Jamel Shabazz interview, 2014 January 6
- US NNFIT SC.FITA.220.127.116.11.10.1
- 2014 January 6
Part of Academic Affairs records
April Calahan, Curator of Manuscripts at the Special Collections and College Archives unit of the Fashion Institute of Technology library, interviews street style fashion photographer Jamel Shabazz. Mr. Shabazz talks of his life growing up in New York City as a child of divorce. He recalls how he started learning photography in Germany while serving in the armed forces. He began documenting his world in 1980 when he began taking photographs of young people who reminded him of his own life growing up, and found his camera facilitated his ability to engage with and mentor young people. He talks about the importance of mentorship, the trust that he honed between him and his subjects. He discusses how discounted clothing was often purchased from stores around Delancey and Orchard streets in the 1970s as well as other hubs where urban fashion originated from. He compares the photographic work he's done in the studio to his preference to shooting on the street. Calahan and Shabazz review the specific processes behind a number of Shabazz's favorite photographs. He finally discusses his respect for FIT, and his reasons for donating a collection of photographs to FIT's archive, and how important he believes photography is for documenting history. Alex Joseph, editor of Hue Magazine, joins in as interviewer to ask Mr. Shabazz about his personal clothing collection, which consists of pieces he designed himself or has kept over several decades, and which he uses in his fashion shoots. Finally, Mr. Shabazz recalls how fashion has changed over time.
Shabazz, Jamel, 1960-