We had the chance to sit in on a talk with legendary image maker Nick Knight OBE. Knight gave insight into his early life as a photographer to his work in the fashion industry.
Nick delved into his humble beginnings, discussing his reasons for creating his first book of photographs “Skinhead”, stating that the idea “rejected all values”. He continued by mentioning the ‘skinhead revival’, as well as his influences from reggae music; which was instrumental to the skinhead culture in the 1970s. Nick Knight’s book went on to win a 'DandAD' award in 1996.
Knight also shared his experiences working for various popular magazines, including NME and working on his first ID magazine cover with singer Sade in 1983. Listing the many celebrities he has worked with, some of them include: David Bowie, Alexander McQueen amongst many others.
A very interesting part of the conversation was had when Nick was asked about his transition from photography to music videos and later film. He explained that he had “always been into film”; and that he had “started filming his photoshoots in the 1980s”. His music video resumé is stock pilled; working with Kanye West on ‘Black Skinhead,’ ‘Bound 2’, ‘New Slaves’ and having the chance to understand his personality is what makes him one of his favourite people to work with. Saying that he is “drawn to people who are difficult, who don't fit in”; another reason why he loved working with Lady Gaga on her ‘Born This Way’ video.
Having collaborated with Adidas Originals campaign to celebrate the return of the ‘Spezial’ collection back in 2016; the conversation steered to the impact of sportswear on pop culture, Nick shared his thoughts on the moment he realised the significance of sportswear, reiterating that working with Kanye West was a key moment, as his dedication to his brand and fashion influence has impacted the culture in a major way.
The concluding section of the discussion, Nick Knight spoke about the creation of ‘SHOWstudio’. The award winning website was founded in 2000 by Nick himself, showcasing fashion film, illustration, written word and photography. Nick described his passion for the site, explaining that he “wanted it to be a platform to launch fashion film, to take advantage of all of the new technologies at the time”. Not forgetting his love for the art, he continues to say he sees fashion as “The most exciting art form we have”. This entire talk really gave us a glimpse of Nick’s commitment to the creative space and his efforts to showcase it.