It’s been said time and time again, but New York City is truly a melting pot. An undisputed global playground, you’ll find a vast array of different people, styles, attitudes and auras, all within its five famous boroughs. This is even more evident when flicking through the pages of Thank You For Your Business, the fifth instalment in Belgian photographer Quentin De Briey’s photo book series. Whether it’s Saskia De Brauw, wrapped in a trench coat on the Staten Island Ferry, a flame-haired fashion model swamped by his own bomber, or a beaming skater diligently rolling a blunt, De Briey’s images capture vivid snapshots of a city in flux.
All of the images for the edition were taken between September 2014 and December 2022, while De Briey was still living in the city. Though he’s now moved on to the cobbled flagstones of Paris, De Briey remembers his time in the US city, and the vibrant skate scene his photographs draw from. “I’ve always been inspired by the skateboard culture in America, through the skate videos and magazines, then from all those 70s and 80s movies in NYC”, he says of the project. “I think I tried to capture the rest of this strong identity and authenticity of NYC before globalisation and gentrification took everything away, even if it was very late already.”
It’s true that fashion has always had a symbiotic relationship with skate culture, from the effortless Stüssy campaigns of the 1980s, to the manifesto of recently-founded collective World Artifact Society. Fashion people are more than keen to borrow from the laid-back and unbothered cool of skate style, markers that can often evade them at the best of times. But it’s this sense of easiness, the sense of life going by, that’s the main focus of the book, literally transporting you to a calmer, not-so-distant past. Thanks to De Briey, the unending mythos of NYC continues.