marketed to one group of people defined by their age, race or sex’

You might remember Vaquera as the outsider fashion brand who chose the NYC subway as the stage for their last show, inviting Instagram favourites including Alexandra Marzella and David Moses (of Moses Gauntlett Cheng) to model with an assortment of fresh vegetables. The label is the brainchild of Alabama private school boy turned New York underground fashion fixture Patric DiCaprio, who draws inspiration from everyday people and a desire to rebel against the narrow standards of beauty that exclude many from the world of fashion. For the campaign images for his third collection (dubbed 03 rather than attached to a particular season), DiCaprio hit up photographer Matt Holmes – together, they ditched traditional models for a gang of friends and people found online, capturing a kind of twisted American pastoralism. They talk us through the images.

What inspired this campaign?

Patric DiCaprio: This campaign was about romance. Matt and I were looking at stills from Terrence Mallick and old Miu Miu ads. 

Matt Holmes: I liked the idea of something ‘theatrical’ but also real... relatable in a movie poster way. Characters you want to learn about. You want to enter their world. I make portraiture so its makes sense to me. 

How would you sum up this collection? 

Patric DiCaprio: I imagine each of my collections as a wardrobe for an emerging subculture. This season was like clothes for a cult of slutty girls into period pieces and farming. Hari Nef described it as like a business woman’s trip to a bed and breakfast in the country.

Matt Holmes: I like the idea that you have a new choice with the clothes. I like that season to season there is a new world, subculture, attitude I can exist in. That you can find something new in each collection. I never feel the same… It's the spontaneity.

Who are the people featured in the images? What's your relationship to them? 

Patric DiCaprio: They are our friends and people we found on Instagram – we shot this over a couple of weeks and let the campaign unfold naturally – we ended up shooting people who were available the days we were shooting.

Matt Holmes: You start to imagine yourself in a play with these characters. The clothing has such personality and story and I love people who value their own sense of self enough that you see it in their posture, their face. 

Why did you choose to include a baby (Malcolm) in some of the images?

Patric DiCaprio: Vaquera has always been about making clothes that aren’t defined by a person’s physical body. I had my friend Esther’s mother walk in my first show and really want my sister who is in high school to walk in my next show. It’s boring to make clothes marketed to one group of people defined by their age, race or sex, etc. Little known fact: Malcolm owns a very rare piece of Baby Vaquera from season 01.

Matt Holmes: I also think it furthers the world of the story... It’s more realistic to open the clothes to everyone. Malcolm is adorable and is an important reference to family.

How do you see Vaquera in relation to New York fashion right now?

Patric DiCaprio: I think my friends and I are on the edge of something new. Everyone is sick of the same ideas that have been coming out of New York. I’m interested in making something that is immediate and strange – something that is less focused on the vision of the future that has been the same since 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968.

“Vaquera has always been about making clothes that aren’t defined by a person’s physical body... It’s boring to make clothes marketed to one group of people defined by their age, race or sex” – Patric DiCaprio