As history has proven, there’s nothing quite like political unrest to stimulate a creative mind. Stockholm-based footwear brand Eytys recognises this, using its seasonal campaigns as an opportunity to spotlight international talent. Speaking to Dazed, the brand’s co-founder and creative director Max Schiller explained that “less obvious locations often generate more interesting images” – a philosophy which has led him to the likes of Ukraine and Israel for previous campaigns. For SS16 the brand headed to Johannesburg on a mission to reverse the “troubled way that large African cities and their inhabitants are often portrayed.”
To communicate this message, Schiller looked to photographer and filmmaker Kristin-Lee Moolman after finding her collaborative work with stylist Gabrielle Kannemeyer online. “(In their work), surroundings are beautiful and people are heroes,” she says, “I wanted to work them on their own turf.” The result of the collaboration is a series of colourful images which spotlight the thriving creative underbelly of Johannesburg. Featuring the work of local designers alongside Eytys’ footwear, Moolman saw the shoot as an opportunity to “look at the people we knew were doing interesting things as well as our favourite models”. This was achieved through the casting process, which sees audiovisual artist Hakim Melema and student designers Didi and Dodo cast alongside models Lindiwe Dim and Hauwa, an existing muse of Moolman’s.
The photographer has built a vast portfolio documenting South African youth subculture, crediting its appeal to “a constant drive to push boundaries and explore new ideas.” When asked if the country’s political climate affects her work she admits that it has an influence, but Moolman’s work is unique in both its joyous portrayal of Johannesburg and its focus on youth. Citing this shoot as his favourite to work on, Schiller made the decision to collate the images into a book entitled “Delicious” which will be released this Spring. “Print is an experience that digital can never beat,” he says, “We felt that Kristin-Lee’s images deserve that kind of attention.”