FRIENDS OF SIX EDGES
EPISODE 1 | PHOTOGRAPHER JEF CLAES
Six Edges gets by with a little help from its friends. In our new journal series, we talk to people who have influenced or contributed to Six Edges in their own creative way. Today, we chat with Jef Claes. He is the photographer behind Six Edges’ campaign and lookbook shoots.
Jef, how does your style, which is very colorful yet minimalistic, match with the clean-cut designs of Six Edges?
“Our styles actually match quite well. When Six Edges’ founder Ulrike and I discuss the setting and scenography of photo shoots, we quickly agree on things. Each season, Ulrike works with certain color patterns in her Six Edges collections, so I always try to work with that. Six Edges radiates some sort of simplicity, some sort of cleanness with a graphical touch. I myself have always been inspired by the New Topographics, a movement with a very clean and structural approach. In that perspective, we really match. Although I used to focus on buildings and objects in my early works, I now prefer people in front of my camera. People add something that you can’t reach when you’re only photographing architecture, for example.”
How did your collaboration with Six Edges’ founder Ulrike De Maeseneire actually come about?
“As a photographer, I often work with Supermachine, the agency that was responsible for the branding of Six Edges. This is how Ulrike encountered my work, and she contacted me for the imagery of the very first Six Edges campaign. Six Edges represents designs that really appeal to people in the creative sector.”
For the SS17 collection you shot the Six Edges clothing in a very raw setting, full of concrete.
“Yes, indeed. I try to depart from the designs. I was thinking about buildings or places that would fit the collection, and ended up with Belgian brutalism. I selected a building called Westrand, in Dilbeek. Its grey color perfectly matched the Six Edges collection. There aren’t many brutal buildings left in Belgium, and if they are, they often loose their attractiveness because of their new function.”
What are you working on right now?
“At the moment, I’m working on a collection of pictures in which I lift everyday objects out of their environment and put them in front of a colored background. A gallery in London called Subject Matter will present some of these pictures within a group exposition in a couple of months. Next to that, I’m working on a series regarding old carwashes. I’m focusing on those ‘luxurious hand carwash’ concepts you see very often nowadays. I take pictures of the people who are washing a car, the owners of that car and the car itself. I hope to gather all those images and fit them into a catalogue.”