Behind Face Hunter

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These days the fashion shows are no longer confined to the runway, instead they have stepped out onto the pavements of the world, drenched in individual interpretation. Ever since the days of photographer Bill Cunningham street-fashion has been a visible foray, but for the past three and a half years ubiquitous photographer Yvan Rodic has been witness to its unorthodox progression; one synonymous with creativity and practicality. Rodic is the Face Hunter. He is the perennial finger on the fashion pulse. He travels the world constantly on the lookout for unique and inspirational street-style and will not go anywhere without his Canon G10. His camera is a permanent fixture, an extension of his body which captures images that are merely ephemeral to his gaze. Rodic’s new venture sees him collaborate with Lacoste for Evolução Francesa, their new project which introduces French culture to Brazil. In between attending fashion shows and trekking the global streets, he will be taking photos of individuals dressed in Lacoste. The aim is to visualise global interpretations of the iconic brand, before photographing the final even in São Paulo. Our formidable session took us through the internet blogging world, under the stagnate air of supposed fashion capitals Paris and Milan and into the impact of climate on style. Prior to the interview I was fortunate enough to experience the gaze of his lens.

Dazed Digital: So tell me what to do? Should I smile?
Yvan Rodic: I don’t like to tell people to smile, it looks to cheesy. (A nervous laughter escapes me).

DD: Pulling my hands out of my pockets I ask what I should do with them?
Yvan Rodic: Pull out a cigarette and start smoking, it sounds cliché I know, but it’s one of the most relaxed positions from a photographic stance. People are generally at ease when they are smoking.

DD: How long have you been the Face Hunter?
Yvan Rodic: Three and a half years.

DD: Are you sick of taking photos yet?
Yvan Rodic: I could never get sick of it. It changes every day.

DD: What camera do you use?
Yvan Rodic: Canon G10. I like to be inconspicuous. I don’t want a big lens gaining me unwanted attention.

DD: How many cameras do you own?
Yvan Rodic: Originally, I only had one camera (Canon G9) but it broke two weeks ago so I bought this new one.

DD: What do you think of all the fashion blogs saturating the net?
Yvan Rodic: I think it’s great that anybody who has access to the internet can use it as a medium to express their thoughts and opinions. It doesn’t matter whether you are a young fashion-enthusiast, Susie Lau, Bryan Boy or even a 13 year-old girl who has a great knowledge of the fashion world.

DD: Are you referring to Tavi? What do you think of her?
Yvan Rodic: Yes I am. I don’t like her style.

DD: What is your opinion on the The Sartorialist? Do you draw similarities between your respective works?
Yvan Rodic: His style is very classic and more businessy. The subjects of his photos are often editors walking into a fashion show who are wearing very expensive outfits. Whereas I take photos of the people standing outside the show whose outfits weren’t necessarily created by a high-end designer. Often we are at exactly the same shows but we interpret them differently because we are interested in completely different subjects.

DD: Are Paris and Milan the fashion capitals?
Yvan Rodic: Paris and Milan are definitely not the most fashionable places in the world. People think that just because Paris has Paris Fashion Week that it must be the Mecca of fashion. This is not true. Paris is merely a base where the global fashion community meet. The majority of people that I take photos of were from Russia or Sweden or New York but not Paris. Paris fashion is so bland, people like to label it effortless but it’s just boring monotone outfits. Not inspiring at all.

DD: Do you let people see the photos once you take them?
Yvan Rodic: Yes

DD: Do people ever say no?
Yvan Rodic: Of course. But people are always going to say ‘no’, no matter what you are doing.

DD:
Where are you from?
Yvan Rodic: I’m still trying to figure that out. No, Switzerland, near the French Alps.

DD: How does the element of travel affect you?
Yvan Rodic: The aspect of travelling means I have lots of different lives. I know people in lots of different countries and I make sure I don’t just befriend ‘expats’, but actually those from the country. You gain a greater understanding and insight into a culture through its people. Where are you from?

DD: Melbourne.
Yvan Rodic: I went there last year, I really like Melbourne fashion. A lot of people just think that Australians are surfers and only wear surfer clothes but the fashion there is quite progressive. Even though the weather is quite warm, people still dress well and not solely for the climate.

DD: So you don’t think climate has a great impact on fashion?
Yvan Rodic: In general, the more North you go the more you'll see conceptual fashion versus the South where sexiness is often confused with style. But this is not an absolute rule. Hot Indonesia and Australia for instance are much more creative in terms of style than cold places like Canada or Norway.

Would you get involved in projects solely to further yourself?
Yvan Rodic: Yes. Working with well known companies opens a lot of doors and allows you to do your own projects further down the line.

The Face Hunter will be travelling the world taking photos for Lacoste, before ending up in São Paulo to photograph the final event in December.
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