Jul 20, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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Leading Turkish denim mill Calik team up with accomplished photographer Eric Kvatek to shoot their fabric collection.
While many of our denim savvy readers will be familiar with the various American and Japanese mill names popping up on their favourite raw wears, Calik might not be such a recognisable title. Based out of Malatya in Turky, this intergrated yarn and weaving factory pushes out an annual production capacity of 40 million meters of quality denim each year, making it one of the most prominent companies in the world in its respective field. Definitely one of our ‘must see’ stands at Denim by PV, Calik always presents unique collections that use both commercial and innovative fabrics as well as clear and inspirational theme stories to help communicate the range.
For their latest collection campaign the denim weaver has teamed up with Eric Kvatek, a photographer who has become renowned in the denim industry for his work with brands including Kapital, PRPS and 45rpm. Eric’s is well known for his choice of unconventional locations and models, shaped by a distinct style of capturing the essence of denim with these striking elements. It was all these elements that made Eric Kvatek the perfect fit for Calik’s denims. The photo shoot took place in Hawaii in the second half of December where they explored remote terrains like the famous Manoa Falls, Blow Hole and Kualoa Ranch, a location most famously featured in films such as Jurassic Park, Godzilla and Lost.
We spoke to the Calik team and Eric to find out more:
How did you first come across Eric and how did the collaboration come about?
Calik: As a follower of Eric’s work over the years, the Calik team found his unique style very impressing in terms of the creativity, the powerful story telling and reflecting his passion for denim in all of his projects.
What it is about Eric’s photography style that works for Calik’s fabrics?
Calik: For Calik, it was important to have the story of their denims told in an epic manner, making denim the hero and not in a conventional way but in a way that emphasizes the raw essence of the fabrics as well as the philosophy. Indeed, when both parties finally got together after almost a year, the chemistry was immediate and the project ran very naturally and smoothly, and the pictures captured the magic of denim beautifully in a spectacular backdrop.
What was the creative process like working with Calik on this project?
Eric: Mr. Hamit Yenici Calik’s General Manager gave me almost total freedom to create what ever I wanted, go any where in the world, so I have to say it was very easy to work with them! I produced, art directed and shot the project so I had an amazing amount of control over almost every aspect of the shoot. Pinar, my main contact at Calik was also very easy to get along with so as we discussed locations, styling ideas, models and prop themes everything fell into place very easily. Very early on in the process we just clicked so it felt very organic, as if we had worked together before.
WGSN: You’ve visited Hawaii several times for other projects. Whats you’re favourite things about the islands and how is it to photograph there?
Eric: We considered several other locations but Hawaii ended up making sense in terms of climate, the variety of locations and the connections I already have there. In the course of one day you can be on a beach, on top of a mountain and back in town in time for dinner! The island of Oahu has beautiful light and its small enough that you can catch sunrise on one side and drive to the other for the sunset. Even when it rains its usually a romantic moody rain and when it clears up you’re pretty much guaranteed a rainbow or two.
WGSN: Indigo was obviously the key focus for the shoot. How did this direct your approach?
Eric: Calik’s only request was that we show denim without using obvious garments such as jeans or jackets. When I created the storyboard I had to imagine ways to show denim fabric that made sense and seemed natural, so things like tents, hammocks, banners came to mind but as I continued to dream about it I began seeing sailboats, treasure chests and a flying machine. It all kind of made sense in my mind as sort of shipwrecked adventurers. Eventually I chose Teo Griscom (Unforeseen Circumstances) to create and style layers of fabric to show a variety of denim in an interesting and beautiful way on the models. Calik wanted each shot to be epic. So as we worked there was definitely pressure. I wanted each shot to feel right, make sense and at the same time the denim to be the star of the shoot, not just fabric that happens to be there. I think it was a success, one that the entire crew made possible.
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