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maje campaign ss18 morocco thurstan redding
Maje SS18 campaignPhotography Thurston Redding

Breakout photographer Thurstan Redding heads to Morocco for new campaign

For its 20th anniversary, Parisian label Maje returned to its founder’s birthplace to shoot its SS18 collection

At just 25 years old, photographer Thurstan Redding already has some big moments in his career. Starting out shooting backstage during fashion week, Redding has now worked on projects with Miu Miu as well as being an ongoing collaborator with Charles Jeffrey.

His latest project is for Parisian label Maje’s new campaign. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, founder Judith Milgrom enlisted three photographers – including Coco Capitán, Mark Peckmezian – to shoot on location in Morocco, Paris and London – representing the past, present and future of the brand.

Redding travelled to Morocco with Milgrom, a country that holds special meaning for her, given it’s her birthplace. “It was important to return in Morocco because I’m still deeply attached to the country where I was born,” she told us. “I think it still influences me, for example in the use of bright colours, bold prints that are always present in our collections.”

Featuring model Yasmin Wijnaldum, the collection featured looks that wouldn’t seem out of place in a chic office during the summer. “This collection speaks to the diversity of who we are today, still keeping in mind Maje’s foundations which are modernity, urbanity and femininity all played together in subtle ways,” said Milgrom.

Here, we caught up with the Redding to talk about the campaign and what’s next for him. 

What was the idea you wanted to portray through the campaign?

Thurstan Redding: The creative director of the campaign – Jean-Baptiste Talbourdet – did a fantastic job in allowing me to explore Maje’s identity with him. We decided to create a visual space within which Yasmin could explore different facets of her identity. We wanted her to carry the attitude and poise of the brand, but also to be totally free to explore her surroundings and not be constrained in any way. As a male photographer portraying a woman, this sense of agency is always so important to me, and I really wanted to convey a feeling of adventure in the images.

What were some of your inspirations?

Thurstan Redding: I often start with references that are based on certain people or figures as opposed to imagery – it’s often someone’s demeanour that interests me more, and that works as the base on which to build the rest of a story. For this campaign, Verushka and China Machado were key figures in my research – especially images of them in the late 1950s. I also looked at a lot of Moroccan antique photography.

How did you work with Judith to represent her idea of this season’s woman?

Thurstan Redding: It was crucial to portray the essence of the brand – Judith was really key in clarifying the traits of the very Parisian femininity she portrays so well. Maje is built on an interesting balance of quite a Parisian irreverent energy, paired with a very feminine and youthful aesthetic which Judith helped me keep in mind throughout the shoot.

“As a male photographer portraying a woman, this sense of agency is always so important to me” – Thurstan Redding 

What about the casting?

Thurstan Redding: I’ve been meaning to work with Yasmin for a while now – I first spotted her at a Givenchy show when she was starting out and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. She has an incredibly strong presence and sense of poise that seemed to perfectly reflect the Maje girl, as well as many of the women I had in my references.

Where did you shoot? 

Thurstan Redding: We shot in the Ouzoud falls which was honestly one of the most surreal places I’ve ever been to. The light is also unbelievable as all the stone of the walls there is red, so the sunlight bouncing off it has a very unusual colour.

What other projects are you working on?

Thurstan Redding: I’m currently working on the launch of my first zine with Charles Jeffrey, Tantrum!, as part of an exploration of our ongoing collaboration. I’m also working on the launch of my first book this spring, Kids of Cosplay, exploring the art of cosplay that I’ve been fascinated about for a very long time now.