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michele lamy paul kooiker selfridges genius you

Michele Lamy wants to cast you in her new project

‘Genius You’ is a collaboration with Paul Kooiker taking place all around Selfridges London today

At the beginning of last year, Michele Lamy brought us ‘Lamyland’, her own boxing club in Selfridges with all the designer merch you could ever want. A year later and she’s left her boxing gloves at home, stopped by The Netherlands to pick up Dutch photographer Paul Kooiker and found her way back to Oxford Street for another Selfridges takeover.

Having previously worked with Rick Owens last year to shoot a zine for his Birkenstock collaboration, Kooiker is no stranger to collaborating with creative visionaries. “I asked Paul to collaborate with me at a party for Birkenstock in LA… we fell in love,” Lamy explains as to how the idea first came about. Later on, an email with the subject line ‘GENIUS YOU’ was sent to the photographer and the project was born.

The concept is straightforward – an iPhone, xerox machine, bookbinder, and Lamy spontaneously casting shoppers to be shot by Kooiker in the ‘Corner Shop’ window. “The essence of the location dictates the casting. It is totally intuitive and spontaneous,” Lamy says. With the intention to open conversations surrounding “consumerism, participation, diversity, and trust”, the Selfridges installation is the third of the duo’s performances for this project.

“Each activation is in a new location and this is very much part of the concept,” she continues. “We have a very structured foundation – ten books, 100 A4 pages, bound on the spot. We punctuate the books with text or images from a chosen artist. The first was Warhol, the second Fassbinder and this one will be the lyrics of Mark E. Smith.” Elsewhere, pages including stamps by the lady herself of her Instagram handle – it’s @lalamichmich BTW – will also be included. 

It can often be hard to find someone who sees the potential of a project in the same way you do, but that’s not a problem for Lamy and Kooiker. ”Paul and I are the best collaborators. We don’t need to say much. We trust each other... a few words and we’re off,” she concludes. For your chance to get cast by Lamy and made to feel like “spoilt Victorian children” (her words, not ours), head down to Selfridges today.